I am Irish, but of French descent. Therefore in my view, taking part in the liberation of France was something of the utmost importance.
Lieutenant-Colonel Terence Otway
By the courage and sacrifice of the men of the 9th Battalion Parachute Regiment, the guns of the Merville Battery were neutralized during the early hours of the D-Day landings.
The British and French commandos and the 3rd British Infantry Division were not harassed by artillery fire from this position.
The surviving members of the 9th battalion left the battery, as ordered, with their 22 prisoners and walked across country to Le Hauger.
They held the centre of the village until they were relieved by the Commando Brigade on the 7th June 1944.
Soldiers who had been dropped wide and fought their way through enemy lines and reached the Battalion in small numbers and its strength gradually increased.But they lost more men during several battles against the German 346 Infantry Division.
Their number never rose beyond 270 until they returned to England in September 1944.
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