What were the American and German strategies on Omaha Beach?


The Americans/British/Canadians strategy was to get on the beach and hold on, pushing inland as fast as possible.

The German strategy was to keep them off and drive them back off if they managed to get on.

A key component on both sides was to control roads and bridges off the beach. The Germans wanted to blow them up to keep the Allies bottled up. The Allies wanted them to move troops out of the beach area and increase the ground they had to work with. At the same time the Allies wanted to blow up some bridges and rail lines to prevent German reinforcements from aiding the defense. Paratroopers were dropped to control certain bridges and major intersections, either destroying them or protecting them, depending on their location.


The US strategy for Omaha beach was significantly different from that used on the British and Canadian beaches. The plan was for the beach exits to be captured by direct assault. The British (and Germans) has discovered this to be extremely costly in lives in WW `. To avoid this they used Armoured engineer tanks (bridges, gap filling, mine clearance and bunker busting) to create pathways away from the main German defences. The US army failed to do this and many of the losses on Omaha were caused by this.

German strategy was a mixed one, that involved an arguement between the German generals. One group who had experienced allied air power believed all movement would be prevented by air attacks and all the force should be concentrated on the beaches. Another group believed that an armoured reserve should be held back to attack the landings at the critical point.