The last stop on the tour was Pointe Du Hoc, a hundred foot cliff separating Omaha Beach from Utah Beach. Allied recon photos showed huge guns up on the cliff and it was the job of the 2nd Rangers Battalion to scale these cliffs and destroy these guns. This mission seemed like pure suicide since the German soldiers would fire down and pick the men off easily. Yet under LTC James E Rudder the Rangers won the day and scaled the cliffs in a matter of minutes. They had trained and practiced for months in England and the men were trained to exhaustion by their commander. But they were now as fit as the best pro athletes of today and their mental and physical extreme training let them to this great accomplishment. But when they took the point they found that the guns weren’t there, only wood telephone lines painted to look like the huge guns. commander Rudder was convinced the guns were hidden nearby and would still be used to fire down on the soldiers on the beaches, so he sent his men out in small groups looking for the guns. Three of his men found the guns hidden and ready to fire on the men landing on Utah Beach, the Germans guarding the guns were waiting for the signal to fire them and were caught unaware as the Rangers slipped phosphorus grenades into the guns damaging them badly and rendering them unable to fire. Thus saving many lives of American soldiers coming ashore on Utah Beach that bloody morning. All around Point Du Hoc are huge craters sloping 20 feet deep in the grass from the airplane bombs in the weeks before the attack. The Germans moved the huge guns because of these air bombings which clearly didn’t hit the guns but came very close. You can walk down into these grassy steep craters and several from our group did. There is also a fortified lookout cement bunker, It was from here that June 6th dawn that the first German soldier on lookout was horrified to see thousands of Allied ships on the horizon heading his way. Our guide reminded us that the famous 1962 epic star studded Hollywood movie The Longest Day actually used this lookout bunker to recreate the moment the soldier saw the armada of approaching ships.
Overlordtours offers full day tours, two day tours and personalized tours as well. I would love to go back and do their tour that includes Sainte Mere Eglise where the US Paratroopers landed in the evening of June 5th
, as seen in the award winning HBO series Band Of Brothers. So go to Overlordtours.com
and book a wonderful historic tour that fits your curiosity, you won’t be disappointed.
If you have the time stay a night or two in Bayeux. I enjoyed the towns outdoor cafes and I spent the night in a nearby Chateau from the 1800’s, and the dinner here was excellent. Booking.com
is a great way to find good priced lodging in all of France. All the surrounding Chateau’s here in Bayeux were taken over during the war by German officers. So I slept in a bedroom that the enemy slept in for 4 years, which I thought about as I laid my head on the pillow that night. It was a wonderful tour and very moving experience.
Written by Mitchell Scott