Off-shore shoals and heavy defences around the port of Ouistreham considerably reduced the width of the landing area on Sword beach. The first troops ashore were 8th Brigade Group of the British 3rd Division, supported by the Commandos of 1st Special Service Brigade. 3rd Division's D-Day objective was to capture the city of Caen some ten miles (fifteen kilometres) inland. High tides resulting from the bad weather, coupled with stiff German resistance, delayed the division's advance and prevented much of its supporting armour getting ashore in time to help. Congestion on the narrow beach as the tide advanced and gunfire from strong German defences inland increased the number of casualties. Landing Craft approaches Sword Beach The most easterly of the five Operation Overlord beaches, Sword abutted the port of Ouistreham at the mouth of the River Orne. It was nine miles north of the city of Caen, a major route centre of Northern France. The British regiments landing in the east soon quashed German light infantry fire and linked up paratroops at the Orne river crossings inland by early afternoon. On the western flank of Sword, the 21st Panzer Division prevented the British troops linking with the Canadians from Juno. After battling into the evening, the German armour was routed by the Allies. That day, the British had landed 29,000 men and suffered just 630 casualties.