By: Vince Eller and Maddie Gleeson
U.S. Troop Landings/Beaches
- 13,100 paratroopers of the U.S. 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne Divisions landed on June 6, 1944 in Normandy
- German forces were unable to exploit the chaos the U.S. caused and many units tried to defend their main and strong points, but were defeated within a week
- forty two C-47s were completely destroyed within two days and twenty one of the losses happened on D-Day during the parachute assault, seven more happened while towing gliders, and the last fourteens during a parachute resupply mission
"Early in the morning on June 6, 1944, about 156,000 Allied soldiers stormed a handful of beaches along the coast of Normandy, France."
- Utah was the westernmost of the D-Day beaches
- thousands of U.S. paratroopers landed behind enemy lines; however, being weighed down by heavy equipment, many of the trooper drowned in the marshlands while others were shot out of the sky
- the troopers who landed were dropped outside of their drop zones, but seized the four causeways that served as the beach's only exit points
- U.S. forces landed over a mile away from their destination and Roosevelt Jr. shouted, "We'll start the war from here!"
- by the end of the day they moved four miles inland
- bloodiest of the D-Day beaches (2,400 U.S. troops dead, wounded, or missing)
- trouble started early when Army intelligence underestimated the amount of German soldiers in the area and an aerial bombardment did little damage to German position
- Army Rangers assisted by scaling a massive promontory between Omaha and Utah and by nightfall, the U.S. had carved out a toehold nearly 1.5 miles deep
- about an hour after the fighting in Utah and Omaha, British warships proved to be helpful
- HMS Ajax cruiser showed great accuracy from miles away that one shell shot through a "small slot in a German artillery battery's concrete exterior"
- armored vehicles (funnies) cleared obstacles and within an hour, the British captured a few beach exits and pushed inland
- they also captured Arromanches and "became the site of an artificial harbor used by the Allies to unload supplies"
- Allied landings struggled with rough seas and enemy mines offshore
- Canadian soldiers were cut down by Germans firing from seaside places
- the casualty rate was 50% by the end of the first hour of fighting and an Allied tank ran over some of the wounded and was stopped when a Canadian captain blew its track off with a grenade
- German resistance slowed quickly after fighting their way off the beach and the march interior began quickly
- even though Canada didn't capture Carpiquet airport, they captured several towns and linked with the British on Gold Beach
- British airborne troops and a battalion of Canadians dropped behind enemy lines, around midnight, to secure the eastern flank (just like the U.S. at Utah Beach)
- Pegasus Bridge and Horsa Bridge were taken over within a matter of minutes
- bridges over the River Dives were destroyed to prevent German reinforcements and also took out a main German artillery battery
- at 7:25 a.m., the British laded on Sword Beach and in the late afternoon counterattacked
- German forces made it to the beach, but quickly tuned back and weren't able to unite the five D-Day beaches until June 12, 1944
- total of 2,499
- total of 197
- total of 200
- total of 413
- total of 1,204
- total of 630
British Airborne Sector:
- total of 1,500
Roy Arnn took part in the Invasion of Omaha Beach, which was the bloodiest battle of the five beaches. His story comes from a letter that he wrote to his two daughters explaining some events of the war. He states that a lot of the men were seasick most of the time, this was not good considering that he was part of the Boat Crew #8. As the battle neared, a week before the invasion they were loaded on an LCT (landing craft tank) and were told to shave their beards in case they were to get gassed and had to use the gas masks, the captains wanted to interference from a beard. The ships all advanced on June 4th and were eventually, that night, returned back to the port due to bad weather, but the next night the crews were able to take off and hit the beach the day of June 6th. In the assault boat all of the men including Roy were pretty seasick until the machine gun fire was heard hitting around the boats. As they hopped off and had little cover to protect themselves they were forced to complete tasks given to them. Roy was trying to get a mine detector out of the box when he saw a tank came up out of the water and a sniper shot at him, hitting the sand in front of him, causing him to flatten out. At the same time of all the chaos happening Roy also was shot at by a German 88 artillery piece and said that if he wouldn't have flattened out the shrapnel would have killed him, but instead it hit his right shoulder and leg. As he was laying on the ground, cut up all over his body and bleeding he yelled for his Corporal to get the medic. The medic came and gave him some shots, drugs, and bandages, while at the same time Roy was getting fixed up he recalled that many of other soldiers were yelling for the medic too. Roy was the first to be hit and go down, and as he stayed in the water helpless his Lieutenant yelled at him to stay down. As men tried to get Roy off the island they were being heavily shot at by the German soldiers, some of the shots causing the soldiers to drop Roy. There were wounded and dead soldiers all around him and he writes about one by him calling for his parents. Finally able to be transported to the aid station and underwent scary symptoms due to his wound, but the medic that helped Roy out before came in and saved Roy.