Sword beach was the most easterly of all of the five landing beaches. The 3rd (British) Divison landed here at 0725 hours with the ambitious target of getting inland as far as the city of Caen by the end of the day. They didn't make it. By nightfall they were still four miles short. It would be more than a month before they made it.


Another important task allocated to the 3rd was to link up with the British airborne landings at Pegasus Bridge, and Special Forces were attached for that purpose. Perhaps the most important of all the tasks was to be prepared for a German armoured counter-attack and by the end of the day it came - right into a gap that had opened between the British Division and the Canadian one on JUNO.


It was on SWORD that Piper Bill Millin played the British Commados ashore with 'Highland Laddie' and CSM Stan Hollis won the only VC awarded on D Day.


Those stories and others are in our Major & Mrs Holt's Definitive Battlefield Guide to the Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches.


The book comes with a full colour pull-out map of the battlefield.