|Why is Omaha Beach
Although Utah Beach provided more troop
landing capabilities, Omaha was
still needed to land additional
troops for several weeks.
However, the high bluffs provided
the Germans with an excellent
vantage point. By
far, "Bloody Omaha"
suffered the worst
casualties of any Normandy beach to
the point that General Omar Bradley
was seriously considering a
withdrawal. Most of the
officers and sergeants in the first
waves were killed. The
Generals readily admitted that the
battle was won by ordinary
low-ranking soldiers and their
Hitler's much vaunted "Atlantic
Wall" was breached in less than one
day but at great cost.
Beach "Dog Green" at Vierville sur Mer.
This is also where Tom Hanks landed in "Saving Private Ryan".
Many soldiers in the first waves were carried ashore by "Landing
Craft - Vehicle, Personnel" or LCVPs.
Troops leaving an LCVP wading towards Omaha under very intense
Grass fires from the bombardment caused much of the smoke during the
Note the high bluffs at the top of the picture.
The invasion was not held in May because too few LCVP's were
available from their builder in New Orleans, Higgins Industries. LCVPs were also called Higgins Boats.
|Many LCVPs were piloted by US Coast Guardsmen who deserve much more
as many LCVP's never made it to shore.
The high bluffs are what characterized Omaha from Utah.
36 men were assigned to each LCVP with a junior officer in front.
The same angled bluff at right-center is shown in the picture below
This Omaha bluff location is
now a vacation home. The picture below was taken from this
After much carnage, Omaha was secured on the first day.
The angled poles were intended to tip over and swamp any LCVPs upon approach
at high tide
which is why the US Army landed at low tide. In the movie, "Saving
Private Ryan", these
movie set poles were installed backwards by accident with the blunt
end facing seaward. Mistake...
The author's uncle, Walter Dragon carries that shrapnel inside his
body to this day.
|Not one to talk
about the war all that much, new
information was recently found
through Google searches.
It turned out that only four days
after his injury, sections of Walter's front
line regiment were accidentally
bombed by allied air forces on July
24th resulting in 136 casualties.
Due to heavy smoke obstructing the
aircraft's vision, that error was repeated on July 25th
with 601 casualties including the
death of Lt. General Leslie Mc Nair.
That nasty wound and a stay in a
field hospital may well have saved
Walter's life !
During the war years, very little
"friendly fire" information was ever released to
The 30th Division, 120th Regiment
later went on to serve in the Battle
of the Bulge including Malmedy
stopping the penetration of the 1st
SS Panzer Division.
Note the German gun here... more below
same location, same gun
|The same gun emplacement is now a monument to the US Army National
Guard, many of whom were in the first wave. Nineteen men, most
of that generation of Guardsmen from
tiny Bedford, Virginia did not make it to
the next day.
Note the kids playing on the beach.
The concrete to the left was the beach ramp used for the artificial
Omaha Beach being used as it should be