On a journey of discovery to historical sites? Download the TracesOfWar app directly on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Anchor Norwegian Destroyer Svenner

This anchor belonged to the Norwegian destroyer Svenner which took part in "D-Day" and was sunk by a German torpedo boat on 6 June 1944. The anchor had been found and was recovered by the French Navy, summer 2003.

Hermanville: The British on Sword beach

Operation Overlord unfolded in the heart of "Sword" as elsewhere. In the course of the night, the coastal defenses were bombed by the air force and the naval artillery took over at daybreak. Then, under German fire, the landing craft came aground. The special tanks opened the way, followed by assault waves of 3rd Infantry Division under Major-General Rennie.

The tanks attacked the concrete strong points then penetrated inland: the first battalion of the South Lancashires liberated the village of Hermanville at 10 a.m., whilst the Suffolk Regiment was freeing Colleville. The British advance was unable to reach Caen on the 6th as planned. The long ordeal of that city began the same day, at 11.30 a.m..

The Allies needed calm water to land men and equipment: the "Gooseberries" (codename) were old vessels that had been ballasted to a form a breakwater. Among 6 merchant ships and 3 warships sacrificed off Hermanville, the veteran battleship "Courbet" would not enjoy the glory of the "Georges-Leygues" and the "Montcalm", which fought conspicuously before the Longues battery, but scuttled itself, with its flag flying, on the morning of 7 June, in three fathoms of water about 1.5 miles offshore.

Do you have more information about this location? Inform us!


  • Text: Ewoud van Eig
  • Photos: Ewoud van Eig