Juno Beach and the Allied D-Day Landing Zones

The British-Canadian sector of the Normandy coast stretched 25 km from Port-en-Bessin to Cabourg at the mouth of the Dives River

In the British-Canadian sector, the assault beaches had been chosen codenamed “Gold”, “Juno” and “Sword”, where the 50th Northumbrian, 3rd Canadian and the British 3rd Infantry Divisions respectively, would land, each supported by tanks and special forces.

Protecting the sector was the enemy’s 716th Division. Its eight infantry battalions had prepared defensive positions ranging from slit trenches to concrete barriers. These units were strengthened by 90 guns of up to 88-mm calibre, nearly 50 mortars and between 400 and 500 machine-guns. In addition, in the coastal belt, were the 22 batteries of field, medium and heavy artillery containing and further 90 guns and some 40 heavy anti-tank guns.

Behind the coastal belt, in the rear area, were 5 more battalions of infantry or panzer grenadiers, five batteries of medium and heavy guns, 34 self-propelled 88-mm guns and additional anti-tank units in the process of formation. These defenses and fortifications, most protected by mine-fields and barbed wire, were formidable even though the 716th Division itself was not classified as first rate.

In all, more than 70,000 troops would assault the beaches, including 15,000 Canadians along the 8km stretch of beach known as “Juno”

The German defenses facing the Americans at the Pointe du Hoc.

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