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June 6, 1944 Timelines

Normandy timeline

June 6, 1944

03:30 Canadian soldiers on the transport ships are served breakfast.

04:00 Canadians on the invasion ships watch flashes in the east from Le Havre where the RAF is bombing heavy German guns. To the west, they see flares where the Germans have spotted the American convoy heading for Utah and Omaha beaches. Overhead, the transport aircraft are heard returning from their mission.

04:30 All soldiers are ordered on deck of the transports and muster at embarkation stations.

05:00 Dawn. All ships go to action stations.

06:00 The men on the ships can make out the dark grey line of the French coast ahead. The allied battleships and cruisers begin the bombardment of the beaches.

06:10 Destroyers and other warships closer in begin firing. At Juno Beach there is no return fire from the Germans.

06:30 The convoy breaks radio silence.

07:00 At Juno Beach, after an hour of tank, artillery, and battleship fire, the Germans begin returning fire on the Allied ships.

07:30 Most heavy support firing ends. Germans continue to attack the invasion force. Landing craft head for the beaches.

07:45 Landing craft reach the beach; first men and tanks land.

08:00 The first Canadian beachhead is established in Courseulles in Nan Green Sector by the Regina Rifles, covered by the tanks of the 1st Hussars. Naval gunfire had taken out the German guns in their area but nearby the Royal Winnipeg Rifles on Mike Sector come under heavy fire – there the navy had missed the German guns and many of the soldiers die in the water, never reaching the beaches. In Nan Red Sector, the North Shore Regiment lands under heavy German fire.

08:30 The Queen's Own Rifles land at Nan Sector, held up by high seas. The soldiers have to run 200 yards from the shore to a seawall under fire from hidden German artillery. Only a few men of the first company survive.

10:00 Canadian soldiers are on the beach in all sectors. Reserve troops begin to reach the beach on the rising tide. While the Canadian Scottish suffers only light casualties, the landing craft bearing Le Régiment de la Chaudière hit hidden mines, killing many men. Others drown trying to reach the shore.

10:30 Major General Rod Keller, the Canadian commander at Juno Beach, reports to General Crerar in England: "Beach-head gained. Well on our way to our immediate objectives."

12:00 All units of the Third Canadian Division are on shore at Juno Beach.

18:00 The North Shore Regiment captures St-Aubin. In the next few hours, the Canadians capture Courseulles and Bernières. Later the Highland Regiment captures Colombiers-sur-Seulles and the 1st Hussar reaches its objective 15.7 kilometres from the beach at the Caen-Bayeux Highway intersection. A troop of the 1st Hussars 'C' Squadron was the only Allied unit to reach its planned final objective on D-Day, although they had to pull back because they were too few in numbers to hold the ground.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juno_Beach