June 6th, 1944 - Omaha Beach
June 5th 1944
Navy feeds massive dinner to troops who will invade tomorrow.
June 6th 1944
In the heavy, rolling seas, many troops get sea sick, …
because of the heavy meal eaten the night before.
This dehydrates and weakens them at a most critical time.
Cloud cover is thick. Bombers who were to attack and eliminate
German 'Pill Boxes' can't see their targets. They drop 13,000 bombs
and never hit one German Pill Box.
Paratroopers were to land behind the German fortifications and outflank them.
German General Romell knows Allies will try this and floods the entire area
by building dams to create reservoirs. Landing in water instead of land, hundreds
of Americans drowned because they couldn't escape their parachute in time.
Note: The English version took 5 seconds to escape, the American design much longer.
Tanks were to provide cover for the landing troops. Contraptions were designed
to have the tanks float ashore. It didn't work. Almost all sank.
Explosive Grappling hooks were designed to fly to the top of Pointe-Du-Hoc
where Army Rangers were to capture the heavy German guns that were a threat
to all the Allied ships at sea. The ropes attached to the Grappling hooks got wet
and therefore heavy and therefore 2/3s of them never got high enough to
reach to top of the 100 foot cliff. When the small band of Rangers did fight
there way to the top they found the Germans had moved the big guns inland.
Without much of the planned air and tank support, it was the Americans on the beach
versus the Germans in the Pill Boxes using a new machine gun that was
3 time faster than the American model.
One third of the Americans on Omaha Beach were killed within the first hour of fighting.
With much of their leadership killed, the American troops were floundering.
The invasion was three hours old and on verge of collapse.
A one star general named Cota, seeing this from his launch vehicle off-shore took action.
Land on the beach, and at great personal risk rallied the troops and personally lead a charge
to provided the break through the German defenses.
Seeing the breakthrough, Navy destroyers were allowed to begin to pummel
those Germans defenses and the real invasion was under way.
It's been estimated that Americans lost 29,000 killed and 106,000 wounded or missing
from all the different Normandy Invasion battles that began June 6th,1944.
May we never forget and may future generations ensure these brave men did not die in vain.
Read about General Cota