On Demand Tour: Omaha Beach – Normandy 6th June – 1944
Battlefield Guide – Ben Mayne
Tour Manager – Dan Hill
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.
Picked up much of Bens emotion whilst he drove the narrative on such an epic and difficult day which remains forever etched in US psyche. Can’t believe the very poor support the 350 assault aircraft provided.
Excellent overview of the Omaha Beach part of the D Day operation. Ben movingly and accurately tells the story of the hardships, losses and the amazing bravery of the US soldiers who under horrific German fire and daunting conditions prevailed in the end to capture the beach and surrounding area. Ben’s eye for detail pinpoints that actual men and small units which fought their way onto the bluffs and slowly, methodically cleared the German defenders and finally won the day. The presentation ends with moving tribute to those who were lost by showing the American Cemetery at Colleville sur Mer. Not only are unit actions explained by Ben’s narrative , but individual actions of BG Norman Cota, Col Schneider of the Rangers and Captain Dawson and Lt Spalding are highlighted symbolizing the bravery of the average infantryman who finally prevailed at Omaha Beach. Well done Ben Mayne and Battle Guide.