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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 007037 A Horsa glider being loaded with a 6 pounder

Ref: BHC 007037
A Horsa glider being loaded with a 6 pounder anti tank gun shortly before the invasion

BHC 007037 A Horsa glider being loaded with a 6 pounder

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BHC 007038 men of 6th Airlanding Brigades

Ref: BHC 007038
These men of 6th Airlanding Brigades OBLI are at RAF Harwell prior to take off on 5 June. They were destined for DZ W to the west of the Caen canal

BHC 007038 men of 6th Airlanding Brigades

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BHC 007039 Pegasus Bridge from the west side

Ref: BHC 007039
Pegasus Bridge from the west side of the Caen Canal on 12 June. Two of the gliders can still be seen on the other side of the river

BHC 007039 Pegasus Bridge from the west side

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BHC 007040 Gliders of 6 Airlanding Brigade

Ref: BHC 007040
Gliders of 6 Airlanding Brigade on the afternoon of 6 June a few hours before take off from RAF Harwell. The glider on the far left is marked 151 which shows it is on eof the six horsas of 195 Airlanding ...

BHC 007040 Gliders of 6 Airlanding Brigade

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BHC 007041 Brigadier S J L Hill DSO

Ref: BHC 007041
Brigadier S.J.L.Hill DSO, MC CO of 3 Para Bde recieves a bar to his DSO from Montgomery.

BHC 007041 Brigadier S J L Hill DSO

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BHC 007042 Three stirling tugs pulling Horsa gliders

Ref: BHC 007042
Taken from a Halifax three stirling tugs pulling Horsa gliders can be seen from the starboard wing of the bomber. This part of 6 Airlanding Brigade are just about to cross the Normandy coastline

BHC 007042 Three stirling tugs pulling Horsa gliders

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BHC 007043 Soldiers from 3rd Division

Ref: BHC 007043
Soldiers from 3rd Division (British) look on as 6 Airlanding Bde land on the evening of 6 June. Parachutes dropping supply containers can be seen in the skys

BHC 007043 Soldiers from 3rd Division

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BHC 007044 Officers of 9 Para in February 1944

Ref: BHC 007044
Officers of 9 Para in February 1944 taken at the Officers' Mess Kiwi Barracks Bulford, Wiltshire

BHC 007044 Officers of 9 Para in February 1944

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BHC 007045 Maj Gen Windy Gale

Ref: BHC 007045
Maj Gen 'Windy' Gale outside his headquarters in Ranville on 10 June

BHC 007045 Maj Gen Windy Gale

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BHC 007046 Men of the 1st Special Service Bde

Ref: BHC 007046
Men of the 1st Special Service Bde on their way to reinforce 6 Airborne Divisionon the morning of 6 June.

BHC 007046 Men of the 1st Special Service Bde

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BHC 007047 Ranville War Cemetery

Ref: BHC 007047
Ranville War Cemetery during the second week of the invasion. SOme graves in the foreground are those of men from 7 Para killed on 10 June

BHC 007047 Ranville War Cemetery

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BHC 007048 Airborne soldiers escorting German prisoners

Ref: BHC 007048
Airborne soldiers escorting German prisoners of war towrdas Ranville during the afternoon of 6 June.

BHC 007048 Airborne soldiers escorting German prisoners

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BHC 007049 LZ revealing several Horsa gliders

Ref: BHC 007049
7 June an unidentified corner of an LZ revealing several Horsa gliders.

BHC 007049 LZ revealing several Horsa gliders

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BHC 007050 Three German prisoners are taken away by jeep

Ref: BHC 007050
7 June DZ N men of the 1st Special Service Bde look on as three German prisoners are taken away by jeep.

BHC 007050 Three German prisoners are taken away by jeep

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BHC 007051 A Bren Gun Carrier crosses the Caen Canal

Ref: BHC 007051
A Bren Gun Carrier crosses the Caen Canal at Benouville from the east on 8 June.

BHC 007051 A Bren Gun Carrier crosses the Caen Canal

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BHC 007052 A Sherman tank in Herouvillette

Ref: BHC 007052
A Sherman tank in Herouvillette on 20 July during the breakout from the airborne bridgehead called Operation Goodwood

BHC 007052 A Sherman tank in Herouvillette

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BHC 007053 Wrecked German vehicles in Breville

Ref: BHC 007053
Wrecked German vehicles in Breville on 13 June. Two self-propelled guns, a staff car and an anti-aircraft gun can be seen

BHC 007053 Wrecked German vehicles in Breville

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BHC 007054 The bridge over the River Orne

Ref: BHC 007054
The bridge over the River Orne taken from the east side. The trees that can be seen beyond the truck on the bridge are in the vicinity of LZ Y

BHC 007054 The bridge over the River Orne

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BHC 007055 Graves in Amfreville

Ref: BHC 007055
Graves in Amfreville of men from 3 Commando, photographed on 15 June

BHC 007055 Graves in Amfreville

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BHC 007056 Brigadier J H N Poett

Ref: BHC 007056
Brigadier J.H.N. Poett, commander of 5th Para Brigade

BHC 007056 Brigadier J H N Poett

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