Monday, 7 February 2011

Pointe du Hoc

D-Day: One of the most important operations of World War II. Everyone knows about the Canadians defying all expectations on Juno, the Americans blundering on Omaha and scraping ashore on Utah, plus the British taking Sword and Gold. However, there was a 6th landing point most people don't know about; Pointe du Hoc.

Pointe du Hoc was located on a cliff top between Omaha and Utah beaches and was home to a number of powerful guns capable of seriously threatening the landing on these beaches. The Americans sent a group of marines to scale the cliff and disable the guns. The timing had to be precise to the very minute: too soon and the marines would be stranded with no chance of survival, too late and the other landings would be doomed.

Suffering some similar logistical problems as the landings on Omaha, the marines landed over half an hour late. The guns had already been taking their toll on the other American landings, and the marines now had lost the element of surprise which they were counting on. To make up for this, two British ships rushed in to provide the men with fire support while they were scaling the cliff.

Once the marines had successfully scaled the cliff, they came under heavy fire from the German guns, yet managed to take the position. However, their success came at a cost, due to their various logistical errors, the Americans took 135 casualties, compared with the Germans, who retreated from the position without losing a single man.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Did you make a post about an American success?

    All jokes aside I didn't expect that from you.