On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the Allied nations landed around 156,000 troops on the Normandy coastline. The American forces landed numbered 73,000: 23,250 on Utah Beach, 34,250 on Omaha Beach, and 15,500 airborne troops. In the British and Canadian sector, 83,115 troops were landed (61,715 of them British): 24,970 on Gold Beach, 21,400 on Juno Beach, 28,845 on Sword Beach, and 7900 airborne troops.
The War Years has created a range of D-Day commemorative designs and merchandise. Each of our designs incorporates QR barcodes that enables anyone with a smartphone or similar web-enabled mobile device to connect to our digital content, such as this Omaha Beach video. We also use 2D QR codes so that you can connect to our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Checkout our website: www.thewaryears.co.uk
The Assault on Omaha Beach On D-Day, the untested 29th Infantry Division, joined by nine companies of U.S. Army Rangers redirected from Pointe du Hoc, were to assault the western half of the beach. The battle-hardened 1st Infantry Division was given the eastern half. The initial assault waves, consisting of tanks, infantry, and combat engineer forces, were carefully planned to reduce the coastal defences and allow the larger ships of the follow-up waves to land.
However, the assault on Omaha Beach did not go to plan. Almost all the specially designed amphibious DD tanks, that were to provide much needed covering fire for the infantry assault waves, sank off shore. Navigation problems caused the majority of landing craft to miss their targets throughout the day. The defences were unexpectedly strong, and the Germans inflicted heavy casualties on landing US troops. Under heavy fire, engineers struggled to clear beach obstacles; later landings bunched up around the few channels that were cleared.
Many troops were drowned or killed the moment they hit the beach. Many landing craft hit under water obstacles or were destroyed by mines. The surviving assault troops could not clear the heavily defended exits off the beach. This caused further problems and consequent delays for later landings.
Eventually small groups of Rangers and infantrymen scaled the heavily defended bluffs commanding the beach. Allied naval gunfire supported these improvised assaults. By day's end, two small footholds had been won, which were subsequently exploited against weaker defences further inland, thus achieving the original D-Day objectives over the following days.