Beach is the first of the two American landing zones. This beach
was wanted by the english general Bernard Montgomery who wished
to establish a beachhead directly in the Cotentin, in order to capture
Cherbourg faster, since it has a deep water harbor.
are two sectors on Utah: Uncle Red and Tare Green, located between
the village of Dunes-de-Varreville (North) and La Madeleine (South).
These beaches are defended by the 709th german infantry division
which has installed 7 strongpoints and 20 batteries. Two artillery
batteries, located at Montebourg and Saint-Marcouf, can open fire
on this beach, since these guns have a firing range of almost 30
soldiers on the way towards Normandy.
is the 7th Army of the Major General J. Lawton Collins, composed
of the 8th, 22nd and 12nd infantry regiments of the 4th american
infantry division led by the general Omar C. Bradley, commanding
the 1st American Army, which will launch the attack of Utah Beach
on D-Day in order to capture the landing beach sectors, then to
establish a solid beachhead and to carry out the junction with the
airborne troops of the 82nd and 101st American airborne divisions.
soldiers embark in the landing crafts at dawn.
attack has to be done early in the morning, at 06:30 a.m., a schedule
which corresponds to a very low tide: then the German beach obstacles
(which represent a very important danger for the navy) are uncovered.
Also, the engineers can open ways on the beach through these obstacles
in order to allow the following reinforcements to land.
having board the landing crafts, american soldiers await the
order of the departure.
June 6, at 3 o'clock in the morning, the U fleet (Utah) arrives
near the Cotentin beaches and damps at approximately 18 kilometers
off the coast, a distance which limits the effectiveness of the
day comes at 05:58 a.m. exactly, 28 minutes after the beginning
of the bombardment of the German positions by the allied warships.
This huge bombardment follows air raids carried out by thousand
of allied bombers.
american assault wave preparing to land on the coast.
American soldiers of the 4th infantry division who boarded the landing
crafts can see these bombardments which plow the French ground and
which fill up the sky with smoke. Even if much of them suffer from
a terrible sea sickness, they are glad to see the bunkers becoming
landing craft goes towards Utah Beach.
squadrons of Duplex Drive tanks start floating 3 kilometers off
the shore and must join the beach sectors by their own means thanks
to two propellers and a rubber protection which enable them to sail
towards their objective. They approach the beach in two assault
waves (the first one is made up of 12 D.D. tanks and the second
one of 16) and when the Germans reorganize after the terrible allied
bombardment, they discover American tanks coming from the sea and
moving to their positions.
first assault wave finally reaches
first american assault wave lands right after the arrival of the
tanks in order to be supported in their action. Then, they attack
the bunkers and blockhouses of Utah Beach.
the first minutes of the landing on Utah Beach, the german shootings
are important but soon, the light and heavy German machineguns stop
firing. Then, long distance guns belonging to the 709th german infantry
division, situated a few kilometers inland, open fire.
sight of the American landing on Utah Beach.
guns open fire from the positions located a few kilometers West
from the landing beach and are camouflaged so that the allied planes
which patrol in the Norman sky can not locate them.
quickly, the beach is under American control. The tide is low, german
beach defences are visible on a distance of 500 meters between the
dunes and the sea. The fifth and last assault wave lands half an
hour after H Hour. One hour after H Hour, at 07:30 a.m., some engineers
open breaches through the beach obstacles so that the landing barges
can sail without troubles.
in Normandy of soldiers belonging to the 4th american infantry
general Theodore Roosevelt, nephew of the president of the United
States, lands with the first assault wave. He realizes very quickly
with the HQ staff of the 4th infantry division, that the marine
current has moved the landing two kilometers south of the planned
landing beach location. Indeed, they are not located north but south
of La Madeleine, in front of the german W5 strongpoint.
of the reinforcements on Utah Beach: men, material and vehicles.
problem with this improvised landing area is that there is only
one small road going out the beach from the dunes whereas in the
planned beach sector there are four roads heading inland, which
was better for the reinforcements. The question is: will the reinforcements
follow the first plan or will they adapt themself and follow the
new beach sector, south of the village of La Madeleine? Roosevelt
indicates that the reinforcements must follow the assault troops
whatever the landing point.
German strongpoint destroyed by the allied bombardments.
the other hand, the W5 strongpoint resistance is less important
than the one north of La Madeleine and all the attacks to the north
are pushed back by the german forces, supported by the shootings
of the Kriegsmarine batteries from Montebourg and Saint-Marcouf.
Roosevelt decides to move inland using this only road controlled
by the Americans, despite the risks of obstructions. Indeed, 30,000
American soldiers and 3,500 vehicles have to landed at Utah Beach
on D-Dat and the simple country lane, between the grounds flooded
by the Germans, seems insufficient to support such a quantity of
troops and material.
american vehicle lands at Utah Beach.
American tanks wait on the beach until the engineers destroy the
anti-tank walls, then they can move on. Two hours after H Hour,
at 08:30 a.m., they cross the dune and move towards Normandy.
team of american medics lands on the hardly protected beach.
the shootings on the beaches become rare, the explosions of german
mortar and artillery shells continue to kill. This bombardment continues
until the end of the evening.
shell fired by a 88 mm gun explodes on Utah Beach during the
the end of the day in Utah Beach, on June 6, 1944, 1,700 vehicles
have landed and also nearly 23,250 american soldiers. 197 soldiers
have been killed and 60 are missing.
amphibious tanks action proved reliable on this beach, while supporting
the infantry on the beach and inland. The Germans were impressed
to see tanks landing, which seriously started their moral and thus
reduced their fighting value. 28 of the 32 tanks planned for the
attack of the first wave succeeded in landing, cleaning the german
strongpoints with a strong fire power.
soldiers in fox holes, ready to face a german counter-attack.
the end of the day, the landed troops carried out their junction
with the airborne troops of the 82nd and 101st american airborne
divisions. The landing on the sector of Utah Beach is the most successful
one of the five allied beaches in Normandy.
troops on the way towards the interior.
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