The Allied offensive in north-western Europe began with the Normandy landings of 6 June 1944.

Ranville was the first village to be liberated in France when the bridge over the Caen Canal was captured intact in the early hours of 6 June by troops of the 6th Airborne Division, who were landed nearby by parachute and glider.

Many of the division's casualties are buried in Ranville War Cemetery and the adjoining churchyard.

The cemetery contains 2,235 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 97 of them unidentified. There are also 330 German graves and a few burials of other nationalities.

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