Doomsday June 6, 1944, was going to be known as the beginning of liberating France. But Hitler knew of the Allied plans and heavily fortified Omaha beach. And in doing so the Allied forces met an unexpected heavy resistance from the Nazis on Omaha beach. The Allied results were victory but came with a great cost the overwhelming amount of lives taken in the process.
Because of Hitler’s awareness of the Allied plans, he took action and fortified Omaha beach. As the Allied forces were unaware of Hitler’s actions they had been greeted with an incredibly strong Nazi resistance. As according to Brittanica.com, “Hitler had long been aware that the Anglo-American allies would eventually mount a cross-Channel invasion.” and, “Hitler downplayed the threat. By November 1943, however, he accepted that it could be ignored no longer, and in his Directive Number 51 he announced that France would be reinforced.” So Hitler’s knowledge of the Allied plans gave the Nazis a huge advantage.
Omaha beach was guarded by rows of hedgehogs, pikes with mines affixed, Belgian gates (7-foot steel frames), Barbed wire, logs with mines, seawalls, and sand dunes. Also when one even gets over the seawall there would be a long shelf or plain sand from which the Nazis can shoot you down. To top it all off they had 100-170 feet high cliffs with bunkers shooting down at the allied forces. According to History.com, “ Adolf Hitler charged Field Marshal Erwin Rommel with fortifying Nazi defenses in France. In 1943, Rommel completed construction of the Atlantic Wall, Germany’s 2,400-mile line of bunkers, landmines, and beach and water obstacles. It’s estimated that the Nazis planted 4 million landmines along Normandy’s beaches.” From all angles, the Allied forces could barely even get in to liberate Omaha beach.
June 6, 1944, was a tragic day many had fallen and died, The Allied men that died on 0peration Overlord are buried at Cimetière américain de Colleville-Sur-Mer. It covers 172 acres of land and contains the remains of approximately 9,387 American military. According to ABMC.gov, “The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France is located in Colleville-Sur-Mer, on the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944, as the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. The cemetery site, at the north end of its half-mile access road, covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of more than 9,380 of our military dead.” Our troops who fought for the world have been honored by being buried in this cemetery.
As the events of D-Day on June 6, 1944, passed and the colossal damage was dealt, Hitler’s awareness about the Allies’ plans caused the casualties and lives lost; however, with honor, they sacrificed their lives and were buried at Colleville-Sur-Mer. We all need to take time to commemorate the fallen soldiers who fought and died for freedom and justice.