Utah Beach is my choice for day 19 of the Normandy Advent Calendar. Despite the horrors of D-Day, I love this photo and the freedom it represents.
There are five landing beaches – Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. Utah Beach is the most westerly of the beaches and is around 50km south east of Cherbourg. It is an extensive stretch of coastline; going from the beach beyond the village of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont north to the beach at Quinéville.
Utah beach is separated from the other D-Day beaches by extensive marshes known as Les Marais. The marshes caused problems for the American airborne troops as they parachuted in. Furthermore, the seaborne assault didn’t go to plan with the majority of the American forces coming ashore a couple of miles south of the designated zone. However, this error worked in their favour, as the soldiers setting foot on French soil here met with relatively little resistance.
Monuments At Utah Beach
There are various monuments as you approach Utah beach including those to Major Richard Winters, Danish soldiers and the 2nd Armoured Division. If you park near to the D-Day Landing Museum (Musée du Débarquement Utah Beach) you can discover other monuments. In the area around the museum are the following monuments: US Navy monument, Higgins Boat monument, 1st Engineer Special Brigade monument and also an M4 Sherman tank.
The video below includes photos of the preparations and the battle on Utah and Omaha beaches.
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