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The D-Day cricket

History, technical details and pictures

Image : D-Day cricket

D-Day cricket history

It was after during the Airborne operation over Sicily in 1943 that Commander Taylor, the future general commanding the 101st Airborne Division, realized the importance of the communication among the parachuted units into enemy territory. Indeed, scattered in various places, isolated paratroopers had a hard time to find their comrades without risking to expose themselves to the enemy fire.

The Americans reused the principle of a popular toy at the time which consisted of a steel spring blade emitting a click when pressed. Indeed, British THE ACME firms had received the production order of several thousands of small brass crickets, some were made in chromed brass.

Only the 101st Airborne Division was provided with crickets (only the paratroopers from the division) a few days before 6 June 1944. In addition to this recognition mean, an oral code was developed (valid 24 hours after the start of the operations): "Flash", a word which should meet "Thunder". The second day, the code became: "Hustle" - "Along". Other means of identification were: smoke (colored or not), billboards, lights or flags.

The paratroopers were free to hang their cricket wherever they wished. Some have kept it in the pockets of their jackets or their pants, others have hung it around the neck or on their helmet.

Nowadays, many reproductions have been produced and it is not uncommon to hear "click-clack" in the commemorative ceremonies in Normandy.


D-Day cricket sheet

Country creator/user: USA
Unit: 101st Airborne Division

Height: 15 mm
Length: 48 mm
Width : 25 mm

Use: a pressure on a metal coverslip emitting a "click-clack" asking for the identification, the answer should be a double pressure on the metal coverslip: two "click-clack".


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