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Juno Beach 6th June 1944

Discussion in 'Juno Beach' started by Jim, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    At Juno Beach, the preliminary naval bombardment was not as effective as hoped, and a later Royal Navy survey concluded that only 14 percent of the intended targets had been put out of action. Nevertheless, the bombardment did have important consequences. A 75mm bunker at the extreme western side of Juno Beach had been silenced by the naval gunfire, and the 7th Brigade, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, landings on the western side proceeded as planned without the havoc wreaked on Gold Beach by the enfilade bunkers.

    A view of the preserved 50mm gun emplacement in St Aubin-sur-Mer today with wartime damage still evident. The thick wall toward the sea proved so substantial that the emplacement finally had to be taken by an attack by infantry of the North Shores 8th Brigade moving through the village.

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    Nevertheless, German fire was intense and in one flotilla of five LCA landing craft, four were sunk or severely damaged by mortar fire, obstructions and mines on the obstructions. The Canadian infantry overcame the tobruks and other defences with close support from accompanying tanks, but minefields and craters in the dunes held up the advance off the beach in the 7th Brigade sector. Further to the center at Courseulles, WN29 contained a formidable array of defences including an H677 88mm enfilade bunker and a pair of H612 bunkers with 75mm guns. All three were silenced by Royal Marine Centaur tanks supported by tanks of the 26th Assault Squadron RE, who fired into their open embrasures. Before the bunkers had been silenced, they had done a fair amount of damage: one of the 75mm guns was littered with about 200 shell casings, giving some idea of the amount of fire it had poured against the incoming Regina Rifles. Defences in the town of Courseulles proved to be stubborn, and were supported by strongpoint WN30 on the hill beyond. A bitter house-by-house battle was fought for Courseulles through the morning, culminating in the envelopment and capture of WN30 around noon.

    This H677 casemate armed with the formidable 88mm Pak 43/41 anti-tank gun formed the core of the WN29 strongpoint near the harbour in Courseulles-sur-Mer and is seen several days after D-Day after Canadian troops had established an anti-aircraft position on top with a 20mm cannon.

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    On the eastern side of Juno Beach, the Canadian 8th Brigade landed while under fire from strongpoint WN27 in the seaside village of St. Aubin-sur-Mer. The sea wall in this sector was high, sometimes over 3.6m (12ft). The most effective defence in the village was a 50mm pedestal-mounted gun in a non-standard bunker built into the seawall. Several tanks were knocked out in quick succession as they came ashore, and the 50mm bunker continued in action for over three hours until assaulted by infantry from the landward side around 11:15hrs. The situation was even hotter to the east where 48 RM Commando landed in front of W 26 near Langrune. The landing took place around 09:00hrs when many of the offshore obstructions were partially or fully submerged and caused widespread damage to their LCT craft. Strongpoint WN26 included a 75mm field gun and defences built into the existing seawall. A pair of Royal Marine Centaurs attempted to provide assistance, but one came to grief on a mine and the other found that its gun could do little against the concrete emplacements: 48 RM Commando suffered nearly 50 percent casualties in the morning and were unable to overcome the strongpoint.

    The beaches in the British/Canadian sector were edged by seawalls and many small resort towns, which created a barrier off the beach for the assaulting troops. This is a view from the 50mm anti-tank gun parapet in WN27 looking along the seawall in St.Aubin-sur-Mer on Nan-Red Beach taken after the landings. Some of the debris along the beach includes a P-47 Thunderbolt and a DD Sherman tank.

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  2. Buford

    Buford New Member

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    The remarkable thing is, looking at those pictures, I can imagine the men trying to push forward and create a beachhead. Remarkable, simply remarkable.
     
  3. Reid1986

    Reid1986 New Member

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    I know what you mean about looking at the pictures. I can stare at these kind of photos thinking about what it would have been like to be a soldier there for a long time. Truly fascinating and unreal for me to imagine. I'd love to visit Juno and see the pill boxes and entrenchments still there.
     

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