Utah Beach

Road Name            90th Monument    Km Marker 00     Engineer Monument

Rommel visited the beach in May 1944 after Hitler had thought that an invasion here was likely. He ordered more obstacles to be placed on the beach, these would sink any invasion craft that struck them. The Germans believed that an attack could only be mounted at high tide. The Allies always believed that an attack would be more effective at low tide, and would give the engineers a chance of clearing the beach whilst the infantry cleared the beach of defenders. The defenders heard gunfire here on the morning of June 6th and despatched a patrol to investigate. They returned with a number of American prisoners. The Naval and air bombardment then began and soon all the major weapons defending the beach were out of action. A strange machine called "Goliath", which was a small tank powered by a motorcycle engine filled with explosive and remotely controlled, was deployed here, but was of no use as none of them could be started. (There is one preserved in the museum). The defenders surrendered to the Americans led by General Roosevelt (he suffered a heart attack the next month and died). A hole was blown in the sea wall and Utah beach belonged to the 4th division. The Americans deployed 32 DD tanks here and only 28 made it to the beach. By mid day they had linked up with the airborne troops near St Mere Eglise. On D-day more than 23,000 men and over 1,6000 vehicles landed here. Because of the diversity of regiments that landed here there are many monuments to them dotted around the beach. All the roads leading from the beach and into St. Mere Eglise are named after soldiers killed here during the battle.

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