Never-before-seen photos of momentous D-Day landings and solider’s wartime diary comes to light after 76 years


DRAMATIC pictures of the D-Day landings during World War II have come to light after 76 years.

Lieutenant Stephen Malenoir-Vickers, of the Royal Engineers, cleared mines and paths across Juno Beach for the armoured bulldozers.

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Landing craft unloaded tanks and troops onto the beaches of Normandy[/caption]

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Allied troops were equipped with gas masks as they landed on the beaches and came under heavy fire[/caption]

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British, Canadian and US troops all landed on five beaches on D-Day which got the allied assault in occupied Europe underway[/caption]

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British sappers stand on the ‘Success Bridge’ in Herenthals, Belgium[/caption]

His archive includes dramatic previously unpublished photos of tanks disembarking on to the sand and rare ‘restricted’ D-Day maps.

He also kept a war diary charting from the Normandy landings all the way to the end of the war.

His personal effects are now being sold with C & T Auctions, of Ashford, Kent, who expect them to fetch £4,000.

The Normandy landings were codenamed Operation Neptune but are usually referred to as the D-Day landings.

The aim of the largest ever seaborne invasion was the allied attack on mainland Europe to drive the Nazi forces out of France and later the rest of the occupied continent towards the end of World War II.

Planning for the invasion got underway in 1943 but was only carried out the following year.

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Lieutenant Stephen Malenoir-Vickers landed on Juno beach as part of Operation Neptune[/caption]

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Landing craft used barrage balloons to defend them against Nazi attacks[/caption]

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The archive also contains a number of historical documents detailing the allied plans, such as this one detailing Operation Astonia – the advance on Le Havre[/caption]

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Lieutenant Stephen Malenoir-Vickers was part of a team that helped clear the beaches of mines and other obstacles put up by the Nazis[/caption]

On D-Day – June 6, 1944, the operation got underway with a naval bombardment followed by 24,000 airborne troops from Britain, Canada and the US landing shortly after midnight.

The amphibious troops landed within a 50-mile stretch of the Normandy coast which had been divided up into five areas – Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

Malenoir-Vickers was part of the allied forces that landed at Juno beach, near Courcelles, at 4.30am and massed with his men at the “Elbow Frankie” assembly area.

The beaches were strongly defended though and the troops came under heavy fire from gun emplacements mounted along the cliffs.

The beaches were also heavily mined and littered with metal tripods and barbed wire in an attempt to stop the allied forces gaining a foothold.

On the first day the allies failed to achieve any of their objectives and the towns and villages in the area remained in Nazi hands.

The five beachheads were only linked up on June 12

A key objective, taking the town of Caen, was only accomplished on July 21 after heavy fighting.

Over the coming months though the allied forces slowly gained the upper hand and could start their push through occupied France.

German casualties on D-Day have been estimated at 4,000 to 9,000 men.Allied casualties were documented for at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. 

Malenoir-Vickers was later awarded the Military Cross after the platoon he was in charge of constructed a bridge and a temporary ‘Bailey’ bridge over the Markkanaal in The Netherlands while coming under mortar and small arms fire.

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British troops underwent training at Hythe, Kent, before the assault[/caption]

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Pont I’Eveque was ‘burnt out’ as the allied troops made their advance into France[/caption]

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Sappers helped take the bridge at Pont I’Eveque in Normandy[/caption]

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Malenoir-Vickers was stationed in barracks in Canterbury before the start of D-Day[/caption]

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The archive also contains various bits of memorabilia including Royal Engineers badges[/caption]

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British forces use storm boats to secure a ferry site along the Normandy coast[/caption]


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