Utah Beach Part Two

Radio Bunker        German Beach Defences Utah

At the north end of the beach near the village of Varreville is the monument to General Leclercís 2nd Free French Armoured Division who landed here on August 3rd as part of General Pattonís 3rd Army. The monument would give the impression that the French troops landed on D-day, a touch of Gaelic inspiration. On the beach are blockhouses of a standard design, these would have housed anti aircraft guns together with anti tank guns and flame throwers and were surrounded by barbed wire. The beach and the surrounding dunes were also extensively mined. The beach was also used as a port from June 13th until the Port of Cherbourg was captured and made available after the devastation caused by the retreating Germans. The remains of the ships sunk to form the breakwater can still be seen at low tide. The larger ships would anchor within the breakwater and supplies would be transferred to amphibious craft for the final transfer up to the beachhead. LST (landing ship tanks) would drive onto the beach at high tide, unload and have to remain there until the next high tide to refloat and return to England for more supplies. Later causeways would be built. These enabled ships to unload their cargo directly onto the beach. Over 15 kms being built and transported across the channel in 150m sections. The great storm that started on June 19th and lasted for four days did terrible damage to these artificial ports, elements that remained here being towed to Arromanches to rebuild the harbour there. In one day at the end of July the Americans broke all records for unloading men and machines on their two beaches, over 46,000 men and 8,000 assorted vehicles were landed.

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