Friday, February 1, 2013

Utah Beach

On the way to Utah Beach, we drove by Dead Man's Corner.  It was named this after Americans were killed by an explosion that disabled their tank.  It was several days before our troops could come in and remove the dead bodies, so it was referred to as "Dead Man's Corner".  Below is a short synopsis and overview of why this was a strategic location.

"Shortly after midnight on June 6th 1944, paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division were dropped into Normandy. These would be the first allied troops to land in France at the start of the D-Day invasion; they were tasked with capturing Carentan.

Standing between the 101st and the town was a heavily defended German position near the village of Saint Come Du Mont. This small village was occupied by elite German paratroopers (Fallschirmjagers) who were ordered to hold off the Americans at all costs...

This town was of great strategic importance to the Americans as this would link Utah Beach and Omaha Beach. Due to the determined resistance of the Fallschirmjagers, the attack was stalling. As Utah was now in the hands of the allies, the attack was held up to wait tank support.

There was only one road available for the recently landed tanks. This road from Utah Beach passed through Sainte Marie du Mont to the intersection at the Carentan/Saint Come Du Mont road. The house that was located at this intersection was vital to the Germans and was utilised as a headquarters. Later in the battle, it was utilised as a first aid station for injured German paratroopers."
(from the web)

This is the house in Sainte Marie du Mont that the Germans used as a headquarters.

We wanted to make it to all of the beaches, but with everything else we were trying to squeeze in, we just made it to the to American beaches - Utah and Omaha.  We made a really quick stop at Utah before heading off to our next destination of the day.  It was cold and drizzly and Shen was asleep when we arrived, so we went in a couple of shifts.

There are lots of different memorials at Utah Beach.

Utah Beach.

Heading down to the beach.

Just down the road from the Utah Beach museum is this little souvenir shop named "Le Roosevelt" in honor of General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. who was assistant commander of the 4th Division on Utah Beach.

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