Omaha Beach

1st Div Monument  German Beach Defences

You would not choose an amphibious landing here, there are six miles of exposed beach with no natural cover for an attacking force. An attack had to be made on this beach to link the other attacks at Utah and Gold, without Omaha there would be no link up of the bridgehead. The D-day plan for Omaha was for an attack starting at 06:30 using two Regiments, the 16th on the left and the 116th on the right. Naval bombardments started before dawn and the plan called for all the German positions to be overrun by 08:30. What happened came no where near to the plan. Away from the shelter of the Cotentin Peninsular the effects of the weather were far worse than at Utah. The planners had called for troops to be loaded into their assault craft some eleven miles from the beach, which was twice the distance used on other beaches and resulted in many craft being lost in the high seas. The DUKWs were also launched too far out. Many floundered because they were grossly overloaded and much needed artillery also went to the bottom. Of the 32 amphibious tanks that were to form the first assault, only four made the beach, the others being swamped or run into by faster craft. The landing craft carrying the first wave of infantry also fared no better. Ten sank and many of the infantry were very sea sick, having spent over four hours in these small craft. The main reason for the transfer of men into the landing craft so far out was because the Allied Planners thought the large guns at Point Du Hoc would be used not only to attack the beach but would also be turned against the supporting naval craft.

Home Up Omaha 2

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