Unique among the D-Day landing beaches in its dangers, Utah Beach saw the US Army's greatest success, namely landing with the fewest casualties of any of the Allied invasion beaches. The landing beach closest to Normandy's largest port, Cherbourg, regarded by the Germans as the most important Allied objective, Utah was isolated from the other D-Day beaches, meaning that that troops landing there would have to fight alone until a link-up could be achieved. Accordingly, US First Army committed a powerful landing force, preceded by a night parachute and glider assault, part of the largest night drop ever mounted. Despite wide scattering, the airborne troops secured the critical communications centre of Ste Mere Eglise on D-Day, the first village in Normandy to be liberated. Supported by a devastating air and naval bombardment, although landing on the wrong beach in bad weather, 4th Infantry Division took only 197 casualties out of 23,000 troops that landed on D-Day, and by the early afternoon had begun to link up with the first of the paratroopers.
In a fragmented battle fought in swamps and hedgerows, stubborn German defence prevented US VII Corps from achieving all its D-Day objectives.
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(234mm x 156mm x 10mm)
Sutton Publishing Ltd
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
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Author Biography - Stephen Badsey
Dr Stephen Badsey MA, FRHist is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of War Studies at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He has authored, edited or contributed to over fifty books and articles on military history and history. A regular visitor to the Normandy battlefields, he has written or contributed to many previous works on the battle of Normandy and has led many battlefield tours.