Chapter 3: Omaha
The wide beach stretching between the small Norman towns of Vierville and Colleville, situated beneath bluffs hiding defensive positions of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, was given the code name Omaha Beach. On D-Day, elements of the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions were to land on Omaha Beach, supported by armored units, demolition teams, and engineers. The Allies’s well-laid plans went awry from the beginning. Swimming tanks were swamped, men huddled behind beach obstacles making it impossible for demolition teams to clear the beach, and German gunfire rained down on helpless men as they charged forth from landing craft piloted by coxswains eager to get away. Casualties built up quickly as men fought valiantly to gain a foothold on what became known as Bloody Omaha.