6th Airborne Division

6th Airborne Division

The 6th Airborne Division was formed on 23rd April 1943. It took part in the invasion of Normandy on 6th June 1944 remaining in the line until the break out to the Seine in August. It reformed in the UK and was employed in the Ardennes during the 1944-5 winter German counter-offensive. In March 1945 the Division was involved with the Rhine Crossing and subsequent advance to the Baltic at the wars end.

In 1945 the Division was despatched to Palestine on internal security duties until the end of the British Mandate in 1948. In April of that year the Division returned to the UK and was disbanded. 


Order of Battle:

  • 1st Parachute Brigade 1945 – 1948
  • 2nd Parachute Brigade 1946 – 1948
  • 3rd Parachute Brigade 1943 – 1948
  • 5th Parachute Brigade 1943 – 1948
  • 6th Airlanding Brigade 1943 – 1946


Attached Units:

  • The Glider Pilot Regiment:
  • No. 1 Wing (Lieutenant-Colonel Iain Murray)
  • No. 2 Wing (Lieutenant-Colonel John Place
  • Division Troops


Commanders:

  • Major-General Richard Gale (7 May 1943)
  • Major General Eric Bols (8 December 1944)
  • Major-General James Cassels (1946)
  • Major-General Hugh Stockwell (August 1947)

See also: HQ 6th Airborne Division

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Photos_136

Group photos_16

Maps_13

Aerial photos_19

Messages_11

  • Message reminding military staff not to discuss operations with outsiders.

    Message reminding military staff not to discuss operations with outsiders.

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  • Note on treatment of deserters and prisoners of war.

    Note on treatment of deserters and prisoners of war.

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  • Message about use of pigeons in Operation Overlord.

    Message about use of pigeons in Operation Overlord.

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  • Instructions about the holding of rum by units.

    Instructions about the holding of rum by units.

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  • Special instructions for Major M Derrell-Brown.

    Special instructions for Major M Derrell-Brown.

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  • Kindersley's rousing final instructions before Operation Overlord.

    Kindersley's rousing final instructions before Operation Overlord.

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  • Message of congratulations from GOC to those involved in Op Shark, dated August 3rd 1946.

    Message of congratulations from GOC to those involved in Op Shark, dated August 3rd 1946.

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Letters and Cards_12

  • Letter from Maj-Gen Gale to Lt-Gen Browning about parachute training support troops.

    Letter from Maj-Gen Gale to Lt-Gen Browning about parachute training support troops.

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  • Letter about supply of wireless equipment for Operation Overlord.

    Letter about supply of wireless equipment for Operation Overlord.

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  • Letter about transport for Operation Overlord.

    Letter about transport for Operation Overlord.

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  • James Hill request boiled sweets for parachutists on operations.

    James Hill request boiled sweets for parachutists on operations.

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  • Letter from Gale about state of ammunition for dropping on D-Day.

    Letter from Gale about state of ammunition for dropping on D-Day.

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  • Letter about packing of 20mm Oerlikon ammunition.

    Letter about packing of 20mm Oerlikon ammunition.

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  • Letter to Richard Gale about packing and dropping of ammunition.

    Letter to Richard Gale about packing and dropping of ammunition.

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  • Letter to Charles Strafford, Editor of 'Pegasus Goes To It!' 6 February 1945

    Letter to Charles Strafford, Editor of 'Pegasus Goes To It!' 6 February 1945

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  • Letter from HQ 5 Para Brigade to Charles Strafford, Editor of 'Pegasus Goes To It!' 7 February 1945

    Letter from HQ 5 Para Brigade to Charles Strafford, Editor of 'Pegasus Goes To It!' 7 February 1945

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  • Open invitation to 6th Airborne Division veterans for the 70th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings

    Open invitation to 6th Airborne Division veterans for the 70th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings

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Pre-combat reports_17

Propaganda_5

Official accounts_4

Equipment lists_11

Operation instructions_1

Post-combat reports_15

Personal accounts_2

War Diaries_3

Newspaper extracts_2

  • Report on the Rhine Crossing from the New York Herald Tribune.

    Report on the Rhine Crossing from the New York Herald Tribune.

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  • Three contemporary news cuttings reporting operations in Palestine.

    Three contemporary news cuttings reporting operations in Palestine.

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Official documents_4

Poem_1

Documents_11

Diagrams_1

Solo photos_1

Medal Citations_1

  • Citation for the award of Capt Vere Hodge's Mention in Despatches, 1945.

    Citation for the award of Capt Vere Hodge's Mention in Despatches, 1945.

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