A World War II historic guide to discover the D-Day Landing Beaches in Normandy

Travel Normandy guide François Gauthron offers tours of the Normandy landing beaches, World War II battlefield. Come and discover the most famous part of Normandy where took place the Landing and the battle of Normandy in June 1944 to liberate France and Europe. You will be escorted by a qualified bilingual guide who will show you round the major sites of the beaches. Visit the highlights of World War II sites in Normandy with an expert license guide, first the most important sites of the landing beaches.

Normandy Travel

Travel in Normandy with Francois Gauthron

The 6th Airborne Division

Operation Tonga

Major-General Gale was informed by Lt. Gen. F. Browning on February 17th 1944, that his men would have to capture the bridges over the River Orne and Caen Canal. Gale recommended use of the 3rd Bgde.
The job was divided in four operations.

  • Capture intact the two bridges over Caen Canal and River Orne separated by 500 yard of marshland, connected by the same road.
  • Silence the Merville Battery, an heavy German gun position believed to have the range of Sword Beach 
  • Destroy the 4 River Dives Bridges at Robehomme, Bures and Troarn all some 7 miles east of Ranville.
  • Secure as much ground from the River Orne and Dives towards Cabourg, and block enemy counter-attack from Caen.

711th Division of the German 15th Army was based at the east of River Orne with about thirteen thousand men.
716th Division of the German 7th Army was based at the west of River Orne mixed with osttruppen (eastern national conscripts).

The primary objective was to capture Ranville and Bénouville bridges known today as «Pegasus Bridge» and «Horsa Bridge». The nearest DZ was north of Ranville. During the battle, pathfinders of the 22nd Independent Parachute Coy would marke DZ's «K», «N» and «V» with their «Eureka» beacons. The 5th Parachute Bgde was to land on DZ «N» to setup a defensive screen in front of the bridges. The 7th Bn were to secure Bénouville and Le Port, whilst the 12th and 13th Bn takes over Ranville and south ridge.

The 3rd Parachute Bgde including 1st Canadian Bn was to be dropped on DZ's «K» and «V», 5 miles east of Ranville. Canadian add also to cover engineers of the 3rd Bgde when they demolished River Divette and Dives bridges at Varaville and Robehomme. The 8th Bn were to land on DZ «K» 4 miles south of Ranville and also protect the engineers in charge of destructing the bridges of Troarn and a little further at Bures. As soon that task was achieved, they will reinforce the ridge stretched from Bois de Bavent 4 miles south-east of Ranville and to Le Plein and Le Mesnil 2 miles north and east of Ranville.

A few hours later the gliders transporting Divisional HQ and heavy equipment were to land on LZ «N» formerly DZ «N».

Operation TONGA was achieved.