D-Day "Operation Overload"

Essay by Jello-EaterHigh School, 10th gradeB-, March 2002

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"Unless we can land overwhelming forces and beat the Nazis in battle in France, Hitler will never be defeated." Winston Churchill

Omaha Beach is a 3-mile long stretch of beach overlooked by high cliffs. Along the actual beach a 10-foot high concrete sea wall, with German 88-mm guns perched at the top. The only exits off the beach were through steep ravines.

The US 1st and 29th infantry divisions assaulted the beach. These men were not guaranteed armored support. The extremely rough seas of the 10 mile approach made it difficult for the tanks to get ashore and as a result only 1 of the original 2 DD tank divisions were launched, and among the 29 tanks launched only 2 made it ashore. Other problems were brought on by the low clouds and heavy smoke, making it incredibly tough for the sea and air attack to hit there targets, and really just making the Germans aware that the invasion were underway.

The LC's were met with a barrage of mortars; shells and machine gunner fire, and on one sector only two of the first six LC's made it. Then a large offshore sand bank kept many LC's from making ashore, and forced men to wade through shoulder high water to reach the beach, during which many drowned or were shot. Omaha had become a killing field. The conditions were so horrible that at 0915 it was actually debated whether or not to give up on Omaha and send the remaining me elsewhere. Survival instincts kicked in and the courage of small groups of men saved the day.

By the early afternoon more tanks were landed directly onto the beach, but the exits were still only open to those on foot, who had managed through a minefield single file. A group...