Omaha Beach Easy Red Sector stormed by the 1st Infantry Division
“Two kinds of people are staying on this beach—the dead and those who are going to die.” — Colonel George A. Taylor
On June 6th, 1944 the first few waves of American soldiers were sent on a suicide mission, as they stormed the beaches of Normandy. Dwight Eisenhower, supreme commander of the Allied forces, knew that the first several swarms were going to be sent to their deaths. An agonizing decision to be made, to say the least. I didn't really know what to expect to be honest, as I made my way to the shoreline. My only real visual knowledge of the landings were thanks to the movie Saving Private Ryan, and we all know how movies like to exaggerate moments in history. The first thought to come to mind as my eyes gazed over the shores of Omaha Beach were, "OH MY GOD, these poor men were sitting ducks!"
The easy red sector of Omaha, where all these photos were shot from, was the most heavily fought battle along the shorelines. The US 1st and 29th infantry divisions would be tasked with the unfathomable. By all accounts, the initial landings were a disaster. Ten landing craft were taken under by high seas, and sea sickness had spread amongst the soldiers like wildfire. Obstacles and mines awaited the men not only in the seas, but also on the beachfront. Scattered and frightened, they did everything they could just to survive. The German 352nd infantry division would defend the shore with one thing on their mind, destroying everyone and everything in their sight. Heavy fire from automatic weapons and artillery rained down from above. As I stood in the Baie De Saine (Bay of the Seine River) looking up at the cliffside where German bunkers housed their arsenal, I couldn't help but think about what was going on in the minds of those who had to withstand the bombardment. There are some great photos of the area I explored from German Bunker WN62 back in 1944, which you can browse by clicking the link: HERE.
Soldiers viewpoint on Omaha Beach looking up towards German fire. Today this shoreline is a very peaceful/somber place to experience. What was it like to be standing here in June of 1944? A view looking South East along Omaha Beach.
The two photographic captures below, would've been the areas waiting for soldiers had they successfully been able to get off the beaches. Hills climbing upwards towards German gunfire. They certainly don't tell the entire story, as being there in person is A LOT different than seeing images from behind a screen.
34,000 allied troops would land by nightfall, but not with-out 2,400 of them being killed, wounded or presumed missing. Omaha Beach would wind up being the bloodiest beach of them all, and if you're attuned to energies like myself, there's a very somber feeling that engulfs you as you soak it all. As you enter the beach, the 1st Division Monument photographed below awaits you. On it are the names of 627 of the First Infantry Division soldiers killed while fighting in the area between June 6th and July 24th 1944.
1st Infantry Divison Monument on Omaha Beach
If you'd like to purchase any of these photos as a print, please email me personally as none of them are currently for sale to the public: Contact Me
If you're just joining me, the first part of this 5 part series covering my travels to Normandy, France in February of 2018 can be found by clicking the link: HERE
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