The noted war correspondent Ernie Pyle set foot on the Normandy beaches the day after D-Day.
The column he filed at the time, however, is a clear account of what the troops had to get through to make the landing a success. An excerpt:
Our only exits from the beach were several swales or valleys, each about one hundred yards wide. The Germans made the most of these funnel-like traps, sowing them with buried mines. They contained, also, barbed-wire entanglements with mines attached, hidden ditches, and machine guns firing from the slopes.