"Gold beach, Juno beach, and Sword beach"
On the eastern half of the landing zone – between Port en Bessin and Ouistreham – the responsibility of the operations is assigned to the British and Canadian forces. They inherit the biggest operation zones of D-Day, almost 40 km of shoreline.
The Canadians must disembark in the centre, between “La Rivière” and Saint Aubin sur Mer (sector coded “Juno Beach”), and the British on Gold Beach (from Asnelles to La Rivière) and Sword Beach (from Langrune to Ouistreham).
The objectives of the day of June 6th are many and ambitious:
- Conquer the beaches and progress rapidly inland in order to establish a bridgehead capable of resisting the German counter-attacks.
- Next priority: the connection to the East with the airborne troops from the 6th Airborne, who will be in combat several hours before dawn (see “6th Airborne” Tour), and the connection to the West with the American troops landed at Omaha Beach.
- The two biggest cities of the area, Caen and Bayeux, must be seized before the end of the day. Same for the towns of Arromanches and Port en Bessin, smaller but present a high strategic interest for resupplying, catering for troops etc.
In the evening of June 6th 1944, not all objectives are reached (Caen in particular will only fall 6 weeks later), however the rest of the landing operations will be a success in the zones attributed to the Commonwealth. Indeed, before midnight, no less than 75,000 soldiers including 21,000 Canadian soldiers will have taken foot on Normandy soil.
It’s important to note around 3000 French will take part in D-Day operations: 2600 marines on vessels flying the flag of France Libre (Free France), 227 pilots and crewmembers of hunting groups and bombardments integrated to the Royal Air Force, around 40 skydiving commandos, and the 177 members of “Commando Kieffer” detached from the 4th British Commando, who will be the first to land on the Colleville beach, in the area named “La Brèche” ("the breach") in the Sword sector.
The objectives in the Anglo-Canadian sector
The ”Gold Beach, Juno Beach, Sword Beach” Tour
(Full day Tour)
This tour will enable you to discover the entirety of the landing zones assigned to the Anglo Canadian forces.
Arrived on "Sword beach", at the place called "La Brèche", we will discuss together the progress of the British operations of June 6, 1944 in the area (sectors "Oboe", "Peter", Queen", and "Roger").
We will then go to "Juno beach", where the Canadian forces were engaged.
On the beach, we will talk about the progress of operations between "La Rivière" and Saint-Aubin-sur-mer.
Then, throughout our journey in the Juno sector, we will have the opportunity to discover the remains of the German fortifications - some of which have retained their weaponry -, and Canadian and British armoured equipment that remind everyone of the sacrifice of allied armies in these places.
Our guests who are particularly interested in Canada’s involvement in the Battle of Normandy can choose to explore the Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles-sur-mer. Managed by a Canadian association, this centre is dedicated to preserving the memory of Canada’s sacrifices during the second world war. Suggested visit time: 40 mn.
After "Juno", we will come to "Gold beach" and the "British Normandy Memorial" located on the heights of Gold beach.
Offering a unique view of the beaches where the 50th British Infantry Division landed, the British Normandy Memorial was inaugurated on June 6, 2021. This memorial is dedicated to the 22,442 men and women under British command who fell on the day of the landing and during the Battle of Normandy.
Located on 18 hectares, beautifully designed and realized, the British Normandy Memorial becomes today a major milestone in the memory of the British commitment in Normandy and for the liberation of Europe.
Overlooking Gold beach, the memorial will be the ideal place to detail the events of June 6, 1944 between Ver-sur-mer and Asnelles (sectors coded "Jig", "King", and "Item Red").
After the visit of the British Normandy Memorial, we will take the coastal road towards the West to Arromanches-les-bains where was assembled, from June 8, 1944, the "Mulberry B", also called "Port Winston", one of the two artificial ports built in Great Britain in 1943 and 1944 by the Allies. Almost completed about ten days later, it was severely damaged by the storm of June 19, 1944 but could nevertheless be restored fairly quickly. Used over a longer period than originally planned, the Mulberry B was the gateway to the continent for more than 2.5 million soldiers, 500,000 vehicles, and millions of tons of equipment.
Almost 80 years later, many elements - half submerged - of this ephemeral port are still visible today.
The last stage of this discovery of the area assigned to the Anglo-Canadian forces is a German fortified artillery position - coded "Wn 48" - and known as the "Longues Battery".
Built from September 1943, 5 km west of Arromanches, it had 4 powerful 150 mm guns that opened fire on the Allied fleet from 06:00 on June 6, then, a little later, on the beach of Omaha beach.
First attacked by the British cruisers "Ajax" and "Argonaut" which damaged two of the four guns, the battery was then virtually silenced by the fire of the French cruisers "Georges Leygues" and "Montcalm" assisted by the US Navy battleship "Arkansas".
The next day, 7 June, the battery garrison surrendered without fighting to the British troops of the 2nd Devonshire Regiment.
The battery of Longues is an exceptional place because, unlike other sites of the same type, its large calibre armament escaped the torches of the scrap dealers after the war. The "Wn 48" is thus the only Normandy battery to have preserved its original artillery pieces.
We will then take our way back...
- Prior reservation required.
- Times :
Private tours: We recommend a departure at 08.30 for a return around 17.30.
Shared tours :
From Caen, departure at 08.30 and return around 17.00.
From Ouistreham, departure at 09.00 and return around 17.30.
- Rates: see page "Rates".