America and the Normandy Invasion

2803 words 12 pages
The year was 1944, and the United States had now been an active participant in the war against Nazi Germany for almost three and a half years. During this time, numerous battles had occurred which were fought with determination and intensity on both sides. Amongst the many invasions of World War II, there is one day which stands out more in the minds of many American soldiers than the others. That day was June 6, 1944, more commonly known as D Day, part of the invasion of Normandy, known as "Operation Overlord." This operation was the largest amphibious assault in history. It was a day in which thousands of young Americans, who poured onto the beaches of France, matured faster than they would have ever imagined. They were not prepared for …show more content…
The fortifications where the landing was supposed to take place were still strong, unscathed from the preceding bombardment. Engineers and naval demolition teams came ashore after the first wave. They consisted of five Navy "Seabees," also known as combat demolition units, and two or three American engineers. The engineers, who were highly trained in explosives, made quick work of the outermost set of obstacles before the tide had a chance to cover them up. The engineers worked at a very fast pace clearing the way for more landing craft to arrive. Engineering teams continued to work hard as more and more forces began piling up on the now secured beach awaiting the chance to drive through the land mine filled interior defences.7 The assault on Utah Beach proved to be fairly simple as compared to what was going on at Omaha. An anonymous Infantryman from the 4th division was quoted as saying, "You know, it sounds kind of dumb but it was just like a [training] exercise. Easier. We waded ashore like kids.... and up the beach. (See Appendix C) A couple of shells came over but nowhere near us. I think I even felt somehow disappointed, a little let down."8 Altogether, 200 American soldiers died, but the Allies were victorious. Omaha Beach in itself was a formidable challenge for the Allies. If the

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