Pointe du Hoc
Atop these 100-foot high cliffs was one of the most important Allied targets of D-Day. Part of the German Atlantic Wall and located right between Utah and Omaha Landing Beaches, the Germans had positioned six 155 mm guns here which presented a grave threat to the US Naval Landing forces and their offshore support fleets. This position had to be neutralized. The strongpoint had been dealt a huge air strike in the early morning of June 6th before the 2nd Ranger battalion landed on the beach. Their orders were to scale the cliffs and knock out the guns.
It remains today one of the most impressive of the D-Day sites to see. The ground remains unchanged since 1944, covered with the craters left by the hundreds of bombs that were dropped here before the landings; even after more than 65 years it can still easily be imagined how this place must have looked on June 6th 1944. The bunkers and gun pits built by the Germans are open to be explored and the monument erected after the war to the Rangers in honour of their achievements here. This memorial stands on the German observation post at the edge of the cliff. Closed to the public since 2002 for safety reasons, this memorial and the German bunker it sits on reopened to the public again this year (2011). Today Pointe du Hoc is maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission.