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OPERATION OVERLORD This was the code name for the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe


I am writing in response to a letter from Richard Summers about Operation Overlord (May 2016), who wrote about how visiting the five D-Day beaches while on holiday in France affected him. I was one of those who took part in Operation Overlord, landing on Gold Beach on Tuesday 6 June 1944. I was a wireless operator and member of a small unit whose job was to maintain temporary communications with the different regiments on the beachhead.

Te events of that day are etched very clearly on my memory (I am nearly 92 years of age). I was fortunate to cross the beach unharmed, apart from some shrapnel in my leg. A few of my mates never made it. Shortly after the landings, we were sent to Arromanches, where work had started in constructing Mulberry Harbour. After the disastrous defeat of Dunkirk, the effect of this operation was to bring freedom to France and liberate the capital – where previously Hitler and his Nazis had marched down the Champs-Élysées. It’s interesting to note that eventually, the French president decided to award living veterans of Overlord with France’s highest honour, the Légion d’honneur.

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

August 2016 issue of History Revealed.