Talk:Omaha Beach

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Now that this has reached FA status, I'll discuss any significant changes before I make them.

I'm not sure that the dramatization section has a place in this article. Specifically it does not appear to meet the MILHIST MoS guidelines on the inclusion of popular culture references. Unless there are any objections I intend to delete this section. --FactotEm 10:59, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

On the basis of no opposition, the above referenced guideline and the Wikipedia guideline on trivia sections I've removed the section. --FactotEm 15:04, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

military style[edit]

The article has many good points. Nevertheless it is marked very much by a military style, concentrating on the purely military point of view ("untested" battalions, "weakened" by "heavy casualties". It would be more suitable for wikipedia if it had a less military style. We should say "hundreds were killed" not "heavy casualties were sustained" etc. Similarly, the references should include autobiographies of ordinary soldiers, not only the official sources. 10:47, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

It has been said that the narrative can be a bit dry, is that what you mean about "military style"? Some care has to be exercised in the choice of words, specifically ensuring that what is narrated is supported by the source. Thus, to take your example, if the source talks about casualties (which includes killed, wounded and missing) we cannot assume that it can be accurately transposed to "killed", or indeed that the correct scale is hundreds ("heavy casualties" could mean tens or thousands, depending on context). Also, is there anything missing from the article that a specifically autobiographical source would add? --FactotEm 12:03, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

There is no reason why the "military style" of writing should be eliminated.This is a military subject, and it should be written in a style of writing that carries and sustains that. (talk) 09:14, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Removal of Capa's Image[edit]

The image of the assault taken by Robert Capa has been removed. I'm assuming that this was done because it was a copyrighted fair use image, but I understood that the fair use rationale justified its inclusion. What gives? --FactotEm 13:20, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Copy of response made on my talk page: "It is indeed a great picture, but it is an unfree image, and it does not add anything to the article that a free image could not do. Danny 13:31, 2 October 2007 (UTC)" --FactotEm 13:42, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
It shows the actual assault. Per Wikipedia:Non-free_content section 1 there is no free alternative that does that. --FactotEm 13:42, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Why is there no mention of what is surely a very crucial fact,namely that the American Naval commanders refused to obey a British instruction to unload American troops only six miles from the Normandy coast and instead unloaded their troops twelve miles off the coast making the troops endure many hours in the heavy seas and suffering serious sea sickness before they landed? (talk) 20:26, 13 March 2013 (UTC)


The BBC has just broadcast a documentary [1] where the historian for the US Army's 29th Infantry Division said that latest estimates for the casualties are between 4,500 and 5,000. Does anyone know how many people actually died there, or died of their wounds? -- SteveCrook (talk) 03:29, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

From what I've read/heard/seen, it was about 2,000-2,500 killed, with about the same wounded. Not entirely sure myself though... Jmlk17 03:39, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
They said that they were the accepted figures until fairly recently. But now they've done more research and revised the figures upwards quite a lot. They also mentioned that allowances were made for up to 6,000 casualties on Omaha beach alone -- SteveCrook (talk) 07:14, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
It's sorta weird... I've been searching for a bit now, and can't find any good sites with any decent numerical information. Jmlk17 07:57, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Remember that casualties = killed, wounded and missing. The official figures covered the extended campaign, not D-Day itself, which is why the figure is so difficult to pin down. I don't have time to track through the sources (internet cafes are expensive), but one of the articles current sources does list the casualty figures published by the two Divisions involved for D-Day, and when I was expanding this article, the current figure given was the most reliably accurate I could find for the 6th of June. --FactotEm (talk) 14:58, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I, too, have seen many different numbers for the total casualty count. However, in this article, there are some inconsistencies. The table at the top-right of the article indicates 10,000 Allied, 4,200 Axis casualties. In the "End of Day" section, we see numbers listed totalling ~5,000 Allied, 1,200 Axis casualties. I don't really care which number we go with provided a) it's backed by the most recent/credible source, and b) it's consistent throughout the article. Thank you. Urstadt (talk) 21:14, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

"Pyrrhic" victory[edit]

Reverted the latest attempt to qualify the outcome in the infobox as pyrrhic - see Talk:Omaha_Beach/Archive_1#"Phyrric" and "Costly" American Victory for comments on this. --FactotEm (talk) 18:22, 25 January 2008 (UTC)


How did people get photos of the battle? Wouldn't they be shot and killed? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:40, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

