D-Day Beaches, June 6, 1944

Omaha Beach

On the morning of 6 June 1944, Allied troops landed on five beaches in Cotentin and Calvados. This operation, which had been prepared for months, made it possible to relaunch fighting in France under occupation by the German army.

Sword Beach
This beach is the only one of all the landing beaches whose French troops trooped the ground with the Kieffer commando. It is located the most easterly of the landing area. On June 6, 1944, 300,000 British soldiers landed on Sword Beach. They were able to dismantle more than half of the enemy tanks. However, the human losses are heavy.

Gold Beach
The landing on Gold Beach went particularly well. British troops landed later than other beaches due to the state of the tide. Of the 25,000 men in the English army, more than 400 died that day. However, it was without real difficulty that the troops were able to advance inland.

Utah Beach
Another must-see beach, Utah Beach is the westernmost landing area. 5 kilometres long, the purpose of taking this beach is to control the port of Cherbourg. On June 6, 1944, the engineers were able to remove many of the obstacles on the sand. Despite a German response, the vast majority of the men who later landed returned to Earth without any major problems or difficulties.

Omaha Beach
Omaha Beach is 8 kilometres long. The German forces, aware of the military risk posed by this place, set up a dense network of anti- disembarkation facilities. The obstacles on the beach were intended to make it difficult for enemies to advance, and to make them more vulnerable to artillery fire. The weather and the strength of the currents that caused many boats to capsize made the operation particularly dangerous. Due to a very bloody landing, the beach is known as “Bloody Omaha”. For every 34,250 men landed, there were 1,000 killed, as well as 2,000 wounded and missing.

Juno Beach
Extremely well fortified, Juno Beach suffered little damage during Allied aerial bombardments. The meagre damage allowed German troops to prepare a response. When the Canadian and British infantry units landed, the German response was particularly deadly. The Canadians lost half of their troops on the beach.

The Normandy landing, codenamed Neptune, was a decisive phase of the French Liberation. It was followed by the Battle of Normandy. The progress of the troops allowed the successive liberations of the villages met, as well as the support of the civilian populations. Although we can speak of success for this military campaign, it could not have been achieved without the sacrifice of thousands of Allied soldiers.

Omaha Beach American Military Cemetery