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Major General R. N. Gale of UK 6th Airborne Division talking to troops of 5th Parachute Brigade, Royal Air Force Harwell, Berkshire, England, UK, 4 or 5 Jun 1944

Caption     Major General R. N. Gale of UK 6th Airborne Division talking to troops of 5th Parachute Brigade, Royal Air Force Harwell, Berkshire, England, UK, 4 or 5 Jun 1944 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseImperial War Museum
Identification Code   4700-37 H 39068
More on...   
Normandy Campaign, Phase 1   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Photos on Same Day 4 Jun 1944
Added By C. Peter Chen
Licensing  According to the United Kingdom National Archives, Crown copyright material that has been created prior to 1 Jun 1957 is considered to be in the public domain.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
18 Jul 2013 08:42:52 AM

The first British General to land in Normandy on D-Day was Major-General Richard Gale, Commander of the 6th Airborne Division. He landed with the main glider force at 0330 with only his A.D.C., his Jeep and driver, a motorcycle despatch-rider and two or three Headquarters staff in his glider.

At 48 years of age, General Gale was considerably older in years than every one of his junior commanders although his mental or physical agility had not been dimiinished by the passing of years. Thirty years in the army (he had fought in the bloody battles of the First World War, winning the Military Cross on 1918) had moulded his appearance and his character. Six feet three tall, standing straight as a ramrod, and sporting a fiercely bristling moustache he delighted in the knowledge that his subordinates feared his displeasure even more than they feared the Germans.

So confident did he feel that the Invasion would be a success that, while crossing the Channel, he had told his A.D.C. to wake him when they crossed the French coast and then went to sleep. The landing however had been rather rough. His Glider careered across a sunken lane and the resultant bumb had rammed the undercarriage up through the fuselage jamming the General's Jeep in the wreckage. Gale would not wait for it to be extracted. He set off for his headquarters at Ranville on foot, confident that his Division could be relied upon to carry out their appointed battlefield missions whatever the cost.

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