Chapter 4: Pointe Du Hoc
Under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel James Earl Rudder, Force A, comprising D, E, and F Companies of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, were tasked with scaling the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc and disabling a battery of 155mm guns. Strategically placed, these guns had the ability to decimate American forces on both Omaha and Utah Beaches, while wreaking havoc with Allied ships at sea. Despite delays in landing and the discovery that the guns believed to be on the Pointe had been relocated, the elite Ranger force located the battery inland, and successfully neutralized the lethal threat. The Ranger force that landed at Pointe du Hoc suffered devastating losses in the early days in Normandy until the arrival of the 5th Ranger Battalion. Intense fighting in the months that followed meant a small number of Rangers who scaled the cliffs were able to return home. Few items remain from the battle at the Pointe and beyond, making it difficult to illustrate the vivid stories of those who survived.