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Omaha Beach Sector (Morning Tour)

Overview
Schedule
Map

Half-Day (3 hours)
Minibus (8 people max.)
Starts in - Bayeux (your hotel or train station)
Conducted in English French
Duration Of The Tour - 3 hours
$ 75.00 USD / adult
Infants free

Pointe du Hoc Omaha Beach and American Cemetery

  • American Cemetary next to Omaha Beach

Visit in just a few hours the most remarkable and moving sites around Omaha Beach. You will have the opportunity during this tour of walking on this famous beach. It was in this sector that the Allies suffered the heaviest casualties of D-Day earning the beach the nickname of “Bloody Omaha”.

You will see the impressive site of the German gun battery at Pointe du Hoc where the Rangers famously scaled the 100-foot cliffs to destroy the battery that should have been in place. You will also experience the American Cemetery where the young soldiers who died for their country and for the freedom of Western Europe are buried at Colleville-sur-Mer overlooking the eastern end of Omaha Beach itself.

POINTE DU HOC : Re-live on this exceptional site the exploits of the 2nd Battalion of the US Rangers. After having scaled the 100-foot cliffs under heavy enemy fire the Rangers pushed on through this lunar landscape to capture and destroy the 6 heavy guns capable of firing their shells to a maximum range of nearly 15 miles. Colonel Rudder and his men only realised upon capturing the battery that the Germans under the orders of Rommel had moved the guns half a mile inland and hidden them while bunkers were being constructed to protect them.

The taking of Pointe du Hoc was a long and laborious fight with the Rangers being left to fend for themselves two days longer than had been planned. The 2nd Battalion suffered very heavy casualties during the two and a half days they were at Pointe du Hoc only 90 of the original 225 still fighting when they were finally relieved.

OMAHA BEACH : Approximately 34 000 soldiers of the famous 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions landed on this beach on D-Day. The beach was covered in anti-tank and anti-landing craft obstacles. Nearly all of the pre-invasion bombardment had missed the fortifications along the beach and the geography of the beach itself consisting of 80 to 100-foot bluffs rising up from the shore was very easily defendable terrain for the Germans. One of the only good quality front line Infantry Divisions available to the Germans was also present on the beach purely by coincidence.

 This made the assault the most difficult of all the beaches on D-Day earning the nickname “Bloody Omaha”. Only a few days after the landings the Americans had transformed nearly the entire beach into a vast artificial harbour code named “Mulberry A”. It was used for less than a week before it was destroyed in a very heavy storm between the 19th and 22nd of June 1944. There is only one piece of this harbour left to be seen today.

AMERICAN CEMETERY : Overlooking the eastern end of Omaha Beach the American cemetery holds the bodies of 9 387 soldiers who came from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean to liberate Western Europe from the Germans. This immense place of memory and reflexion will impress you with its calm and serenity. You can see the graves of some of the 307 unknown soldiers or visit the resting places of the more famous such as the Niland brothers the family who inspired the film “Saving Private Ryan” as well as the three Medals of Honor winners one of whom is General Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

 

- OMAHA BEACH
The most famous and most difficult of the five D-day beaches. It took the highest casualties due in particular to its topography : it was the only beach with high ground just beyond. The impossible task here was to get off the beach as quickly as possible in order to reach the top of the bluff when the only four exit roads were still blocked off by the German defenders. The air-bombing and naval bombardment that were supposed to disorganize them almost completely missed.Standing there and seeing this beach (4 miles long) all at once when realizing about the big tides and discovering the German fortifications and gun emplacements will leave you amazed at the extraordinary courage and sacrifice needed. You will understand why the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions suffered more than 3 800 casualties (dead wounded or missing) to make this battle a victory. 
They had to jump out of their Landing Craft and wade their way out of the cold water past the terrible beach obstacles as graphically depicted in “Saving Private Ryan”. Here is also what they add to the visit to compensate the visit :

They also added more visits to compensate this missing visit of the cemetery:

-POINTE DU HOC
One of the largest German coastal batteries with six guns. Being of 6-inch caliber and of a range of about 10 miles these cannons would be a threat to both Omaha and Utah beaches (i.e the whole American sector). Because neither the air- nor the naval bombardment would be enough to be sure all guns were destroyed before the invasion started the task was given to Lt. Col. Rudder and the 225 U.S Rangers of the 2nd battalion to finish the job on D-day.
Mission seemed impossible : after landing on the small rocky beach they had to scale the cliff a sheer wall of about 100 feet (with their rope ladders and grappling hooks) and find and destroy the guns. Mission was accomplished though by 1st Sgt. Lomell and S/Sgt Kuhn in about two hours but the surviving Rangers still had to hold their ground in face of the German counter-attacks until relieved on June 8… Total casualties resulted very high.
Thanks to the first help of a group of locals to make this incredible site a place of memory it has been well preserved since with its monuments and a number of bunkers and also bomb craters all over this 30-acre battlefield. One can still enter some of these bunkers (both above ground and underground) especially the Observation and Command Post newly-reopened after 10 years.

-LONGUES GUN BATTERY

Located on top of a 200-feet-high cliff this site offers a magnificent view over the English Channel toward both Gold and Omaha beaches. This battery (built in 1943-44) consisted in four 6-inch guns sheltered in bunkers covering a range of 12 miles both east and west. 
So it was declared a strategic target for the massive pre-D-day air bombardment which resulted mostly incapable of destroying the fortifications. Even though the bomb craters have now been filled in this coastal battery is the only one in France that has kept its big guns since 1944. The German battery was successfully attacked on the second day and captured by the British Devonshire Regiment.

-ARROMANCHES

Charming beach community and quiet fishing village before the war things rapidly changed when the Germans started building many bunkers and defenses due to its strategic location at the end of the cliff. A couple of miles away from Gold beach it was spared of destruction and rapidly taken in order to start the construction of the Mulberry harbor.
First time in history this most incredible feat of engineering was first inspired by Churchill with the vital task of replacing the enemy-held ports of Cherbourg and Le Havre in order to resupply our troops. Everything was constructed ahead of time in England all different parts were towed across the Channel (Phoenix caissons floating docks and pontoon bridges) … and put together in about 10 days

Payment and Cancellation policy
  1. Full payment is required at the time of booking.
  2. 80% of the total price will be refunded in case of a cancellation occurring more than 15 days prior to Tour Date. In case of a cancellation occuring closer to the Tour Date, it is to the Tour Operator's discretion to issue a refund, which may be partial or complete. Tours that cannot be confirmed within 2 business days will be refunded in full.
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