They basically just had to get in there and shoot (photos, not guns). And unfortunately, some did may the ultimate price. Jmlk17 23:38, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
The first photo in the article was taken by the crew of the landing craft, but Robert Capa, a civilian, famously went in with the early assault waves (the second wave I think). Unfortunately we can't include any of his photos in the article because they are copyrighted, but there are a few of his Omaha Beach images in the wikipedia article on him. The story goes that he risked his life only for an over-excited lab technician back in England to screw up the developing process, and only a handful of the pictures survived.--FactotEm (talk) 10:33, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

In response to the first comment: Soldiers of an enemy force would not waste their ammo on a non-combatant, as it would be made obvious by their camera. So the photographers were more endangered by land mines, stray fire, and friendly fire than by intentional fire from german positions. (talk) 09:21, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Heinrich Severloh[edit]

Should there be a mention of him? I feel that his actions warrant a shout-out of sorts (talk) 03:55, 28 May 2008 (UTC)Bob the Boulder

There is a reliable source issue that tends to preclude mention of his alleged exploits in this article. The subject was thrashed out, almost literally, here. --FactotEm (talk) 08:45, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Picture addition[edit]

I've undone this edit, which added another map to the end of day section. My reasons are...

  • The existing image adequately illustrates the situation at Omaha at the end of the day;
  • The new image was general in scope, including all 5 D-Day beaches, rather than specific to Omaha;
  • It's representation of the situation at Omaha, of a single contiguous lodgement, is at odds with the narrative and the existing map, which shows isolated footholds;
  • The additional image ended up sandwiching text, which is a MoS no-no.

--FactotEm (talk) 08:59, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

It's surprising to see this historic image rejected this way. What this map depicts is the situation as it was known to headquarters at the close of the day on June 6, 1944. It is normal for this type of document to differ from later analysis because not all of the relevant intelligence information had been received and processed yet. This in itself is noteworthy in a way that cannot be compared to maps that are simply nonspecific or wrong, because what this represents is the information available to commanding officers at the time when they made decisions. There can be no better visual representation of that important perspective than a reproduction of the actual map used on that day. The success or shortcomings of a military operation often relate to the quality of intelligence. So I ask the editors of this page to consider that the article is considerably more informative with both types of image--historic and modern recreation--available for the reader to cross compare. DurovaCharge! 10:00, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
And if this article was about the Allied intelligence relating to actions on D-Day, that would be a valid point. It is, however, an attempt to describe the actual progress at Omaha Beach, for which post-event analysis proves to be more accurate as a source. Having said that, I can see your point in including the map to illustrate the confusion generated on the day. It cannot however go into the End of the day section. That section is too small to accommodate both images, and the current map illustrates the narrative, whereas the new map contradicts it. Would you be happy to replace the preceding aerial view image with this new map, suitably captioned to convey the confused state of Allied intelligence? --FactotEm (talk) 10:39, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

US Army Assault Training Center[edit]

I didn't notice this mentioned in the article, and don't feel qualified to add it myself, but the US troops trained for this landing at Woolacombe in North Devon, England, as the beach there was considered a close match for the conditions to be encountered in Normandy. I have added a website reference on the Woolacombe page which editors of this page may find useful and interesting.

EdJogg (talk) 13:26, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

This has been mentioned before, but I don't see how the information can be inserted into this article. This article is very specifically about events that unfolded at Omaha Beach on June 6th, and this kind of snippet, by itself, would look out of place. Wouldn't Operation_Overlord#Rehearsals_and_security be a better location for this kind of detail? --FactotEm (talk) 22:22, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Very probably, with a suitable link from the Woolacombe page too. (I'll add a temp. link now.) However, if the rehearsals in Woolacombe were specifically for the troops landing at Omaha Beach (as my limited research suggests) then a mention would be entirely appropriate here too. How to make it fit in is another matter...
The US ATC deserves an article in WP, and I guess will get one one day. The website I found is the online presence of a chap who has been researching the subject and published a book. The Woolacombe article previously only mentioned the connection due to the memorial on the cliff top -- there is frustratingly little detail provided by the memorial itself! The last time I googled (probably after last year's holiday there :o) ) didn't turn up anything meaningful online, and I found this 'in passing' this year.
A mention would fit well in Operation_Overlord#Rehearsals_and_security (there's probably potential for an article on this by itself) but we need a few more facts, I think. I will make a note on my ToDo list, but it is a very long list...
EdJogg (talk) 10:05, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

