THE STORMING OF SWORD
by Simon Smith
Under withering enemy fire, elements of No. 3 Commando, part of Brigadier Lord Lovat’s 1st Special Service Brigade, storm the eastern extremity of Sword Beach on the morning of D-Day 6 June 1944. In their midst, armed only with a set of bagpipes, Lovat’s personal piper Bill Millin plays the commandos ashore.
Marking the eastern flank of the Normandy landings was Sword Beach. Lying just to the west of the small town and port of Ouisterham, it was separated by almost fifty miles of well-defended coastline from the American Utah Beach to the west. Between the two, three other beaches – the Canadian Juno, British Gold and the American ‘bloody’ Omaha – formed the backdrop to the largest amphibious invasion the world had ever seen.
Securing a measure of protection from any lightning enemy counter-attack, both flanks inland would be seized by two American Airborne Divisions in the west and the British 6th Airborne Division in the east. The task entrusted to the commandos of Brigadier Lord Lovat’s 1st Special Service Brigade was to fight their way ashore on the most eastern extremity of Sword Beach and battle their way inland and link up with the British airborne troops who had landed by glider shortly after midnight to capture the strategic ‘Pegasus’ Bridge.
Available as an un-signed, Open Edition print
Simon’s dramatic work, specially commissioned to commemorate all those who fought so bravely in the Normandy campaign, takes us to a bizarre, yet uplifting scene on Sword Beach on the morning of 6 June 1944. Above the din of battle, amidst a blizzard of withering fire, is the sight of Lovat’s personal piper Bill Millin who, armed only with a set of bagpipes, stoically commences to play the commandos ashore.
- 25 x 15.75 inches
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