Pegasus Bridge was on the eastern flank of the D Day landings, by the River Orne; it crosses the much wider Canal de Caen, which carries ships. It was a key to protecting the Allies from Wehrmacht counter-offensives. A glider force took it, soon after to be reinforced by men of the 7th Parachute Battalion [ aka 7 PARA ], followed up by Lord Lovat with his 1st Special Service Brigade & Bill Millin, his piper. It was taken & held through out the battle.
Pegasus Bridge ex Wiki
On the night of 5 June 1944, a force of 181 men, led by Major John Howard, took off from RAF Tarrant Rushton in Dorset, southern England in six Horsa gliders to capture Pegasus Bridge, and also "Horsa Bridge", a few hundred yards to the east, over the Orne River. The force was composed of D Company (reinforced with two platoons of B company), 2nd Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry; 20 sappers, 249 Fd Co. (Airborne); and men of the Glider Pilot Regiment. The object of this action was to prevent German armour from crossing the bridges and attacking the eastern flank of the landings at Sword Beach.
Five of the Ox and Bucks's gliders landed as close as 47 yards from their objectives from 16 minutes past midnight. The attackers poured out of their battered gliders, completely surprising the German defenders, and took the bridges within 10 minutes. They lost two men in the process, Lieutenant Den Brotheridge and Lance-Corporal Fred Greenhalgh.
Greenhalgh drowned in a nearby pond when his glider landed. Lieutenant Brotheridge was killed crossing the bridge in the first minutes of the assault and thus became the first member of the invading Allied armies to die as a result of enemy fire on D-Day.
Landing close was the key to success. Landing far away was a major weakness at Arnhem.
The bridge was guarded. This gun covers the area where gliders landed.
The bridge rolls back to lift the roadway.
Lord Lovat looking tired after Dieppe.
Notice that he has his own rifle not an Army issue Lee Enfield.
English tourists half a century later.