Plaque text: Following the German invasion of France in 1940, the town was occupied for 4 years. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Allied landings for the liberation of Europe took place off the coast of Normandy, marking the start of a long campaign that culminated in Germany's surrender in May 1945. Commando 47 of the Royals Marines, a 420-strong unit, was given the task of seizing Port-en-Bessin. The town would become the initial terminal for PLUTO(Pipeline Under The Ocean) from England, would supply vital fuel for the army and would be the junction point between the British and the Americans landing on Omaha Beach. By the time the commando arrived on Gold beach, near Asnelles, 20 kms from Port-en-Bessin, there were already 28 men killed or drowned, 21 wounded and 27 missing before it began its mission. The men set off inland for Port-en-Bessin, reaching the mont Cavalier (near Escures, 2 kms south of Port-en-Bessin) by nightfall on D-Day. On the way, during the fighting, they suffered further casualties. They were helped by brave Frenchmen who sheltered and cared for them. The following day, with gendarme Henri Gouget as their guide, the commandos attacked the 2 cliffs surrounding the port. Minefields, barbed wire, flamethrowers, blockhouses and machine guns solidly fortified the cliffs. By nightfall on June 7, the German defenses seemed impregnable, but a final, desperate assault led by Captain Cousins on the eastern front finally brought the Germans to surrender. The commando lost 46 men, killed or drowned, and 65 were wounded, and the town suffered many casualties during these two days of battle.