Assault on Normandy
Run time: 85 mins
When Montgomery took over command of 21st Army Group the COSSAC plan only had three beaches. He promptly up-scaled the enterprise inserting two new beaches including GOLD and, what is more, he had just the boys to land there the veteran 50th Northumbrian Division who had fought with the Eighth Army and landed in Sicily. They were joined by the southern regulars of 231 Brigade who already had two assault landings under their belt and they would need every bit of experience to overcome Hitler’s Atlantic Wall.
The film covers the build up, expert commentary of the bombardment by land and sea – shot on the decks and turrets of HMS Belfast, the assault landing and clearing the beach. 69 Brigade had a difficult but successful landing, including the first action that ultimately brought Sergeant Major Stan Hollis the only D Day Victoria Cross, and were to the consternation of the Germans heading inland.
Meanwhile all kinds of problems had beset 231 Brigade and the success of their landing was for a time in jeopardy. The veteran Dorsets, Hampshires and Devons got on with their tasks minus tanks and artillery thanks to a single surviving anti-tank gun and a massive crater on the only viable route off the beach. Despite these difficulties 50th Division, landing on Gold Beach, were heading towards their distant objectives by mid morning.