Omaha Beach

Normandy 1944

Leo Marriott, Simon Forty

Date Published :
October 2016
Publisher :
Series :
Past & Present
Illustration :
Fully Illustrated
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781612004259
Pages : 64
In stock


The Past & Present Series reconstructs historical battles by using photography, juxtaposing modern views with those of the past. It shows how much infastructure has remained and points to the passing nature of things such as outfits, uniforms, and ephemera.

Of the five beaches attacked on 6 June, Omaha saw the sternest fighting. Well-placed defenders on the high ground and extensive beach defenses did their job. On top of this, so much had gone wrong with the first wave: many of the amphibious DD Sherman tanks didn't reach the beach. They were released from their landing craft too far away where the greater swell swamped them and the troops landing on Omaha missed their firepower. Another problem was that many units landed in the wrong place. Strong tides and winds carried the landing craft off line and led to confusion. Finally, the German emplacements and defenses were well-placed on high ground and the only cover on the beach—the seawall—was over a killing ground. There were 32 fortified areas located between the Vire River and Port-en-Bessin: in all, 12 of these strongpoints were able to direct fire on Omaha Beach. The attacking forces—units of the US 29th and 1st Inf Divs—suffered over 2,000 casualties, many of them drowned during the approach, but led by US Rangers, themselves misplaced (they were the follow-up troops to Rudder's Rangers who had scaled the Pointe du Hoc) the American troops pushed forward and by nightfall, they had gained hold of the beach and its immediate hinterland. Despite the casualties, 34,000 troops had been landed by the end of the day.

About The Author

Leo Marriott is one of Britain's most respected authors on naval history. He has written over 30 books on ship design and naval warfare. He is a keen yachtsman and lives in Somerset.


"...As well as the detail of the landings, and the action at the various 'draws' off the beach, the book goes on to cover the initial moves inland, along with the first airfield that was set up by the engineers on the bluff above the beach. It also covers the first cemetery before the burials were moved into the large American Cemetery which is set above the beach today. This is just a short distance along from the site of that first airfield. This is another nicely done book. If you have never been, I think this will encourage"

- Military Modeling, December 2016

"...lavishly illustrated…good value for money and are recommended.”

- Casemate, Journal of the Fortress Study Group, February 2017

"These books are great for all ages but the younger me would have loved them and each volume is an ideal present for the history mad youth in your family.”

- War History Online

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