THE SLAUGHTER ON OMAHA BEACH

World War 2, which began in 1939, was the greatest conflict ever fought in Europe and indeed globally. It involved a massive struggle between two groups the Axis and the Allies. And as Ivory Mantle notes.” For those born since the greatest war man has yet known, images and recollections of the second world war seem quaintly old fashioned; as much a thread of the tapestry of time as the Black Death or the Spanish Armada”
When the war broke out in 1939 then expected it to be like the unskilled fighting of 1914-1918. They where wrong, World War 2 showed new weapons and tactics. A great example was the tank. On the 6th June there was an invasion at the French coast. The five beaches where called : Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. Utah and Omaha where attacked by the Americans, Gold and Sword by the British and Juno by the Australians
“The invasion was originally scheduled for June 5. But a storm on June 4th forced Gen Dwight D Eisenhower to postpone it one day” The D-Day landings could have been called of for another two-weeks if the storm had not stopped
There were a lot of coded messages that the Americans used. One such code was H-Hour this was the time that the Americans where to hit the beach. Another coded message was Overlord that was a code for the D-Day landings.” D-Day is a military term designating the start date for launching an operation, But in modern history it is assumed to refer to the events of June 6th, 1944″ Omaha was held by Allies at 24:00 hours on the night of the D-Day landings. “Allied casualties in the first 15 days of battle totaled 40,549, according to figures issued by supreme headquarters.”
It would be fair to say that a lot of people died trying to take some of the power the Germans had on the west side of Europe, especially France. It has been called one of the largest landings attempted in history. It can also be said that the British and the Americans provided much of the tanks for the D-Day landings.
“Omaha was the second and last assault area of the American sector, which stretched in total for 37 miles (59 km). Its assault beaches were 12 miles(20km) east of those on Utah” It was commanded by Major General Leonard T-Gerow. They were instructed to land at 06:30. The troops had to run 11 miles from the boats to the beach. This was the same as the procedure at Utah.
The weather conditions were very bad that day and people nearly got killed as boats blew of course. Also some boats began to sink.” Soldiers who on D-Day had never fired a shot in anger or seen a dead body were within a matter of weeks brutalized by the harshness of conflict. As one US Ranger explained:”It was not joy that I had killed him but that he hadn’t killed me” It could be said that many of the soldiers were not ready for the torture know as war. They felt they were ready. But mentally they were not ready. Many of them were very young. They were just put in because of their speed and the wanting to win.
“As dawn broke, the invasion force came out of the mist over the sea, to the frank disbelief of virtually everybody the German troops along the Atlantic wall tried to tell. The German commanders were so convinced both that any landing would come in the Pas de Calais and that the weather was too bad for the English to cross the channel”
This shows how much the English, Americans and Australians were up for it, Gen Dwight .D Eisenhower got his troops going by saying “We will accept nothing less than full victory” This also showed the feeling among the troops. Here is one of the worst facts “Worst of all by chance (and undetected by Allied intelligence) a veteran German infantry division, the 352nd, had moved from the south of France into Omaha sector only three months earlier for defensive exercises” This also proves how badly the Americans had prepared for it. They did not do much research and this lead to many deaths.”2000 alone died on the narrow strip of sand called Omaha”
It has been called the biggest landing attempted in history. But it was not so great for the Americans. Nearly all of the Americans got killed. The landings on Omaha were a mess and where very badly tough out. Where as the English had a fairly easy time. The Americans where picked of one by one as they landed. That’s why I have called this essay a slaughter.
By the end of the day, 2500 Allied soldiers were killed. D-Day planners had forecast 10,000 dead.
The 82nd Airborne Division accomplished its objectives during 33 days of action without relief at Normandy despite suffering high casualties” It was one of the hardest fought landings of D-Day. A lot of people were killed. It will forever be remembered for the good and bad reasons, my friends, families and historians. It will also remind people to also plan ahead.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Horne A. Montgomery 1944-1945, Macmillan, London 1994 Barrie J. Montgomery of Alamein, The Arcadia press 1994 Mantle I. History of WW2, The Arcadia press 1947 Mantle I. Battle for victory, Blitz Editions, Printed in Czech Republic 1995 Tony, H (ED). D_DAY in photos, Salamander Book Chronicle of the 20th century
INTERNET SOURCE http://www.nando .net /sproject dday/ dday 2.g1t
CRITICAL REVIEW: One of the sources used for “The slaughter on Omaha beach” was D-Day in photos. Tony H wrote this in 1994. The book was centered on reflecting on the D-Day landings. It came out on the 50th anniversary. I found this book a good source for two reasons. It was printed on the 50th anniversary so it had many new facts figures etc. It had different chapters that focused on the beaches that were attacked. Here is one reason why I found the book a bad source.
(1) The book had a lot of photographs but it did not always explain what beach they had come from.