Battlefield studies for officer cadets
- Author: Nichola Winstanley
- Date: Friday 7th April 2017
Officer Cadets from Astute and Defender divisions visited Normandy recently to learn how the decisions and actions of D-Day led to the largest, successful joint military operation in history.
As part of their strategic studies the group visited the beaches where troops disembarked on 6 June 1944 to re-take Europe during the Second War World. They also visited other points of interest such as Pointe-du-Hoc, a 30 metre cliff overlooking the beaches of Utah and Omaha, which was scaled and captured by US Army Rangers; Porte-en-Bessin, a small fishing harbour fortified by the Germans, which was taken by the Royal Marines on 7 – 8 June 1944 and Pegasus Bridge, a bridge that crossed the Caen Canal, which was captured by gliders from the British Army.
Individually, the Officer Cadets were tasked to research one area each in detail and present to the rest of the group. Throughout the trip, the group also made stops at the various war cemeteries to pay respects and learn about the different countries’ approaches to their war dead. Speaking at the Commonwealth Cemetery in Bayeux, Officer Cadet Thomas Horkan said: “It’s a sombre place but steeped in respect for those who gave their lives. It puts into perspective the cost of war.”
The Officer Cadets of both divisions joined BRNC in January and the visit to Normandy came in the 13th week of their training. The Battle Field Studies package consolidates what cadets have been studying in the classroom and has significant relevance to all branches in the Service.