The Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Maritime) 5/15 recently completed Ex Neptune’s Trident, the Royal Naval Division’s staff ride to Normandy and the D-Day beaches.
The course students considered a wide range of questions relating to lessons for the contemporary officer that can be learned from studying the history of Operations NEPTUNE and OVERLORD. The weather was unseasonably kind, meaning stances on exposed positions like Pointe du Hoc and above Arromanches proved to be less of an endurance test than is often the case.
They were also able to reflect on the way different nations commemorate their fallen, with visits conducted to the German cemetery at La Cambe, the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, and finally the CWGC cemetery at Ranville. A poignant memorial service was held at Ranville, with a wreath being laid on behalf of the course at the cross of remembrance.
Once again, this brief period of education, assessment and reflection proved to be both popular and effective, with many of the students experiencing Normandy in person for the first time.
Photo: Students listening to Dr Jon Robb-Webb of KCL about the problems encountered by assaulting troops on the ‘Dog Green’ sector of Omaha beach.