Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day Landings at Normandy

Our social media team reflect on D-Day

On June the 6th at 00:16 hours, Operation Deadstick, a mission to capture Pegasus Bridge over the Caen Canal, triggered a series of well thought out and complex operations; thus beginning the omnipotent tale of D-Day. Under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, a total of 160,000 troops descended upon the beaches of Normandy as part of the largest sea borne invasion in human history. 

As part of the largest seafaring invasion, 5,000 landing and assault craft were deployed, 289 escort vessels sent out and a total of 277 minesweepers were put into action.

This allied invasion of Normandy as part of Operation Overlord led to the restoration and independence of the French Republic and in turn led to the victory of the allies. Out of the 160,000 troops it is known that 61,715 of these men were British soldiers; the first day on the beaches of Normandy resulted in the loss of 12,000 British Casualties and a total for the Germans of only 1,000.

As I sit among the castle walls at Berkeley, it is dreadful to imagine growing up in a society where our brothers, fathers, sons, fiancées and friends were torn from our arms and sent to fight battles that we could not. As a country we owe a great deal to each and every one of those brave men, and it lies within our capabilities to ensure that their legacy is not forgotten, nor underappreciated. It may be hard to imagine these horrors but lest we forget that our grandparents fought these battles and suffered immeasurable losses; from infantry to medical doctors, pilots to marines and officers to cooks, these men sought to protect their country and their loved ones from a common enemy with the help and manpower of their closest allies, and for that we thank them, and know that they will always have a place in our memory, and in our hearts.
Reflections from Berkeley Castle


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