X shaped metal things?[edit]

Could anyone tell me what the x shaped metal things used on the beachs are called? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:19, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Are you thinking of Czech hedgehogs, by any chance? EdJogg (talk) 01:30, 26 October 2008 (UTC)


Quote boxes without actual quotes?[edit]

Is it just me or are the actual quotes missing from the two grey boxes? I mean the ones that were probably meant to give statements of "Captain Richard Merrill, 2nd Ranger Battalion" and "Unidentified lieutenant, Easy Red sector". Looking back through history they seem to have been missing for some while now. Betabug (talk) 12:18, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, they seem to be there now. EdJogg (talk) 14:11, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

St. Honorine des Pertes????[edit]

Anyone who looks in a map sees that this town is far east from Omaha Beach (while Vierville sur mer is really on it). Where did one see this localization for the beach? (talk) 23:35, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

British/Commonwealth/Free Forces presence[edit]

Shouldn't the "belligerents" section also include the number of Royal Navy and other personnel in direct support of the beach? Not only did Royal Navy servicemen pilot vessels up to the beaches but some did land on the beaches for a number of reasons. Should these personnel be taken into consideration rather than this just being a pure US/German combat situation? The crew of LBV 172 certainly spent a good part of the day on the "Omaha Beach" let alone any other Royal Naval Servicemen and I doubt they were just "observing". Boothferry (talk) 00:38, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes. Dapi89 (talk) 19:43, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
The present 65th anniversary commemorations have included some interviews with British Royal Navy veterans who landed US troops on Omaha and are upset at what they see as being painted out of history. While Omaha was an overwhelmingly American operation, the resentment felt by the Royal Navy participants is understandable, and their role should be acknowledged in this article. -- (talk) 15:37, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
RN landing craft helped transport the first wave. There were also 150 British serviceman who were landed on the beach. Signelers as well as Foo's from both the RN and the army.[[Slatersteven (talk) 18:34, 6 June 2009 (UTC)]]

I don't see any American flags on the Juno, Gold, or Sword articles. Does that mean the Americans needed help from the British but nobody but nobody needed American help? The British claim they planned the entire operation from beginning to end without American input. Cobra? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:02, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

There were no Amercan service men at any of the Commonwealth beaches. There were British (and other) nations servciemen at Omaha. No one is saying that the Americans need help, they are saying that those who served should be aknowleged based upon their sacrifice not their nationality.Slatersteven (talk) 19:13, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand the problem here. The article clearly states the presence of British navy personnel and ships, in the lead, and as a sourced statement at the end of the "Plan of Attack" section. Given the relative numbers, what more needs to be said? I would also sound a note of caution here - Stephen Ambrose repeats some fairly scurilous allegations concerning the behaviour of some of the British assault craft crews who brought A/116 in to the beach. These surfaced after the war, were published in his account of D-Day, and have been flatly denied by one of the few survivors who actually witnessed events as a member of A/116 (one of the few in that ill-fated company who survived). See Why risk bogging an already lengthy article down with the inevitable arguments that may well ensue? FactotEm (talk) 20:53, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Whilst a British commando detachment joined the US Rangers (so there was a British ground presence), keeping the flags simple, to identify the 'British, American and Canadian beaches', would be my preference. Chwyatt (talk) 11:23, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Included in the US landing parties at Omaha was a British mobile Ground-controlled interception unit, GCIU 15082, which consisted of mostly RAF, with some RCAF, personnel and their vehicles - [2] Similar RAF mobile GCI units were landed at all the beaches. They provided air defence radar for the landings, supplementing the Fighter Direction Tenders, HMS FDT 13, HMS FDT 216 and HMS FDT 217.
Coincidently, these (see image) are some of GCIU 15082 's very vehicles - behind the bogged-down Sherman - burnt out on the beach:
Burnt out vehicles of RAF Radar Convoy 15082 and a bogged-down M4 Sherman equipped for deep wading, on Omaha on the afternoon of D-Day
GCIU 15082 's casualties on Omaha Beach were, six officers and 41 airmen killed out of a total of 120 personnel, and they lost all their 36 or-so vehicles, although some were later salvaged. Once replacement vehicles were landed they eventually became operational on D+4. On the same day two Spitfire squadrons arrived from England and started operating from a landing strip off Gold Beach.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:23, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Naval Support[edit]

