Friday, 5 November 2010

D-Day Crossing

Officers and men were split up into their various boat loads, and on D minus 2 started to embark on Landing Craft Infantry. One might have expected very high tension in face of such a mighty undertaking, but on the contrary, the feelings appeared to be calm as if yet another of the many exercises on similar lines was about to take place. Food on board was very satisfactory, fresh vegetables and bread being supplied to augment the Compo rations.

The journey across was uneventful, the sea being comparatively calm until approximately two hours before the landing, when it became rather choppy and made a number of people seasick, though tablets to prevent this had been issued which proved a great help to some.

The huge convoy of which the Battalion was a part, and the enormous number of Allied aircraft seen making for the Continent kept spirits bouyant.

Just before the convoy turned inwards to the shore, German coastal batteries opened fire and shells fell in the convoy; this delayed the landing slightly whilst the assault brigade put them out of action.

Our first reaction on seeing the coast was how very familiar it all looked until we realized that it was the wave top view that we had spent such a long time memorizing. It was rather a surprise to see so many of the houses still standing apparently undamaged as one had the impression that everything would have been flattened.

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