This view from the H677 casemate at Wn 72 shows to advantage how the 88m Pak 43 installed within
dominated the beach to the east.
On 6 June 1944 after waves of bombers dropping seventeen warships opened fire simultaneously on the
beach defences. The first assault troops landed around 6:30 a. m. The landing ships ran around fifty
meters from the beaches. The Rangers and the soldiers of the 1st and 29th American Infantry Divisions were
heavily equiped, they walked in the water to reach the dry sand. Then they discovered that all the Germans
defenders were not dead. The machine-guns and guns crushed the first companies entangled in the obstacles.
At 8:30 a. m. the beaches were overloaded with vehicles, the order was given to stop any troops landing.
Aound 10:30 a. m. the men of the 116th Infantry Regiment and the 5th Rangers rushed into the attack and
broke through. In the evening Vierville-sur-Mer was taken, a German counter-attack was pushed back and the
only exit of the area was built with the bulldozers.
1944 Photo: US ARCHIVES / US SIGNAL CORPS - NOW Photo: VINCENT VAN RIJN
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