Pointe du Hoc

Imagine.  It’s 6:30am, June 6, 1944, and you’re one of 225 well-trained Rangers arriving via Higgins landing craft to the base of a 100 foot high cliff with about 25 yards of beach in front of you before you start climbing ropes to the top of the cliff.  Oh and there are more than a few dozen Germans at the top shooting at you with rifles, machine guns, lobbing potato mashers and cutting your ropes and pushing your small frame ladders back towards the sea.  That’s what happened here that morning, at almost the same time GIs were landing at Omaha just a few miles east along the coast.  Intelligence had placed a bunch of large artillery guns here in fixed positions bombing Omaha.  However, the Rangers only found tree trunks posing as gun barrels.  The mission was for naught until they located large field artillery guns a mile back.  We had to go with the action painting here along with an aerial photo of the previous bombing raids that left Pointe du Hoc a moonscape field of craters – some ship-to-land as evidenced by a shallow, oblong crater, and deep 10-15 foot round craters from aerial bombardment.

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