Pointe Du Hoc

2LT_Leonard_LomellOn 6 June 1944 the V Corps of U.S. First Army assaulted German coastal defenses  on a 6,000-yard stretch (“Omaha” Beach) between Vierville and Colleville.     Their aim was to establish, on D Day, a beachhead three to four miles deep extending from the Drôme River to the vicinity of Isigny. The attack was made by two divisions, the 1st and 29th, with strong attachments of armor and artillery. On their right flank, a separate mission of unusual difficulty was assigned to a special assault force. Pointe Du Hoc (more)

At Pointe du Hoe, four miles west of Omaha Beach, the Germans had constructed a fortified position for a coastal battery of six 155-mm howitzers of French  make; four guns were in open emplacements and two were casemated, with further construction work on casemates reported under way in April and May. This battery was one of the most dangerous elements in the German coastal defenses of the assault area. With a 25,000-yard range, the 155’s could put fire on the approaches  to Omaha Beach and on the transport area of V Corps; in addition they could reach the transport area from which VII Corps, to the west, would unload for  assault at the base of the Cotentin Peninsula (“Utah” Beach).

The position at Pointe du Hoe was strongly protected from attack by sea. Between Grandcamp and the Omaha sector, the flat Norman tableland terminates abruptly in rocky cliffs. At Pointe du Hoe, these are 85 to 100 feet high,  sheer to overhanging