Pointe du Hoc

The heavily fortified high point between Omaha and Utah beaches, which was stormed by a Ranger assault team.

TravelCurious Tip

Pointe du Hoc makes for a create combined visit with Omaha Beach.

On a windy clifftop high above the English Channel is the formidable promontory of Pointe du Hoc. This was one of the most strategically significant locations of the 1944 invasion of Normandy, separating the two landing beaches assigned to the American forces on D-Day: Utah to the east, and Omaha to the west. Fittingly, Pointe du Hoc gained fame as the site of one of the day’s most famous examples of courage under fire.


As the Allied forces prepared to launch their campaign in Europe, there was serious concern from the Americans about the gun emplacements located on Pointe du Hoc. Heavily fortified and bristling with 155mm artillery pieces, the German position had the potential to wreak havoc on troops landing on Utah and Omaha beaches. The job of eliminating this threat was given to Lieutenant-Colonel James Rudder and his elite 2nd Ranger Battalion. Allied warships laid down a barrage of covering fire for their approach, and they landed in rough seas shortly after 7am. Under a hail of enemy grenades and machine-gun fire, and cut off from support behind them by the terrible conditions, the Rangers scaled the 30m cliffs unaided. They met with fierce resistance in the series of bunkers and trenches at the top, but were ultimately successful in capturing the position.

Commemorating their heroism is a simple granite pillar erected on top of one of the German casemates, flanked by descriptions in French and English. There is a marked footpath which allows you to explore this famous clifftop, as well as a nearby visitor centre.

Nearby Attractions

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Omaha Beach
The other American landing site, there were heavy casualties with 2500 killed in action in the first wave.
American Cemetery
The resting place for thousands of American soldiers that died during the Normandy landings.
Overlord Museum
Collects an exceptional collection of military vehicles and equipment used during the Battle of Normandy by both the Allies and the Germans.
Home to the famous Bayeux Tapestry that tells the story of the Battle of Hastings.
Sainte Mère-Église
Where paratrooper John Steele became caught on the spire - later subject of the famous film 'The Longest Day'.
Arromanches 360 Cinema
Shows archive footage gathered from around the world of the Battle of Normandy. Film in High Definition on 9 screens helps you relive the events.

Related Tours

Normandy D-Day Private Excursion from Paris: Omaha Beach & American Cemetery
This day-long tour provides you with an all-encompassing experience of D-Day, the defining moment of WWII, with visits to key landing points, churches, museums and cemeteries. With over 12 nations involved in what was the largest-scale air and land mission in history, for the sake of depth, this tour explores the Americans’ role on D-Day. 

As there is so much to see, however, your tour guide will be happy to adapt your itinerary according to your interests. You will be transported from Paris to Normandy’s coastline, passing through picturesque countryside along the way.

  • Relive the key moments of D-Day on Omaha Beach.
  • Visit the American cemetery, where all the American troops who lost their lives are remembered.
  • Taken in the view at Point du Hoc, the highest point between the American sector landings at Utah and Omaha Beaches
  • Visit the Overlord Museum, dedicated to Allied landings in Normandy, with displays of soldiers' personal items and armoured fighting vehicles. 
  • Comfortable car travel provided for the whole day. Your experience of Normandy will not be affected by rain or bad weather!
  • Private tour guide throughout the day

Go beyond mythology to learn about and relive the trials and tribulations the Allies faced in overcoming the Nazi forces. You will see Pointe du Hoc, where 225 rangers climbed cliffs over 100 feet high to capture and wipe out a German artillery battery; the tour also includes a visit to Omaha Beach, where the Americans constructed an artificial harbour to supply its troops with equipment. There will also be an opportunity to pay your respects to the brave 9,387 American soldiers who were laid to rest in the American cemetery which overlooks Omaha Beach.

You will learn about the ins and outs of the war and D-Day from your expert guide who will be happy to answer any questions you may have. 


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