Attack on the Pegasus Bridge



On June 6, 1944 the greatest amphibious landing in history took place on the beaches of Normandy, known worldwide as D-day. For many inhabitants of the occupied countries in the west, this was a day never to be forgotten. Over 130.000 allied troops set foot on French soil to liberate them from German occupation. Just after midnight, on the night of 5/6 June one of the most daring actions of that day took place. British troops landed by glider and in a lightning attack captured the Bťnouville bridge over the canal near Caen. Today, this bridge is better known as the Pegasus bridge, named after the flying horse in the division emblem of the 6th British Airborne division. Not only the Bťnouville bridge was their objective, but also the bridge over de river Orne, now known as the Horsa bridge.

This article has originally been published in the magazine "Wereld in Oorlog" This Dutch magazine publishes remarkable, poignant and dramatic stories to illustrate important events, developments and military operations in the recent war history. With emphasis on the First and Second World Wars.

 Klik hier voor de Nederlandstalige versie van dit artikel


The day of the long awaited invasion of western Europe in Normandy, France, 6 June 1944. After a long campaign of deception the allies attacked the coast of Normandy on five beaches to begin their march on Nazi Germany. Often explained as Decision Day, though this is entirely correct. The D stands for Day as generally used in military language. In this case it means an operation beginning on day D at hour H. Hence ďJour Jď in French.
Military unit, usually consisting of one upto four regiments and usually making up a corps. In theory a division consists of 10,000 to 20,000 men.

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The Pegasus Bridge after being captured by the British.
(Source: Imperial War Museum)


Translated by:
Cor Korpel
Article by:
Pieter Schlebaum
Published on:
Last edit on:
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