Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Hitting the Beach

...The opening scene of the movie Saving Private Ryan is the best cinematographic representation of those first monstrous minutes of the American landings on Omaha beach, but even that cannot begin to show the extent of the chaos and carnage on the beaches. This would have been even worse had Rommel been right about the Allies arriving at high tide, as every gun had been fixed for that eventuality. As it was they came in at low tide in order for the obstacles to be more visible. This had its own disadvantages, however, for as Signal Sergeant James Bellows of the 1st Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment recalled of the men he had landed with on Sword: 'A lot of them had been overridden by their landing craft as they came off. The landing craft became lighter as men came off and as it surged up the beach, and many who were in front went straight underneath,'

- From The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War by Andrew Roberts

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