Sword Beach

Airborne landings begin 0016
H-Hour, Beach landings 0725

Lead Allied assault forces
Airborne landings: 6th British Airborne Division
Beach landings: 3rd British Division

German defenders
Troops from 711th Infantry Division, 716th Infantry Division, 21st Panzer Division

British airborne forces had to capture the bridges over the Caen Canal and the River Orne, the German gun battery at Merville, and other areas to the east of beach landings. They aimed to protect the troops landing on the beaches from German counter-attacks from the east. British troops landing on Sword Beach had to overcome the German defences and aimed to reach the city of Caen about eleven miles inland.