naval officers receive, on April 10, 1944, the confirmation
of a landing in the North of France, precisely on the Calvados
area coasts. This operation, codenamed Neptune, will be supervised
by the commander in chief of the allied fleet: admiral Bertram
of the allied armada in one of the England harbors.
four landing beaches are selected, located between the Vire
and Orne rivers in the Calvados area and are indicated by
a specific code name: Omaha (American sector), Gold, Juno
and Sword, British, Canadian and Free France sectors).
British general Bernard Montgomery informs the allied command
that the capture of Cherbourg is a priority for the good course
of this operation, knowing that it is the only deep water
harbor near these four invasion beaches. He wants to create
a landing beach : it is the birth of the Utah beach sector,
which will be an American one.
soldiers board the allied transports.
landing forces belong to the 21st army corps and they are
composed of the 1st American army and the 2nd British army.
General Montgomery leads this army corps.
of the Armada
whole, the fleet is composed of five great forces, one for
each beach. 8 to 16 distinct convoys compose the five principal
convoys. These forces represent more than 5300 ships of all
types plus 4000 relay boats between the shore and the ships.
This fleet is based mainly in five England regions.
“Landing Craft Tanks”, transporting armoured
vehicles and men, sails to Normandy.
Kirk leads the American sector: Force U (for Utah) based at
Plymouth, and Forces O (for Omaha) based at Portland. The
British, Canadian and Free France sector is led by the Admiral
Vian: Force S (for Sword) based at Portsmouth, Force G (for
Gold) based at Southampton, and Force J (for Juno) based at
the Isle of Wight.
the bridge of this transport ship, the soldiers divert
themselves during the crossing.
support forces (Forces B and L) are based close to Falmouth
and Nore. 12 minesweepers have to open ways through the channels.
of the allied fleet waiting in different harbors do not have
the same distance separating them from the Normandy beaches.
It is then expected that the various naval convoys start moving
at different hours according. Each convoy has to gather at
a place code named “Z” and called “Picadilly
Circus”, South of the English coasts (precisely 30 km
south-east of the Isle of Wight) and will move towards their
respective beaches, the way beeing preliminary opened by the
model of LCA (for Landing Craft Assault), a boat used
for the landing of 30 soldiers.
out a massive bombardment and to defend the landing craft
against German attacks, the allied armada is composed of 325
war ships, including 101 destroyers. The naval support is
provided by 6 battleships, 2 monitors, 22 cruisers and 93
LCF in charge of the protection of the convoys.
this allied fleet is primarily made up of American and British
ships, Free France, Polish, Norwegian, Greek, Danish and Dutch
ships took part in the action.
crossing of the English Channel
the preparations of the landing are almost finished and that
many soldiers are posted already in the different ships, awaiting
the departure towards Normandy, a storm rules in the Channel,
on Saturday June 3, 1944.
of the British convoys crosses the English Channel.
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