Ww2 D-day English Liberation Flag, St. Aubin Sur-mer, Liberated, 6/6/1944 Rare
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Ww2 D-day English Liberation Flag, St. Aubin Sur-mer, Liberated, 6/6/1944 Rare :
THIS ENGLISH UNION JACK IS HAND MADE LIBERATION Flag FROMSAINT AUBIN-SUR-MER LIBERATED JUNE 6, 1944 D-DAY.A VERY RARE LIBERATION Flag FROM D-DAY!!I HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY LIBERATION FlagS FROM TOWNS LIBERATED ON D-DAY JUNE 6, 1944 EXIST,BUT I CAN SAY THAT THIS IS EXTREMELY RARE AND IS ONE OF MY FINEST LIBERATION FlagSFROM MY COLLECTION.
IT IS MADE OF LIGHT COTTON OR LINEN.IT IS MADE IN A TWO PART CONSTRUCTION WITH CHAIN SEWN STITCH.THE CROSSES ARE SEWN OVER A BLUE FABRIC BACKING AND IS ONE SIDED.THE DIMENSIONS OF THE Flag IS 23.5" ON THE HOIST AND 35.5" ON THE FLY.THE Flag ALSO HAS RUST MARKS FROM TACKS HOLDING IT (PIC.# 2,3,4) ON HOIST.
GOT THE Flag AT A STREET SALE (GARAGE SALE) IN ST. AUBIN -SUR-MER FRANCE.THE MAN WAS SELLING THE Flag AND SOME FAMILY OBJECTS AND AN ENGLISH ARMY KNIFE.HE SAID HIS FATHER MADE THE Flag AND HAD SURVIVED THE BOMBARDMENT AS THE GERMANS OCCUPIED THE TOWN AS THE STREET TO STREET FIGHTING RAGED.HE HUNG THE Flag OUT IN THE EVENING, AFTER THE CANADIANS, AND BRITISH HADKILLED AND PUSHED THE GERMANS OUT OF THE TOWN. HE WAS VERY EXCITED THAT HE SURVIVED.THIS IS THE PROVENANCE HE GAVE ME.IT IS LOCATED ON THE EDGE OF JUNO BEACH IN THE D-DAY LANDINGS.At the beginning of the Battle of Normandy, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, commanded by Major General Rodney Keller, landed 15,000 Canadians and 9,000 British troops on the Calvados coast. Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, one of five Canadian landing sites. was located at the Eastern end of Canada's assigned landing sector of Juno Beach. On D-Day, the 8th Canadian Infantry (Assault) Brigade (Group) stormed the beach, landing The North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment, the 10th Armoured Regiment (The Fort Garry Horse), and the guns of the 19th Canadian (Army) Field Regiment, RCA. The Canadians were met by about 100 defenders who garrisoned the town's fortified 'Resistance Nest'. The Germans were largely unaffected by the preparatory barrage, as such they were able to put up heavy resistance at the beach and in the town, for most of the day, as the Canadians pushed inland.D-Day
The D-Day Landing at Saint Aubin-sur-Merwith 48 Commando
A Personal Account by Marine Dennis Smith
The overall Objective of "Operation Overlord" for those troops landing on Juno beach wasto form a link between Juno and the adjacent beaches of Sword and Gold; cut the Caen toBayeux road, and seize Caen-Carpiquet airport (west of Caen).The detailed Objective for 48 Commando (the latest and last Commando to be formed)was to land at Saint Aubin-sur-Mer before swinging east to attack and capture thestrongpoint at Langrune-sur-Mer; while 41 Commando who were to land at Lion-sur-Mer on Sword beach and had a similar strongpoint to capture, would proceed west. Aftercompletion of their appointed tasks the two Commando units were to meet, and the gapbetween Juno and Sword beaches would be closed.
"Juno" beach was the codename given to the 10 kilometre (6 mile) stretch of Normandyinvasion coastline on which 48 Commando were to land. The beach was divided into twodesignated assault sectors by Allied command -"Mike" between Graye-sur-Mer andCourseulles to the west, and "Nan" between Courseulles and Saint Aubin in the east. Thelanding beach at Saint Aubin was designated "Nan Red".
