The triumphs of the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion on the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc on D-Day stand as a testament to the superb combat leadership skills of Lt. Colonel James E. Rudder (1910 – 1970), who is the subject of the attached article. As a participant in the planning the Allied invasion of Normandy, General Omar Bradley recognized that the German heavy guns situated above and between the Omaha and Utah beaches had to be silenced if the landings were to be successful; Bradley selected Rudder and his group to do the job, later remarking that this order was "the most difficult he had ever, in his entire career, given anybody".
Written ten years after that historic day, this article is about Rudder's return to Omaha Beach with his young son, and his recollections of the battle that was fought.
A good read; an even more in-depth study regarding the assault on Pointe du Hoc can be found at Amazon: Rudder's Rangers.
More about Rangers can be read here...
"From the deck of the destroyer U.S.S. Doyle, this YANK correspondent watched for nearly three nights as the grim drama of D-Day unfolded on the American beachhead."
"From the Doyle's decks I could see the shells strike with the naked eye. First there would be a flash and then a puff of smoke which billowed into the sky. Several tanks and landing crafts were burning at the water's edge. Through the glasses I watched troops jump from their boats and start running up the beach."
Statistical data concerning the U.S. Army casualties in June and July of 1944 can be read in this article.
"D-Day for my outfit was a long, dull 24-hour wait. We spent the whole day marooned in the middle of the English Channel, sunbathing, sleeping and watching the action miles away on the shore through binoculars. We could hear the quick roars and see the greenish-white flashes of light as Allied Battleships and cruisers shelled the pillboxes and other German installations on the beach."
"On D-plus-one we took off for shore. Four Messerschmidtts dove down to strafe the landing crafts as we headed in, but a Navy gunner drove them off with a beautiful burst of ack-ack..."
Written by Andy Rooney, this three column article concerned the seldom remembered efforts of a French airborne battalion that jumped into Brittany on D-Day in order to disrupt German communications.
Click here to read more about W.W. II parachute infantry...
Click here to read about the first American Paratrooper.
••Color Film Footage: D-Day through the Liberation of Paris••
This one page article from YANK MAGAZINE by Irwin Swerdlow will give you a sense of the Herculean task that was involved in the transporting of so many men and supplies across the English Channel to breach Rommel's Atlantic Wall:
"The biggest job of coordination that the world has ever known was under way. Thousands of things had to happen at a certain time, things which, if they did not happen, would delay the entire movement. "
Click here to read about unloading supplies on Iwo Jima.
The battle of the hedgerows as experienced by the paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division:
"They all had been fighting since D-Day. Compared with the obstacles at the beginning of their drive, the hill they had just taken was only a minor deal, but it was no push-over. "At some places," one paratrooper told me, "the fighting was so close the Krauts didn't even bother to throw their grenades, they just handed them over to us."