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.
Join the fastest growing community of professional tour guides.
Use our easy to integrate toolset to include Tours & Attractions in your customer journey.