A fortnight before D-Day, 48 Commando were stationed at a sealed camp in Swaythling,near Southampton. At 17:00 on the afternoon of 5th June 1944 Dennis Smith and hisfellow Commandos departed Warsash on the River Hamble. Overnight they crossed theChannel, arriving off Juno beach at Saint Aubin the following morning. The crossing hadbeen quite rough, with a heavy swell, and many of the Commandos experiencedseasickness. H-Hour was set for 07:45 but strong currents, reefs and submergedGerman obstacles delayed the landing until approximately 08:10. As the Marines nearedthe coast, naval ships bombarded the shore defences in a deafening barrage of shell fire.
Viewing the Normandy coast from their Landing Craft, the Commandos' plan was to land on the beachjust to the right of the church spire in Saint Aubin (towards Bernieres).The tide was rising and on approaching the beach some Landing Craft became caught in German sea defences,constructed of spiked metal stakes with mines attached -approximately 30% of the Landing Craftwere damaged or destroyed.Some Commandosdecided to wade ashore from their stricken landing craft but, weighed down with 100lbpacks, they were tragically swept away and drowned under the weight of their equipment.
It was planned that the Canadian 8th Infantry Brigade, the North Shore Regiment wouldland first, secure the beach-head and be followed ashore by 48 Commando. The forceshad been briefed that there would be two exits from the beach but discovered that inreality there was only one. Canadian tanks of the 10th Armoured Regiment (better knownas the Fort Gary Horse -formerly a Cavalry unit) experienced great difficulty manoeuvringon the soft sand. In the confusion and melee, as the tanks advanced up the beach withturret lids down they even ran over Commandos and other troops lying injured on thebeach. Wanting to protect the casualties, a senior Commando Officer who was clearlyangered by what he was witnessing, pulled the pin from an anti-tank grenade and hurled it at a Canadian tank.
Extreme resistance was encountered from the soldiers of the German 716th InfantryDivision who were afforded excellent observation and firing positions from the seafronthouses they had commandeered. With little cover from the D-D floating tanks (many ofwhich had sunk before coming ashore), 48 Commando had to "rush" the sea wall, but theMarines were under fire all the way up the beach. In securing the Beach Head, the firstwave of Canadian Troops and the Commandos suffered very high casualties.The battle to advance to Objective was also to prove incredibly fierce. Leaving the beachbehind them, the Commandos dumped surplus kit in the garden of a house directly off thebeach. In close quarter, house-to-house fighting, they moved through the centre of thevillage, encountering streets blocked with thick meshes of barbed wire. As theCommandos advanced garden by garden, Dennis Smith recalled seeing two young girlslooking at him in bewilderment from the window of their house, before being pulled awayby their mother. Saint Aubin was finally overcome and occupied by the Allies after threehours of fierce fighting.On the outskirts of the village, on the Route de Langrune at a point near the roundabout,and new fountain and garden, Dennis Smith encountered his first civilian casualty of theoperation. A French youth of approximately 16 years of age lay dead, next to his bicycle,on the road.
The objective was for 48 Commando to move east and attack Langrune-sur-Mer, while 41Commando who had landed at Lion-sur-Mer on Sword beach and had a similarstrongpoint to capture, would proceed west. The two Commando units were to meet aftercompletion of their respective tasks, and the gap between Juno and Sword beacheswould be closed. If German tanks had exploited that gap, both Juno and Sword beach-heads could have been wiped out.
Naval ships off the coast were requested by the Commandos to cease their support afterone salvo of shells fell among one of the Commando Sections, killing the Officer and oneMarine and wounding several others. Safe from friendly fire, the Commandos were thenable to proceed onwards towards Langrune.
On 8th June, having secured Langrune, 48 Commando moved onto Douvres-la-Deliverande. Three days later on 11th June, orders were received for themto proceed to Pegasus Bridge (which spans the Caen Canal nearOuistreham) where they were to assist the Paratroop Regiment in efforts tohold this strategic point.
D-Day, the 6th June 1944, was probably the most significant day in WorldWar II, and an crucially important contribution had been made to the successof the operation by 48 Commando Royal Marines (with the support of theCanadian Infantry Division). The strongpoint of Langrune had been securedand a continuous link established between the beaches of Sword, Juno andGold. Securing Juno Beach allowed 22,000 troops and their equipment tocome ashore on D-Day, albeit at a cost of 340 dead and 574 wounded.
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