Why were there so many casualties on Omaha Beach?

Most of the casualties were caused by US military incompetence.

1. The USAAF missed with its target and bombed 3 miles behind the beach

2. The US Army plan called for the direct assault of the beach exits using engineer equipment that was obselete in WW 1 ('Bangalore Torpedo's)

3. More than half the DD tanks were launched too far out and sank

4. Direct assault on concrete bunkers without armoured and engineer support is certain to be costly

5. The US failure at Omaha was almost entirely due to poor planing and inadequate equipment. (2 months later the US Army had to 'borrow' British engineer tanks for the assault on the fortress at Brest).


The British beaches were in fact heavily defended, one of the main reasons for heavy casualties on Omaha was the fact that the "swimming DD Tanks" were launched too far out and sank, only two tanks actually making it to shore, therefore the infantry had no armoured support. If you can possibly say that, 1st SS PANZER CORPS and 21ST PANZER DIVISION, (that were defending the British area), were 2nd rate troops I suggest you read a few books about them. There was very little German armour in the Omaha area. There are no definite casualty figures for D-Day. The beach casualties for Omaha was in fact in the region of 2,400 (American), not over half the D-Day total. Utah there were under 200 estimated casualties. Gold and Sword beaches estimated 1,000 (Sword actually had 640) each and Juno estimated just under 1000. Total casualties for D-Day are estimated at 10,000, that's dead wounded or missing, and all services, Land ,Sea and Air. Of the some 6,600 American casualties on D-Day, 2,499 were Airborne troops.

Good Answer - I might add it bit here -allied inteligence had successfully located

most of the heavy gun positions supporting Gold-Juno-Sword, and one way or another they had been suppressed (para attack or naval gunfire) However at Omaha (2-3 miles back from the beach) There was a major gun position that had been missed. How such a complex went unnoticed is a book topic in

its own right - I don't know why either ?

"Maisey" as it was known had 10+ howitzers of 105-155mm, plus a dozen 88mm`s defending it. This massive firepower went unchecked for all of 6-7th June. It could reach both Utah and Omaha - but concentrated on Omaha

(maybe because the fire requests ceased at Utah very early on ?)

Owning to the high bluffs at Omaha and the narrow beach exits covered by (largely)undamaged pill boxes (neither the air or sea bombardment did very much damage to the bunkers) - the US troops were trapped for many hours

under a bombardment that they could not easily spot or silence.

Very crowded beach under massive HE (plus small arms/MG from three sides)

meant that the casualty % on the first day was very high

They were under observed fire from 07.30 AM till around 16.00 PM

when the key OPs were finally overrun

Only after this did the guns shift to random pre-programmed fire

useful - but nothing like as deadly

Overall you might say that at Omaha everything that could go wrong did

go wrong ?


First of all the beach landings were the most basic and most defense-advantageous type of attack: a frontal assault without armor or vehicle support, just light infantry. (They were supposed to have armour support, but the U.S. navy was under the impretion that they could literally swim. . .) Second, Hitler had spent months and millions of Marks to build the Atlantic Wall, a series of defensive structures around the French side of the English Channel specifically to defend against such an assault. (The sea wall in parts of Juno beach was twice as tall as that on Omaha.) Normandy was by no means the strongest part of the line, but nevertheless those big bunkers with machine gun nests, artillery locations behind the beachheads, land-mines, and beach obstacles were all in place. Third, air and sea bombardment of the German positions before the landing failed to actually hit the Germans, so instead the Germans were just warned about an impending amphibious assault. In fact, what really made Omaha successful were two things: simply too many Americans were piled up on the beach for the Germans to handle, and the warships finally started hitting their targets. Like the Army says to this day, "Sometimes you get Utah, and sometimes you get Omaha."


Omaha beach, the only one of five invasion beaches heavily contested by the Germans, did produce well over half the entire Allied casualties on D Day.

The reason for this was that, as usual, the British selected the two easiest beaches for themselves. Those two were not even defended by German troops, but instead had units composed of Soviet POW's with a few German officers. Without firing a shot these men abandoned their posts and fled inland. You'll need to provide some proof of this.

Letting the colonials do the heavy lifting, the Canadians got one beach further west, and the Americans the last two, furtherest west. Huh? You need to clarify this bizzarre statement. Actually, Juno Beach was between Gold and Sword beaches.

(Each country picked were they wanted to land, the Americans chose Omaha, even after the location come under intense scrutiny from the British and Canadian commanders)

One of these American beaches was Omaha. American/British intelligence had reported it was supposed to be lightly defended but actually the units there were German regular army units in for rest and recuperation from the Russian front. These were crack troops and did not run, despite overwhelming American firepower from ships, bombers, fighters, tanks, and infantry. The German division defending Omaha Beach (352nd) had never been on the Eastern Front, having only been formed in July 1943.

Omaha was the only beach where the Allies almost declared the battle lost and ordered a retreat. However, due to heroics by a few individuals, cracks were found in the sparce German lines, and penetrations were made. This caused the Germans to grudgingly withdraw inland, and the beach was thus secured. Everywhere else they withdrew ungrudgingly? Been watching a lot of movies? Lol. Probably hasn't learned anything besides Omaha.

One last comment concerning the British landings.....despite overwhelming force, total command of the air, and essentially no German forces opposing them, the British STILL did not achieve their first day objectives as set forth by high command. Incredible. You need to restate this. The Brits did face some very serious resistance in the from of the 716th Infantry and 21st Armored Divisions.

(D-Day actually went largely as planned and by the evening the operation was declared a success)

You get students to regurgitate this clapttrap from this section on a school assignment and they will be getting the grade they deserve.

Apart from the blatantly racist comment about "colonials", this guy seems to forget that the vast majority of the shipping provided for the invasion came from the BRITISH Royal Navy. Still, let's not allow facts to get in the way of Hollywood propaganda. Hehehe. Yah, even the Canadian assualt was not only shipped by the Brits but also backed by them.

(All in all, i personally recommend you ignore this peice, as it is nearly all false.) I agree.

Wow. This has to be a joke. No one could possibly have the internet at their disposal, speak English (however poorly) AND be so ignorant.