Operation Deadstick

Operation Deadstick was the codename for the glider assault conducted by the British 6th Airborne Division on the night of June 5-6, 1944, as part of the larger Operation Tonga during the Normandy landings of World War II. The objective of Operation Deadstick was the capture of two vital bridges over the Caen Canal and the River Orne near the town of Benouville in Normandy, France. These bridges were key objectives as they lay on the eastern flank of the invasion area and needed to be seized intact to prevent German armored reinforcements from reaching the invasion beaches.

Under the command of Major John Howard, soldiers of the 6th Airborne Division were transported in six Horsa gliders and landed within meters of their targets, surprising and overwhelming the defending German forces. The capture of the bridges was swift and decisive, securing a vital route for the Allied invasion forces. The successful outcome of Operation Deadstick played a crucial role in the success of the D-Day landings and facilitated the establishment of a foothold in Normandy, contributing to the eventual liberation of Western Europe from Nazi occupation.

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