Sun 4th April 16:30 UK (11:30 EST), Sun 4th April 19:30 UK (14:30 EST)
Battlefield Guide – Ben Mayne
Tour Manager – Linus Klaasen
Scheduled For – Sunday 4th April
Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.
The date is June 6th 1944, Operation Overlord, the Allied landings on the coastline of Normandy are underway, the greatest amphibious operation the world had ever seen. The landings on Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah beaches would proceed following airborne actions earlier in the night.
At Omaha, General Gerow would have been confident his men of V Corps would quickly establish a foothold on the Normandy coastline. Intelligence estimated there to be some 600 German defenders in the area of Omaha Beach where the American 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions with support of the 2nd and 5th Rangers Battalions would come ashore. The detailed planning of Operation Neptune and Overlord, if going to plan, should have seen the Americans make good progress inland, linking up with the British on their left and the American Airborne units on their right. Months of aerial bombing to local defences, alongside a final bombing raid and Naval bombardment on D-Day should knock out and suppress any German resistance that remained. What unfolded on the golden stretch of sand is now engrained in history. This beach will be forever known as ‘Bloody’ Omaha.