D-Day hour by hour: OMAHA Beach on D-Day

First Allied troops to land: 16th Regimental Combat Team (US 1st Division) and 116th Regimental Combat Team (29th Division), 2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions.

The beach had strong German defences. The German troops stationed there were in greater numbers, and of higher quality, than the Allies had believed.

Objective: The only breaks in the 100-foot high cliffs running between UTAH and GOLD Beaches were at OMAHA Beach. The landings at OMAHA were therefore vital to connect the US troops at UTAH Beach with the British and Canadian beaches to the east.

Landing craft are loaded 11 miles from beach, leading to problems with rough seas. Ten landing craft sink.
05.35 – 27 DD (swimming) tanks sink on launching in rough seas.

05.55 – The Allied naval barrage and bombing raids on the German defences are ineffective.

06.35 – The first units try to land, but are cut down in the surf by defenders' fire. There is terrible carnage.

07.00 – Chaotic situation on the beach, as troops are pinned down and take cover behind mined beach defences. Engineers are unable to clear obstacles.

07.08 – 2nd Ranger Battalion Lands and assaults Pointe du Hoc, the site of a battery of German long-range guns (to the west of the main landings on Omaha Beach).

07.30 – The second wave of troops adds to the confusion and over-crowding on Omaha Beach.

07.40 – 5th Ranger Battalion lands on beach.

08.00 – The attack up the cliffs begins, assisted by tanks and destroyers firing from close inshore.

08.30 – Rangers and 116th Infantry reach top of the cliffs at Les Moulins.

09.15 – After scaling 80-100 foot cliffs at Pointe du Hoc, the US Rangers find the battery empty, but discover the guns further inland and destroy them.

10.00 - 11.00 – The advance on Vierville and St Laurent gradually begins. The beach is very congested.

11.00 – Vierville is captured.

12.00 – German defences are penetrated in four places. US troops begin to move inland, although the beach is still under heavy fire.

14.00 – The first beach exit is cleared.

16.00 – Tanks and vehicles begin to move off the beach.

20.00 – St Laurent and Colleville are captured.

24.00 – A tiny, precarious beachhead has been established. There are pockets of US forces over an area approximately five miles wide by 1.5 miles deep.
OMAHA Beach was the worst of all the Allied beaches on D-Day. By midnight, 34,250 troops had been landed, with around 2,000 casualties. Three men won the Congressional Medal of Honor.