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On June 6, 1944 the British objective of Gold Beach lay just to the east of the American target of Omaha Beach. Between Port-en-Bessin and Arromanches in the British sector lay the heaviest concentration of German artillery in Normandy, much of it sited to provide deadly enfilading fire on Omaha. Montgomery selected the British 50th Division for the Gold assault. Made up of sturdy North Country coal-miners and industrial workers, the division had served Montgomery well in North Africa, and some men had even served in the campaigns of 1940.
Spearheaded by 47 Royal Marine Commando, the men of Durham, Yorkshire and Northumberland charged ashore, eventually securing their objectives and, aided by accurate Royal Naval shooting, silencing the guns that would have made the Omaha landing even more costly. Full details are given for the Gold sites as they are today, particularly valuable since this sector contains Arromanches, site of the main Normandy beaches museum and tourist center.
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About the Author
Brigadier Christopher Dunphie MC served with the Royal Greenjackets. He is the author of Brightly Shone The Dawn and Gold Beach - Inland From Jig. He is a sought after battlefield guide. He lives in Perthshire.