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A #DDay Story: This is British Military cemetery at Hermanville, just inland from #SwordBeach and at the end of a quiet country lane. It was deserted & peaceful when I was there recently. Among the rows of graves, each with its own story, one drew my attention. #DDay75
Four men of the 22nd Dragoons, Royal Armoured Corps killed on #DDay 6th June 1944, but two gravestones, adjoining each other. I guessed the explanation & the 22nd's war diary tells to story of the opening moments of the battle for #SwordBeach and confirms how they died. #DDay75
The 22nd Dragoons operated flail tanks which were to clear path through the mines on #SwordBeach for troops to follow. Awakened on their landing ships a 5am, many were seasick. As the battle began, they examined the shore to see what to expect. #Dday
'Duplex Drive' floating tanks were launched first but as the those about to follow them looked on, many sank, drowning their crews. Some along the beaches made it ashore as this photo of two after the #SwordBeach landing shows. #Dday
The war diary prose is sparse but graphically recounts the terrifying experience endured by the first troops ashore on that part of #SwordBeach , landing under intense shell and small arms fire. The AVREs were adapted with mortars to knock out bunker and gun emplacements. #Dday
Until the AVREs had silenced the German guns, the flail tanks were sitting ducks. Allen's was hit by 3 armour piercing shells. It takes little imagination to picture the effect of those in the confined space of the tank & it explains why they now have just one grave #DDay
Ouistreham beach today including the Casino built on the site of the main Germans bunker/gun emplacement. #SwordBeach #DDay #Dday75
A few more graves in the Hermanville cemetery. Some so young and others records the loved ones to whom they never returned. #DDay #DDay75 #SwordBeach #Hermanville
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