I have once again removed this statement:

…AT OMAHA BEACHES DURING THE PRE-LANDING PHASE, NOT ENOUGH NAVAL GUNFIRE WAS PROVIDED” by a factor of 10, resulting in an excessive number of American casualties.<ref> Amphibious Operations Invasion of Northern France Western Task Force June 1944 Chapter 2-27. From Hyperwar, retrieved 2008-06-02</ref

While the reference indeed says what is in capital letters, the subsequent comment by a factor of 10, resulting in an excessive number of American casualties. is not stated in the reference and consists of OR. I think the discussion in this section indicates that there were issues with naval support and therefore sticking this statement in, without integrating into the text or explaining it does nothing for this article. It is an FA and we need to be particularly careful how we edit new material into it and not simply stick in new ad hoc references as they are found. Interestingly, just below this statement in the reference is a report from German authorities explaining how effective US/Anglo naval power was! Gillyweed (talk) 22:59, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

From: Operations Invasion of Northern France Western Task Force June 1944 Chapter 2-27







Your statement: Interestingly, just below this statement in the reference is a report from German authorities explaining how effective US/Anglo naval power was!

Now tell that to the families of our soldiers who were cut down on the Omaha Beach because of insufficient naval firepower. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cgersten (talkcontribs) 03:27, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

I understand that you seem to have a personal view about this. Your last sentence seems to confirm your position. However, WP is not a place for personal arguments. The thing is, you can't simply synthesize statements viz: that firepower was too low ' by a factor of 10, resulting in an excessive number of American casualties. The source does not say this. The source says specifically that "the amount of naval gunfire to be delivered in a given situation cannot be arrived at mathematically" and yet that is what you have attempted to do. Please review WP:SYNTH, WP:OR and WP:3R. Thanks. Gillyweed (talk) 23:01, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for revising your statement. I have moved it to better integrate into the text, other wise it does not fit with the narrative. I hope you think it is now sufficient. Gillyweed (talk) 01:41, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

DD tanks and other specialized armor[edit]

I have read in several books on the subject of WWII and Overlord that the main reason most of the DD tanks didn't make it to shore was that they were put to sea much farther out than intended (as well as the rough weather, of course; but it was just as rough on other beaches and they largely made it ashore there). Moreover Gen. Bradley's staff had refused (something to do with insufficient time to train crews, I recall) the British offer of other kinds of specialized armor such as flail tanks for clearing paths through the minefields and AVRE vehicles armed with Petard mortars to destroy obstacles, casements and pillboxes. These decisions would seem critical to the outcome on Omaha, yet neither are mentioned in this article even as suggestions or propositions that had been made but disproved by historical research. Why? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:53, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Largely because the article seeks to document what actually happened on the day, rather than provide any kind of in-depth post-event analysis of why things happened the way they did (which, I think, would over-extend an already lengthy article, not to mention fill a huge article all by itself). BTW - as I understand it, the DD tanks were launched further out to sea than at other beaches, and thus exposed to the rough weather for longer, with disastrous consequences, in order to keep out of range of the big guns at Point de la Percee. FactotEm (talk) 19:08, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Mmmm, this isn't a particularly long article really, and analysis about the failure of the DD tanks, and reasons for various other failings and problems do need to be examined. There's been some very good stuff recently done on this exact area of research; William Buckingham has something on Omaha, for example. Skinny87 (talk) 19:37, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Before I worked on this article, my understanding was that the lack of tanks cost the assault troops dear. I was actually quite surprised to learn that they "…saved the day. They shot the hell out of the Germans, and got the hell shot out of them.", and that a number of them survived the day, so to talk about "the failure of the DD tanks" doesn't seem accurate to me. To be sure, they suffered high casualties in the assault, but so did the engineers, yet the lack of success by the engineers in clearing the beach obstacles doesn't seem to get nearly as much post-event comment as the lack of tanks. In truth, as I see it, both suffered dearly, but both achieved enough to, in their respective ways, contribute in making what could have been a disaster for the Americans a success, albeit the most costly of all the beaches. I prefer to have the article simply state what happened on the day, and if there is to be any post event analysis, then spin that off into a separate article, which could cover the lack of other specialised tanks, the failure in intelligence, the alleged inadequacy of naval support, the failure of air bombardment, the alleged cowardice of British assault craft crews, and all the other, often parochial, armchair-generalling after the event that inevitably accompanies these things. FactotEm (talk) 20:13, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't see why there needs to be a seperate article - it could easily be covered here in a few paragraphs. Off the top of my head it would probably cover the failure to get the DD tanks to shore; the reasons behind the American forces lacking the specialized armour the British forces had; alleged cowirdice of British crews, although that will have to be very well sourced to show it probably didn't happen/wasn't widespread; and If I remember correctly, Buckingham has a good section on why there were such heavy casualties on the beaches - something to do with poor organization in terms of splitting up platoons and fireteams when they were training. Oh, and some comparison with the other beaches might be an idea. I'll dig out Buckingham as soon as I can - I'll be away for two/three days - and Adrian Goldworthy's book which deals specifically with Omaha (about 600 pages!). Skinny87 (talk) 20:29, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. I look forward to seeing the results. FactotEm (talk) 20:34, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

