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Orne Bridgehead

Operation Deadstick was the codename for an airborne forces operation by the British Army that took place on 6 June 1944 as part of the Normandy landings. The mission's objective was to capture intact two road bridges in Normandy across the River Orne and the Caen Canal providing the only exit eastwards for British forces from their landing on Sword Beach. Intelligence reports said both bridges were heavily defended by the Germans and wired for demolition. Once captured, the bridges had to be held against any counter-attack until the assault force was relieved by commandos and infantry advancing from the British landing zone.

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BHC 000149 22 Ind Para

Ref: BHC 000149
Lt (Bob) Midwood briefing his section of 22 Ind Para just before D Day

BHC 000149 22 Ind Para

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BHC 0010090 Engineers building a Bailey Bridge on the Orne

Ref: BHC 001090
Royal Engineers of 3 British Infantry Division building a Bailey pontoon bridge, named 'London II', over the River Orne, Ranville, 8 June 1944.This Class 40 bridge was over 200 feet long and was located ...

BHC 0010090 Engineers building a Bailey Bridge on the Orne

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BHC 001050 British Patrol in Bois de Bavent June 1944

Ref: BHC 001050
A patrol of British soldiers moving cautiously through the the woods searching for snipers. Bois-de-Bevent area, Normandy. 17 June 1944 40 x 30 cm (4776 x 3564 px) @ 300 DPI

BHC 001050 British Patrol in Bois de Bavent June 1944

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BHC 001083 Commandos resting close to Amfreville

Ref: BHC 001083
Commandos resting in the hamlet of La Basse Ecarde close to Amfreville on the east bank of the River Orne in the evening of 6 June 1944. 40 x 28 (4761 x 3329 px) @ 300 DPI

BHC 001083 Commandos resting close to Amfreville

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BHC 007001 An exercise jump during Spring 1944 from Dakota aircraft

Ref: BHC 007001
An exercise jump during Spring 1944 from Dakota aircraft

BHC 007001 An exercise jump during Spring 1944 from Dakota aircraft

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BHC 007002 General Montgomery inpsects the men

Ref: BHC 007002
General Montgomery inpsects the men and equipment of 6 Airborne Division in March 1944. Major General Gale is on the far right with Brigadier James HIll stands in front of him (hands clasped)

BHC 007002 General Montgomery inpsects the men

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BHC 007003 The village of Breville on or around 13 June

Ref: BHC 007003
The village of Breville on or around 13 June after it had been seized by 12 Para and 12 Devons. The picture shows troops moving a German anti tank gun into position. In the foreground lies a German casualty ...

BHC 007003 The village of Breville on or around 13 June

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BHC 007004 An aerial image of the bridges over the Caen Canal and Orne River

Ref: BHC 007004
An aerial image of the bridges over the Caen Canal and Orne River, the objectives of Major John Howard;'s men no the morning of 6 June 1944. Howard's 5 gliders are visble as is the western end of DZ/LZ ...

BHC 007004 An aerial image of the bridges over the Caen Canal and Orne River

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BHC 007005 Troops of 6th Airborne Division are given a final briefing

Ref: BHC 007005
Troops of 6th Airborne Division are given a final briefing before a practce jump in Spring 1944. This image is believed to be taken at Netheravon

BHC 007005 Troops of 6th Airborne Division are given a final briefing

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BHC 007006 A Mk VII Tetrarch I tank emerges from a Hamilcar glider

Ref: BHC 007006
A Mk VII Tetrarch I tank emerges from a Hamilcar glider

BHC 007006 A Mk VII Tetrarch I tank emerges from a Hamilcar glider

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BHC 007007 King George and Queen Elizabeth visiting 6th Airborne Division

Ref: BHC 007007
King George and Queen Elizabeth visiting 6th Airborne Division on 19th May 1944 with Major General Gale in front of the open nose of a Hamilcar glider

BHC 007007 King George and Queen Elizabeth visiting 6th Airborne Division

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BHC 007008 An airborne infantry platoon about to take off in a Horsa glider

Ref: BHC 007008
A posed photograph taken in 1943 showing an airborne infantry platoon about to take off in a Horsa glider (looking towards the rear of the aircraft). Note the cramped conditions, the flimsy infrastructure, ...

BHC 007008 An airborne infantry platoon about to take off in a Horsa glider

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BHC 007009 D Company 2 OBLI glider coup de main force

Ref: BHC 007009
This photograph was taken on the 15 June 1944 in Herouvillette and shows the three men from the D Company, 2 Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry glider coup de main force on the bridges over the ...

BHC 007009 D Company 2 OBLI glider coup de main force

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BHC 007010 Four Pathfinder officers synchronise their watches

Ref: BHC 007010
One of the most famous (and posed) photographs of D Day. Four Pathfinder officers synchronise their watches before take off at RAF Harwell. All of them survived the war and are (L-R) Lieutenants Bobby ...

BHC 007010 Four Pathfinder officers synchronise their watches

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BHC 007011 Men of No 3 Commando digging in

Ref: BHC 007011
Men of No 3 Commando digging in during the afternoon of 6 June on the southernmost flank of the DZ N. These men were to play a key role in counter attacking the Germans who were assualting from Ste-Honorine ...

BHC 007011 Men of No 3 Commando digging in

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BHC 007012 Pathfinders at their transit camp being briefed by Lieutenant Bob Midwood

Ref: BHC 007012
Pathfinders at their transit camp being briefed by Lieutenant Bob Midwood.

BHC 007012 Pathfinders at their transit camp being briefed by Lieutenant Bob Midwood

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BHC 007013 Lt Col Pine Coffin

Ref: BHC 007013
Lt-Col Pine-Coffin, DSO, MC commander of 7 Para is flanked by one of his men on the left and his Regimental Sergeant Major on the right

BHC 007013 Lt Col Pine Coffin

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BHC 007014 Men of 51st Highland Division crossing over the Benouville Bridge

Ref: BHC 007014
Men of 51st Highland Division crossing over the Benouville Bridge (Pegasus) on the eveing of 10 June 1944. This photo is taken from the west side of the canal looking SE towards LZ X where gliders from ...

BHC 007014 Men of 51st Highland Division crossing over the Benouville Bridge

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BHC 007015 The damage to the church tower in le Port

Ref: BHC 007015
The damage to the church tower was caused by Cpl Killean whilst taking care of a German sniper with a PIAT. This photo was taken on 10 June once le Port ahd been secured and it is suggested that the soldiers ...

BHC 007015 The damage to the church tower in le Port

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BHC 007016 DZ N showing discarded parachutes and Horsa gliders

Ref: BHC 007016
DZ N showing discarded parachutes and Horsa gliders. Many of the glider's tails have been detached for rapid unloading and a Hamilcar glider can be seen near the bottom right hand corner of the photo

BHC 007016 DZ N showing discarded parachutes and Horsa gliders

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