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June 1944

Special Forces Operations in June 1944

June 6th, 1944
Operation Overlord
No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando, 1er Bataillon de Fusiliers Marins Commandos
177 men of No. 1 (French) Troop and No. 8 (French) Troop, No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando or the 1er Bataillon de Fusiliers Marins Commandos, commanded by Capitaine de Corvette (Lieutenant Commander) Philippe Kieffer.
The troops disembark from their Landing Craft Infantry at 07:31 hours on Sword beach, on the east of the Allied landing near Colleville-Montgomery. They are the first to be unloaded in this sector. Their primary objective is to achieve a breach five hundred metres to the west of Riva Bella in support of the 3rd Infantry Division.

Although suffering significant losses, the commandos seize the 50 mm anti-tank gun hidden in a small bunker. This position disabled LCI 523 (No. 1 Troop). They then take the former Casino de Riva-Bella before advancing between Colleville and Saint-Aubin-d’Arquenay to meet the British paratroopers of the 6th Airborne Division at Pegasus Bridge (Bénouville), arriving around 16:30 hours. There, the French commandos occupy the perimeter of the lime pit towards 20:00 hours.

By the evening of June 6th, 1944, they have lost almost 25% of their personnel with twenty-seven killed in combat, and many wounded including their commander Kieffer, who is wounded twice during the day.