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The Capture of the Caen Canal and Orne River Bridges (wrongly known as Operation Deadstick (which in fact was a specialized glider exercise), and in official documents as Operation Coup de Main) was an operation by airborne forces of the British Army that took place in the early hours of 6 June 1944 as part of the Normandy landings of the Second World War. The objective was to capture intact two road bridges in Normandy across the River Orne and the Caen canal, providing the only exit eastwards for British forces from their landing on Sword Beach. Intelligence reports said both bridges were heavily defended by the Germans and wired for demolition. Once captured, the bridges had to be held against any counter-attack, until the assault force was relieved by commandos and other infantry advancing from the landing beach.