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British 23rd Destroyer Flotilla Memorial

The memorial is located along the boulevard of Hermaville-sur-Mer

The text on the memorial:
This Memorial was Designed and Established
David E. Cottrel a Vetaran of H.M.S. Swift
On Behalf of the
23rd Destroyer Flotilla Asscociation
H.M.S. Hermanville Association

And The
Municipality of Hermanville-sur-Mer

This Memorial
Was Unveiled on the 6th June 2001
Captain John Gower DSC RN Retr
The Captain of H.M.S. Swift
of the
23rd Destroyer Flotilla

Hermanville: The British on Sword beach

Operation Overlord unfolded in the heart of “Sword” as elsewhere. In the course of the night, the coastal defences 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.

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  • Text: Ewoud van Eig
  • Photos: Ewoud van Eig (2) & De Roust Jente (1,3)