(od) If I haven't done anything in a few days, hit me up on my talkpage to remind me. Cheers, Skinny87 (talk) 07:59, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

There was a documentary on UK TV a few years back that looked into survival rates among the DD Tanks in terms of actually making it to the beach. As I recall, the conclusion was that, along with the distance issue, the launch point for the Omaha tanks meant they were trying to swim diagonally to the swell rather than travel with it. This made them much more vulnerable to swamping. --Sf (talk) 08:33, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Dramatizations (II)[edit]

I've removed references to dramatizations from the lead. This is why... 1. Before reaching FA status this article had an extensive and, IMHO, entirely irrelevant 'Dramatizations' section (it even included a reference to Conkers Bad Fur Day), which added nothing to the understanding of what happened at Omaha Beach. 2. Video games and Hollywood fiction do not, it seems to me, have any place in articles such as these. They do not appear in other works on the subject, why should they here? 3. They go against Wikipedia guidelines on Trivia (at least, the last time I looked at them). 4. Their placement in the lead is entirely against the purpose of the lead, which is to summarise the main body, not introduce information that is ignored in the main body (relevant or not). FactotEm (talk) 19:17, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, and I've removed such sections from this article before. Unless they are very well cited and relevant, they have no place in articles. Skinny87 (talk) 19:33, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Belgian forces?[edit]

Last line above the contents:

"The Americans unaware of modern warfare were very lucky that the Belgian forces came to the rescue and the operation ended well."

What's that all about? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:20, 13 January 2010 (UTC)


Hi again, all, esp Factotem, I think I'm gonna finish the job I started a couple years ago now... lol

Apparently I never commented on the talk pages? Anyways, I think I can tell where I left off, so I'll start copy editing again where I think it needs it. Seems like this worked out pretty well last time, let's see what happens now. :) Eaglizard (talk) 06:45, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

PS: Holy Chao! Now I remember why I lost motivation on this article... it's S O D A M N L O N G! Ah well, it's all relevant, and there's something about the sad but somehow successful story of Omaha Beach that I love. :D Anyways, I did some more copyedits, starting at Omaha Beach#Second assault wave. As always, I strove to keep the meaning intact, while converting to a more active and (hopefully) readable style. I mean, this stuff is still gonna be dry, but it doesn't have to read like a committee report for the JCOS lol Eaglizard (talk) 07:37, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

British English[edit]

I as a grandson of a World War II American vetran would like to know why the fuck this article is written in BRITISH ENGLISH? This was primarily an American fought battle and as such should be written exclusively in American English.

Or is it that the damn British are re-writing our history for us now? Is that it? --Yoganate79 (talk) 03:33, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Seeing as you asked so nicely. Because it took the considerable efforts of a Brit to do justice to such a tremendous feat of arms and bring it to the FA status it so thoroughly deserves, and whilst(!) that Brit made every effort to use 'armor' in preference to 'armour' and the like, he still got it wrong in some places. I see you have set about correcting this. Fill yer boots. FactotEm (talk) 21:36, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
As an American who was in the US Army, and read a few history books, I would rate your "British" efforts as: Outstanding, keep up the good work, America can use the efforts of more like you! Frank (talk) 18:14, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia rules are quite clear. If an article is written in standard English it should not be changed to American English, and vice versa. To quote from the Wikipedia Manual of Style: "When an English variety's consistent usage has been established in an article, it is maintained in the absence of consensus to the contrary". There is no need for a racist anti-British outburst here.Royalcourtier (talk) 00:53, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Per WP:ENGVAR when a subject is closely associated with the US, as this one is, it is appropriate to use US English in place of British. Sorry, but British English is not more "standard" than US English by any Wikipedia policy or guideline or manual of style. It is just as if some British English speaker had started an article on Abraham Lincoln, or if a US English speaker began an article about London. It can be changed to the more closely related variety of English. If it is about a topic with no close association to either country, it should remain in whatever version was first used. The article already used American spellings "defense" and "armor." I changed one use of "colour" to "color" for consistency per WP:ENGVAR. Edison (talk) 02:46, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

