Pointe du Hoc - Pointe du Hoc, Normandy, France
Posted by: neoc1
N 49° 23.833 W 000° 59.352
30U E 645897 N 5473558
Quick Description: Point du Hoc was a highly fortified German position along the Normandy Coast of the English Channel. It was taken in a daring operation by the U.S. 2nd Ranger Battalion during World War II on D-Day, June 6, 1944
Location: Basse-Normandie, France
Date Posted: 3/19/2017 4:19:12 PM
Waymark Code: WMV9P4
The strategic position of Pointe du Hoc sit on top of 100 foot cliffs that overlook the allied D-Day landing beaches of Utah and Omaha on the coast of Normandy. The Germans has fortified this site with six casemates to house a battery of captured French Canon de 155mm GPF guns. These guns would be a serious threat to allied landing forces on both Utah and Omaha, they had to be captured before the landings could take place.
Early on June 6, 1944, before the main landings, the U.S. 2nd Ranger Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel James Earl Rudder, with three companies of Rangers were to be transported by sea to the foot of the cliffs, scale them using ropes, ladders, and grapples, and take the position at the top of the cliff.
Weather and navigational problems stalled the assault and lost the element of surprise. The rangers reached the base of the cliffs at 7:10 and scaled the cliffs with fire support from the destroyers USS Satterlee and HMS Talybont. Upon reaching the fortifications, the Rangers learned for the first time that the artillery battery had been moved from their positions (to about 1 mile away), presumably as a result of air attacks during the buildup to the invasion. The Rangers regrouped and a patrol went off in search of the guns. This patrol found five of the six guns nearby and destroyed their mechanism with thermite grenades. it was determined that the relocated battery was sighted only on Utah beach.
Determined to hold their cliff top position, the Rangers fended off several counterattacks from a far superior German force from the 916th Grenadier Regiment. Rudder's men were relieved after units of the American 29th Infantry Division's 116th Infantry Regiment broke through to the Rangers from Omaha Beach on June 7.
A monument resembling a grappling hook commemorates the Rangers of the 2nd Battalion.
Please provide another photo of the location. You don't have to be in there shot, but you can. The photo requirement is to discourage any armchair visiting.
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