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Sword
Part of Normandy landings and the Battle for Caen
Infantry waiting to move off 'Queen White' Beach.jpg
British infantry waiting to move off 'Queen White' Beach, SWORD Area, while under heavy enemy fire, on the morning of 6 June
Date 6 June 1944
Location
Result Allied victory
Belligerents
 Nazi Germany
Commanders and leaders
United Kingdom John Crocker
United Kingdom Thomas Rennie
Nazi Germany Wilhelm Richter
Nazi Germany Edgar Feuchtinger
Strength
28,845
223 tanks
8 infantry companies
(716th Infantry Division)
9,790
124–127 tanks
40 assault guns
(21st Panzer Division)
Casualties and losses
683 casualties unknown casualties
40–54 tanks lost
6 bombers destroyed

Sword, commonly known as Sword Beach, was the code name given to one of the five main landing areas along the Normandy coast during the initial assault phase, Operation Neptune, of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of German-occupied France that commenced on 6 June 1944. Stretching 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Ouistreham to Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, the beach proved to be the easternmost landing site of the invasion after the abortion of an attack on a sixth beach, code-named Band.

Taking Sword was to be the responsibility of the British Army with sea transport, mine sweeping, and a naval bombardment force provided by the British Royal Navy as well as elements from the Polish, Norwegian and other Allied navies.

Among the five beaches of the operation, Sword is the nearest to Caen, being located around 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the goal of the 3rd Infantry Division. The initial landings were achieved with low casualties, but the advance from the beach was slowed by traffic congestion and resistance in heavily defended areas behind the beachhead. Further progress towards Caen was halted by the only armoured counter-attack of the day, mounted by the 21st Panzer Division.

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