I entered a reference to a site with world war two games and Omaha Beach and it was deleted[edit]

I am not committed to the reference being there, just that I played the game and it gave a pretty good feel of the battle, so I thought it might be a good reference for people to understand the battle. Just thought it would help as there are not a lot of games around on the subject. I did make some entries on a couple of battles, not to advertise as I don't have any dog in the hunt except the games were fun. I can take those out if it is felt warranted.

Sdguitarman (talk) 00:28, 25 March 2010 (UTC)sdguitarman

This link is not relevant; links should provide valuable information beyond what is provided in the article. A link to a gaming site does not do this. You also have to pay for the game, and the game is limited to a certain type of computer. See wp:ELNO.-- BC  talk to me 03:54, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Ohama Beach Now[edit]

Is there any evidence left of the beach from WW2? Like the towers that the Germans used on the Americans? It would also be nice if there was more photos of the beach rather than just WW2 photos. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:57, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

File:Omaha beach lesbraves-1.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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References for research[edit]

I just finished reading Omaha Beach: A Flawed Victory by Adrian Lewis. He goes into great detail the planning for D-Day and how planners (COSSAC and Overlord planners alike) triend to blend US amphibious doctrine (read USMC in Pacific) and Briths/American amphibious doctrine (read Operations Torch, Huskey, and Dragoon) into planning for Overlord. He criticizes the paucity of pre-landing bombardment (30 min); ineffective bombing by stratetic bombers not capable of knocking out tactical targets (bunkers, beach defenses, etc.); overloaded troops (nearly 100 lbs of gear; lack of beach artillery (mos DDs didn't make it); use of green troops (116 RCT and 4th ID at Utah) and the overall planning that eshewed tactical surprise (by not attacking at night) but didn't compensate with enough pre-landing bombing. The lessons were there to learn from USMC landings in the Pacific (where bombardment on Okinawa lasted several days) and that by creating a hyrbid invasion plan (American and British invasion doctrine) the end result was a langing that went terribly wrong and that was salvaged by the junior officers and NCOs who managed to get troops back into the fight and USN and RN destroyers that braved coastal fire to bring naval gunfire on German targets and effectively took them out. A good read. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Coordinate error[edit]


The following coordinate fixes are needed for (talk) 16:51, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

I've tried to make the coordinates closer to the midpoint of the beach. If you had something else in mind, please post more specific details in a new section, including the {{geodata-check}} template. Deor (talk) 18:59, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Location of Omaha Beach[edit]

I believe the location is described incorrectly. It should be from west of Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes to east of Vierville-sur-Mer on the right bank of the Douve River estuary.

The west and east are around the wrong way.[1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vidshooter (talkcontribs) 07:58, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Google Maps

Allied Bias[edit]

Why is this article written almost entirely from an Allied perspective? Most articles on a battle give a balanced narrative. This is written very much from the perspective of the invaders.Royalcourtier (talk) 00:54, 7 June 2014 (UTC) Don't you mean "liberators,"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CE64:7500:A5F7:EC93:DCD2:7924 (talk) 18:31, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

1st target[edit]

On D-Day, the untested 29th Infantry Division, joined by the veteran 1st Infantry Division and nine companies of U.S. Army Rangers redirected from Pointe du Hoc, were to assault the western half of the beach. The battle-hardened 1st Infantry Division was given the eastern half.

Is the 1st Infantry Division assaulting both halves of Omaha Beach? Or does "eastern half" mean half of the western half of the beach, so the second quarter from the west?

