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6th Airborne (Paperback)

Normandy 1944

WWII

By Simon Forty
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Series: Past & Present
Pages: 64
Illustrations: 140 illus.
ISBN: 9781612004211
Published: 31st October 2016

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Operation Tonga began at 22:56 on the night of 5 June, when six Halifax heavy bombers took off from Tarrant Rushton towing six Horsas carrying a coup–de–main force consisting of D Coy, Ox and Bucks LI reinforced with two extra platoons from B Coy and a party of sappers, who were tasked with capturing the bridges over the Caen Canal and the River Orne. 6th Airborne Division—which included 1st Canadian Para Bn–had been allotted three specific tasks to achieve, apart from protecting the eastern flank of the Allied seaborne landings. First, it was to capture intact the two bridges over the Caen Canal and the Orne River at Benouville and Ranville. Second, the division was to destroy the heavily fortified Merville coastal artillery battery located at Franceville Plage, to ensure that it could not shell the British forces landing on Sword Beach. A third task was to destroy several bridges spanning the River Dives–at Varaville, Robehomme, Bures, and Troarn. The division would then hold the territory that it had seized until it could be relieved by advancing Allied ground forces.

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About Simon Forty

Simon Forty was educated in Dorset and the north of England before reading history at London University’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He has been involved in publishing since the mid-1970s, first as editor and latterly as author. 
Son of author and RAC Tank Museum curator George Forty, Simon and his brother Jonathan have continued the family tradition, writing mainly on historical and military subjects including books on Hadrian's Wall, the Napoleonic wars and the two world wars, often in collaboration. Simon's latest book, published by Historic England, is D-Day UK: 100 Locations in Britain; Jonathan's Heavyweights: The Military Use of Massive Weapons. They are also co-authors of Tank Warfare 1939-1945.

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