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D-Day sword Beach admiralty chart

Article about: Hi guys, thought id share my recent find! Admiralty silhouette "chart" for the approach of sword beach. Probably fairly rare?, although not in the best of conditions.

  1. #1

    Default D-Day sword Beach admiralty chart

    Hi guys, thought id share my recent find!
    Admiralty silhouette "chart" for the approach of sword beach.

    Probably fairly rare?, although not in the best of conditions.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...."
    - Major-General John Sedgwick, 9 may 1864.
    Killed by a sniper during the battle of Spotsylvania..

  2. #2

    Default

    Heres a bit of extra infomation should anyone be interested:

    D-Day British Admiralty charts coastal silhouette photos SWORD BEACH 1944


    Top secret photographic panorama of the Normandy coastline issued to Royal Navy officers involved in the invasion of Sword beach, it would help identify key areas for sending landing craft and also help identify areas for bombardment.

    The "chart" covers the area from "Ouistreham" to "Luc Sur Mer" and is annotated with key landmarks and important features, such as a lighthouse, church, houses, woods and numerous enemy strong-points (marked with SP) along the section of 'Sword' beach, where British (and Polish, French and Norwegian) troops landed on June 6, 1944 and where around 700 allies lost their lives.

    It includes 7 panoramic pages, each numbered from "A" through "H", sadly only half of the last page containing the overview map is still present.

    It still retains the original cover-sheet, containing the following data:

    FRANCE BOOKLET-B
    NORTH COAST

    Admiralty charts - 2613 & F.1015
    G.S.G.S. No. 4250: Sheets 7f/2 & 7e/5

    Coastal shilhouette from OUISTREHAM to LUC-SUR-MER taken at zero feet and at right angles to the coast: distance off shore about 1 mile.

    NOTE: This silhouette is intended as an aid to coastal recognition and is intended for navigational purposes.

    CAUTION: Due to the overlap of photographs and divergence in scale, the background is repeated in some cases. Where this is very marked white lines have been drawn.

    I.S.T.D. February 1944


    The photos were snapped by highly-skilled pilots who recorded the landscape as seen from the sea ahead of the pivotal beach invasion.

    In the run-up to D-Day the ISTD used reconnaissance photos along with other sources of information to build up a complete picture of the area.
    'Highly-skilled pilots would fly very low level missions in Spitfires, Mosquitos or F5 Lightning planes to get the photos needed.

    'The pilots not only faced the possibility of attack from German planes and flak from ground troops but also the inherent dangers of flying 10ft above the waves.

    In fact if you take a closer look at this area highlighted below, you can see that it looks like someone was taking "potshots" at this particular pilot thankfully falling short:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    'To avoid arousing suspicion among the Germans as to where the landings were going to take place, photos were taken of the coastline from Normandy right up to Belgium and Holland.

    Anyway, I hope somebody finds this as fascinating as I do, the photos themselves are fairly uninspiring, but what they represent is truly remarkable.
    "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...."
    - Major-General John Sedgwick, 9 may 1864.
    Killed by a sniper during the battle of Spotsylvania..

  3. #3

    Default

    A VERY nice find!
    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  4. #4

    Default

    Very interesting piece of history and great find.
    John

  5. #5

    Default

    thanks guys!
    "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...."
    - Major-General John Sedgwick, 9 may 1864.
    Killed by a sniper during the battle of Spotsylvania..

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