Jmichael ll (talk) 03:51, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Corrected. (talk) 11:08, 30 December 2014 (UTC)


The last sentence of the article uses the phrase "particles of shrapnel" to reference war sand. However, the article on shrapnel indicates that very little "shrapnel" was used in WWII, and none at Omaha Beach. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:18, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

German Artillery Sector names on Omaha[edit]

I have recently learned that the Germans had sector names marked along the whole beach for artillery and mortars. I was reading a Stephen Ambrose book about D-Day where he describes Oberleutnant Bernhard Frerking commanding the artillery from WN62 and calling out "Target Dora! Target Frieda!" Does anyone know all of the target names and their specific locations marked along the beach? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Theakker3 (talkcontribs) 19:56, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

Contemporary context?[edit]

I came to this article to research the beach itself only to find it focuses soley on the D-day landings. After reading the article I am still unclear as to what the geograhical feature is called. The opening sentence of the lead section states: Omaha Beach was the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion...., if this is true then one can assume that as it is only a code name, the actual beach would have a real name. The next sentence, however, goes on to say: Omaha is located on the coast of Normandy....., thus making it unclear whether the actual beach is named Omaha or not.

The rest of the article also uses Omaha to refer to the beach itself such as in the last paragraph: Today at Omaha jagged remains of the harbor can be seen at low tide.

If the actual name of the beach is Omaha then we need to change the opening sentence as it is the definig context for the entire article.

If the beach has a different name then we need to incorporate that information into the article for clarifacation, thus allowing a researher like myself to find the correct article.Gehyra Australis (talk) 10:58, 20 March 2016 (UTC)

The name 'Omaha Beach' is purely a code name, invented by the allied planners. That next sentence is just shorthand - I think all the Normandy landing zones; Sword, Gold, Juno, Utah, and Omaha, were and are referred to in this way. I see your point, but I'm not sure that the actual beaches have their own specific geographic names, and if they do, I couldn't find any reference to them. Come to think of it, do any beaches have specific names, or do they simply take the name of a prominent nearby landmark? I used to go on holiday to Newquay, where Fistral beach takes its name from the bay there, and Crantock beach from the nearest town. The only specific beach name I can think of is Chesil Beach. FactotEm (talk) 17:56, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Pre-invasion naval bombardment section[edit]

This sub-section is entirely out of place, coming as it does in the Breakthrough section. Personally I think it has no place in the article at all; it's post-event armchair general analysis, and not relevant to the actual events of the day, and this article was always about what happened that day. I intend to delete it unless someone can suggest a way in which the information can be incorporated more elegantly into the article. It certainly cannot stay in it's current location. FactotEm (talk) 19:38, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

It could be worked into the 'plan of attach' and 'aftermath' sections, alongside discussions of the problems with the pre-invasion air bombardment. The adequacy of the pre-invasion air and naval bombardment is a key part of most analysis of what went wrong at Omaha Beach I've seen. Nick-D (talk) 11:19, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
I've already relocated the whole section to the plan of attack section, but agree that the part dealing with the adequacy or otherwise is better placed in the aftermath section. FactotEm (talk) 11:39, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Naval Support at Omaha and Other Beaches.[edit]

Perhaps a bit nitpicking but given the British infobox inclusion for naval support at Omaha: the Free French cruiser Montcalm also supported Omaha (and may have been the first allied ship to open fire on Omaha), Canadian Minesweepers were (I believe) the first to come close inshore at Omaha, and Norwegian and Polish ships gave naval support in the British and Canadian sectors. These are just a few of the inconsistencies with the infobox inclusions/exclusions for the Normandy Invasion Beach articles. I am noting this here instead of editing because I realize the sensitivity of many folk to these issues. Juan Riley (talk) 18:04, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

I've queried the criteria by which nations are included as belligerents in the infobox over at the Milhist wikiproject FactotEm (talk) 11:18, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Other Allied naval support[edit]

