Today marks the 71st anniversary of the D-Day landings, the largest seabourne invasion in history. To commemorate this monumental event we at Osprey have created 3 desktop backgrounds for you to enjoy.
Gold Beach, H Hour +15 Minutes
Taken from Campaign 112 - D-Day 1944 (4). Illustration by Kevin Lyles.
Armoured vehicles from British 79th Armoured Division and Sherman DD tanks from the 4th/7th Dragoon Guards, part of 8th Armoured Brigade arrive on Gold Beach to support 5th East Yorkshires during the assault phase of the landings. The specialised armour of the British 79th Armoured Division provided all of the British and Canadian beaches with direct fire support. I(t was a unique formation; its constituent units never fought together as a division but provided heavy firepower and special expertise to whichever division or brigade required it. Each of the tanks had specific tasks to perform but once they landed and began to take casualties confusion reigned. These troops are attacking the area around German strongpoint WN 33 on the extreme left of King Sector at La Rivière.
Sword Beach, D-Day
Taken from Command 9 - Bernard Montgomery. Illustration by Graham Turner.
This illustration depicts officers and men of No. 4 Commando disgorging from an LCA (Landing Craft, Assault) on the extreme left of Queen Red Beach, during the initial assault on Sword Beach. This elite unit, with two attached French troops from No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando, was tasked with neutralizing key enemy defensive postitions at the casino at Riva Bella and then a gun battery at Ouistreham. Following a brief hold-up, No. 4 Commando fought its way off the beach and onto the lateral road running behind the waterfront. The French Commandos led the advance into Ouistreham before successfully capturing the Casino strongpoint assisted by a Sherman DD tank. The men of No. 4 Commando assaulted the heavily fortified gun battery at the mouth of the river Orne as planned, but withdrew after discovering that the gun emplacements were empty.
German counterattack on the Merderet River, 14.00hrs, D-Day
Taken from Campaign 104 - D-Day 1944 (2). Illustration by Howard Gerrard.
Around 13.00hrs Grenadier Regiment. 1057 of the 91st Luftlande Division began a counterattack towards the La Fière causeway through Cauquigny. A company of Hotchkiss H-39 tanks of PzAbt.100 spearheaded the attack, but two were disable in the first attack, which was beaten off. The surviving pair of Hotchkiss tanks again took up the lead, accompanied by infantry. Company A, 1/505th PIR had set up a defensive position on the east side of the La Fière bridge and earlier in the morning the paratroopers had placed a string of anti-tank mines in plain sight on top of the road as a deterrent to the Panzers. The Hotchkiss tanks sped ahead of the accompanying infantry, and approached to within 40 feet of the mines. The paratroopers had two bazooka teams in ambush position and they immediately hit the first tank. The second tank had no room to maneuver on either side of the causeway, and backed away. An infantry attack by GR.1057 followed, which was stopped by small arms fire and the support of some 60mm mortars. Attacks continued through the day, with the paratrooper positions pounded by German artillery.