Preliminary missions for the Operation Overlord
Sherman tanks belonging to the British 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division landed on May 6, 1944 on Hayling Island in Hampshire as part of Exercise Fabius.
Photo: IWM H 38270
The D-Day rehearsal
Less than a month after the Operation Tiger fiasco, the Allies are launching a second large-scale landing exercise on English beaches. Originally scheduled for May 2, 1944, bad weather delayed it by one day.
These are the biggest maritime training exercises ever organized during the Second World War, spread over six different sectors. Here is the description:
– Exercise Fabius 1 takes place on the beach of Slapton Sands and concerns the 1st and 29th American infantry divisions. This is the rehearsal of the landing on Omaha Beach.
– Exercise Fabius 2 takes place on the beaches of Hayling Island and concerns the 50th British Infantry Division. This is the repetition of the landing on Sword Beach.
– Exercise Fabius 3 takes place on the beaches of Bracklesham Bay and concerns the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. This is the rehearsal of the landing on Juno Beach.
– Exercise Fabius 4 takes place on the beach of Littlehampton and concerns the 3rd British infantry division. This is the repetition of the landing on Gold Beach.
– Exercises Fabius 5 and 6 are carried out in favor of the Anglo-American supply units training for support missions.