The war in France – Pointe du Hoc
Pointe du Hoc was the home of a battery of guns atop 100ft cliffs set up by the German forces to protect the Normand coast. It was situated between Utah and Omaha beaches threatening Allied landings on both beaches, risking heavy casualties in the landing forces. A US Army battalion was given the mission of climbing the cliffs, and rendering the guns inert.
They literally shot up rope ladders, and climbed the cliffs while the Germans were cutting their ladders and shooting down upon them
Aside from the view of the cliffs – which boggles the mind when you imagine the opposition the Rangers were facing. The other amazing aspect of Pointe du Hoc is the visible remnants of the aerial bombing that took place in the days before the ground attack. The entire area was covered in huge craters left by the bombs.
The size of the battle ground, the height of the cliffs, and the clear power of the bombs was pretty amazing. Above you can also see the concrete platform that a gun would have sat upon – giving additional perspective on size.
Unfortunately the Ranger memorial itself had been dismantled because the edge of the cliff where it sat is deteriorating, and the American Battle Monuments Commission is doing serious geological renovation to shore up the cliffs.
Pointe du Hoc was another truly amazing place to walk in the footsteps of history.