Gold Beach, Normandy - 69 Years after D-Day


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Views: 501 04/20/2014

Gold Beach, Normandy – 69 Years after D-Day
Gold, commonly known as Gold Beach, was the code name for one of the D-Day landing beaches that Allied forces used to invade German-occupied France on 6 June 1944, during World War II.
Gold lay in the area assigned to the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division commanded by Major General Douglas Alexander Graham, and the 8th Armoured Brigade. These were part of XXX Corps, commanded by Lieutenant General Gerard Bucknall, which in turn was part of Lieutenant General Miles Dempsey’s British 2nd Army. Gold had three main assault sectors – these were designated (from west to east): Item, Jig (split into sections Green and Red), and King (also in two sections named Green and Red). A fourth, named How, was not used as a landing area.
The beach was to be assaulted by the 50th Division between Le Hamel and Ver sur Mer. Attached to them were elements of 79th (Armoured) Division. The 231st Infantry Brigade would come ashore on Jig Sector at Le Hamel/Asnelles and the 69th Brigade at King Sector in front of Ver sur Mer. No. 47 (Royal Marine) Commando, attached to the 50th Division for the landing, was assigned to Item sector.

There were originally seventeen sectors along the Normandy coastline with code names taken from one of the spelling alphabets of the time, from Able, west of Omaha, to Rodger on the east flank of the invasion area. Eight further sectors were added when the planned invasion was extended to include Utah on the Cotentin Peninsula. Sectors were further subdivided into beaches identified by the colors Green, Red and White.
The primary D–Day objectives for the 50th Infantry Division were to establish a beachhead between Arromanches (crucial for the deployment of the artificial Mulberry harbour) and Ver-sur-Mer, then head south towards Route Nationale 13 (RN 13), reaching Bayeux and cutting the road to Caen.
The 231st and 69th Infantry Brigades were to be first ashore and establish a beachhead. The follow-up 56th and 151st Infantry Brigades would aim to push south-west towards RN 13 supported by the tanks of the 8th Armoured Brigade.
To the west, 47 Commando’s mission was to capture Port-en-Bessin and link-up with American forces landing on Omaha.
50th Division was also tasked with meeting the Canadian troops coming ashore on Juno.

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