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Eighty years on, the planning of Operation Neptune remains awesome

The seaborne invasion went so smoothly, it might have been thought plain-sailing. But that was far from the truth. Nick Hewitt describes the meticulous forethought that preceded it

13 April 2024

9:00 AM

13 April 2024

9:00 AM

Normandy: The Sailors’ Story A Naval History of D-Day and the Battle of France Nick Hewitt

Yale, pp.460, 20

In December last year, the last surviving D-Day veteran of my old regiment, the 13th/18th Royal Hussars, died peacefully in his care home. On 6 June 1944, 20-year-old Trooper Lawrence Burn had been the gunner in a specially adapted Sherman tank which, along with others of the regiment, had driven down the ramps of their landing craft 5,000 yards off Sword Beach and swum for almost an hour through the high swell to land a few minutes ahead of the assaulting infantry in order to suppress the defenders’ fire.

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