Beach is the second of the two American landing sectors. This beach
is 5,9 kilometers long and is located 12 kilometers east of Utah
in England before the boarding on the ships which will route
to Omaha Beach.
16th regiment of the 1st infantry division of and the 116th regiment
of the 29th infantry division are chosen to attack this beach, divided
into four landing sectors. They are named (from west to east): “Charlie”,
“Dog”, “Easy” and “Fox”. According
to the attack plan of the Pointe du
Hoc these units can be reinforced by elements of the 2nd and
5th Rangers battalions.
Augusta secures the landing crafts which go to Omaha Beach.
military units are led by general Leonard T. Gerow, chief of the
5th army corps, and by Omar N. Bradley, commanding the 1st american
the night preceding the attack, thousand of bombers drop hundreds
of tons of bombs over the German beach defenses. But at Omaha, the
precision of the bombardments is uneffective: handicapped by a massive
fog and many clouds, the bombers drop their bombs a few seconds
too early or too late. The result is catastrophic for the Allies:
the 13.000 bombs miss their objectives and explode inside
the grounds, a few kilometers away from the beaches.
landing crafts move towards the beach.
the early morning, a thick smoke due to the bombardments of the
night hides the coast to the allied ships. The shootings of the
naval artillery directed towards the Atlantic Wall are not precise.
The Germans are terrified by these bombardments, but their losses
are very weak and their armaments are still in fonction.
Allies see the Norman coast blazing up and being illuminated by
thousand of fires, and they think that the Germans are crushed under
tons of rocks.
American soldiers, squatted in their landing craft at the
time of the approach phase.
first assault wave lands at 06:36 a.m.: it is composed of 1,450
soldiers who are transported by 36 landing crafts. The tide is low
and it uncovers mined piles installed a few months before D-Day.
On the other hand, the Americans have to cross a nearly 400 meters
long beach without cover before being able to find a minor shelter.
the occupants of the landing craft observe the fightings on
Germans, ready to defend their positions, wait for the last moment
to open fire in order to reveal their positions as late as possible.
Once the first landing craft touches the ground, a rain of shells
and machine-gun bullets falls down on the Americans. The first assault
wave is immediately decimated: 90% of the assault wave is out of
fight in the first five minutes of the attack. All officers
and warrant officers are wounded or killed and the survivors organize
themselves by small groups.
ramp has been dropped, the G.I.s land to fight.
tragedy of the tanks
what is going on Utah and the other allied beaches, he American
troops landing at Omaha are not supported by the amphibious tanks,
as it is the case on Utah or on the English and Canadians beaches.
On June 6 at 3 o'clock in the morning, 29 amphibious tanks Duplex
Drive are launched at nearly 18 kilometers of the beach. These tanks
belong to the two armoured tanks battalions supposed to land at
06:30 a.m. at Omaha.
of the landing on Omaha taken by the american coastguards.
The chief of one of the two battalions decides not to lands his
tanks, because he estimates that the swell at sea is too dangerous
and that the Duplex Drive tanks will not resist. He is not wrong:
on the 29 tanks launched, only 3 manage to reach the shore by their
own means. The others will sink in the English Channel.
front of the Ruquet strongpoint, the Americans, supported
by three D.D. tanks, progress.
on the beach, the 270 sappers who must open, in 27 minutes, 16 ways
to allow the vehicles and in particular the tanks to cross the 500
meters which separate the sea from the German positions, as fast
as possible, do a desperate work. They destroy beaches defenses,
used by the landed soldiers as a protection, to open ways which
will not be useful in the immediate future. While remaining on the
beach in order to carry out their mission, they remain out of cover
and are easy targets for the German snipers. At the end of the 27
minutes established by the HQ, only one way had been opened and
most of the sappers had been killed.
private Reagan, trying to extirpate himself from the frozen
water, Hell has just began.
American landing waves continue to arrive and the German shootings
remain extremely important. They have 17 defenses points including
8 strongpoints: anti-tank walls, minefields, machinegun nests, flame
throwers, mortars, various types of guns… Moreover, the German
defenders are not belonging to the infantry division which was envisaged
on the plans. This last was replaced in May 1944 by the 352nd infantry
division, coming from the Russian front. A message from the French
Resistance had been sent before D-Day by carrier pigeon in London,
but not early enough.
German shoutings fix the American soldiers on the beach.
landed troops find some shelter behind the anti-tank wall located
in front of an edge (which can measure up to 185 meters in some
places), itself located at the foot of the heights which dominate
the beach. This anti-tank wall high enough so that a man is held
squatted without being located by the Germans in their casemates.
In the extreme west sector of the beach , in front of Vierville-sur-Mer,
“Charlie” sector, the anti-tank wall is replaced by
a natural rampart formed by rollers. The American soldiers are obliged
to remain lying at this place if they do not want to be targets.
But the German mortar shells manage all the same to kill behind
this thin protection.
behind the “Rommel's asparaguses” and the “Czech
hedgehogs”, the soldiers try to protect themselves from
the enemy shootings.
to the landing beaches menu