Juno Beach is the code name for the one of the five sectors of the Normandy beaches that the Allies invaded, Operation Overlord, on 6 June 1944, otherwise known as D-Day, during the Second World War. Juno beach was located between Sword and Gold sectors; this beach is 7km long and located between the villages of Graye-sur-Mer and St-Aubin-sur-Mer, the center of the British sector of the Normandy invasion. The unit responsible for the Juno sector was 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and commandos of the Royal Marines from Great Britain, with support from Naval Force J, the Juno contingent of the Naval invasion forces. The beach was defended by two Battalions of the German 716th Infantry Division with elements of the 21st Panzar Division sitting in reserve in Caen.
In 1942, the Allies decided to help out the Soviet Union and opened up another front to the war in Western Europe. The United States and Britain did not have a large enough military to mount an invasion at the time but they had drawn up plans to prepare for an invasion in case Germany’s western front weakened or the Soviet Union was put into dire straits. In August of 1942 the Canadians attempted an invasion of the French port city of Dieppe. It was a poorly planned and coordinated invasion that was meant to be a test the defense that Germany had established that ended in disaster, nearly 5,000 troops were either killed, wounded, or captured. In July 1943, British, American, and Canadian troops invaded Sicily as the western front expanded from Africa into Europe. The valuable experience from the amphibious landings in southern Europe would be used to launch to launch the largest invasion force in the world to crack open the solid German defense in northern Europe.
Planning and Preparation
The Germans were outfitted with units that were typically resting or resetting from the eastern front of the war. They were comprised of soldiers that were either under 18 or over 35, and either brand new recruits or veterans who were resting from months on the eastern front. The beaches were defended for an invasion that would take place during high tide, so the beach obstacles were set up for the invasion force to be higher on the beach and closer to the defenses. Once Field Marshalls Erwin Rommel and Gerd von Rundstedt took over the Atlantic Wall, the defenses were greatly increased and firmly established anticipating the invasion that was to come.
The Canadians preparation for the invasion began nearly a year before the invasion. Training began in Scotland, and was complicated by the lack of equipment. There was also the threat of German U-boats that were a threat to any boats in the water. The Allies were able to develop methods of fixing artillery to there training vessels to conduct simulations of prepping the landing areas.
In preparation for the invasions, the Allied navy cleared the English channel of any German Navy as best...