The lead currently states that naval support included contributions from "...the British, Canadian, Free French, and other Allied navies." (my emphasis). I am not disputing the three named - they are referenced in the article and reliably sourced. I do, however, question the 'other Allied' contributions. Until today this part of the statement was not referenced anywhere in the main article. User:Nick-D has added information to the effect that Australian personnel served aboard British ships, and that this constitutes contributions from other allied navies (I think that's a fair assessment, but I'm sure he'll correct me if I've got it wrong). I disagree that such postings constitute a distinct national contribution, and cannot be used to justify the 'other Allied' statement. Looking for comments on this. FactotEm (talk) 11:35, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Not sure what the issue is here - the Royal Australian Navy did contribute, albeit in a tiny way. The British ships would almost certainly have also had members of the Royal New Zealand Navy, South African Navy and probably some other bits of the Empire on board as well given how they were crewed. The Australian contribution to the Battle of Normandy article provides a snapshot of the diversity of the British Empire's contribution to this campaign. Nick-D (talk) 08:27, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
No-one else has weighed in, so pretty much a non-issue, I guess. But here's a question, does this Australian contribution now justify adding the Australian flag to the list of belligerents? FactotEm (talk) 10:16, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
Been busy. I am the author of that line "...the British, Canadian, Free French, and other Allied navies." Moreover I inserted similar lines into all the Normandy beach articles. The point was to explicitly call out those nations which can easily be confirmed to have provided naval support to that particular beach. However, since, e.g., Polish or Norwegian ships were "explicitly involved" on other beaches it is difficult if not impossible to say naval support at Omaha was restricted to those explicitly named--especially if one includes mine sweeping. Thus the "and other Allied navies". I don't argue for the statement on whether, e.g., Australians served on RN ships. That would not be appropriate (see discussion on battle of Jutland). The point is the armada of minesweepers, troop transports, destroyers, cruisers, battelships, etc... involved on D-Day composed many nations: NOT just those called out explicitly in each specific beach article. Juan Riley (talk) 19:19, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
The problem is, those other allied navies need to be referenced in the article. We cannot assume that Polish, Norwegian, etc ships operated at Omaha just because they operated at other beaches, or that other Commonwealth nations served on the British ships there because that's the way British ships tended to operate. This information needs to be explicitly stated in the sources. At one stage I tagged both the Canadian contribution and the "other allied navies" because neither of these were referenced to any source. I then found a reference for the Canadian contribution, added that to the article, and removed that tag. Nick-D seemed to be under the impression that the remaining tag, since removed, referred to the whole sentence, and then when I clarified this, added the Australian reference (personally I think the few Australian personnel serving on a British ship under American command is pushing it, but I've let that one go). BUT, at the moment the Australian contribution is the only other allied navy referenced, so the plural form "other allied navies" here is not supported. Nit-picky, I know, but nevertheless, verifiability is a core policy. FactotEm (talk) 20:22, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
I understand your point--especially since I had meant to get back and document the Canadian mine sweeping operations and didn't and you did. (pssst thanks) And I do agree that an odd nation's sailor or two operating on another nations ship (e.g., as a liaison officer) does not qualify the former nation as a combatant. However, as I said above, to me the size and diversity of the D-Day 'armada' as well the intricacies of coordination makes it impossible not to at least give a nod in the lede to all the allied naval forces taking part. I won't put up a huge fight though. On the other hand, as I noted, you will see very similar language that I added to the ledes and infoboxes of all the beach articles. So for consistency don't argue for just Omaha. Juan Riley (talk) 21:08, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
As far as I am concerned, any one of the following statements properly and verifiably acknowledge the diversity of the invasion fleet at Omaha, in compliance with policy and guideline concerning weight and emphasis...
  • "...with ships also provided by the British, Canadian, and Free French navies"
  • "...with contributions from other Allied navies"
  • "...with contributions from British and other Allied navies"
I favour the last of these, on the basis that the British contribution was indeed "sizeable" (by my count, using the List of ships and craft of Task Force O as the source, the British provided some 22% of ships and assault craft, whilst the 9 Canadian minesweepers represent a little over 1% of the fleet, and the 2 Free French cruisers less than 1%). I am, however, not precious, and believe any of them to be accurate and fair.
To be clear, my concern here is to do with proper weight and emphasis, not with inclusion/exclusion.
I'll have a look at the other beach articles, but I don't have sources for these. If the main body of these articles do not reference other navies other than those explicitly listed, then I may tag "other Allied navies" with cite needed. Fair? FactotEm (talk) 07:08, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
I am not trying to be argumentative. However, I would still err on the side of inclusiveness as in my original wording. As an example, I believe at Omaha the first ship to open fire on the French coast was the French cruiser. Thus should only the RN get explicitly mentioned (i.e., your third suggestion) someday someone will insert the Free French Navy--with arguably good reasons. Moreover not being an expert on the naval details of D-Day, I for one could not exclude any of the Allied navies with elements present off the Normandy coast that day--thus the "and other...." I do also think that all 5 beach articles be addressed consistently. Now I did not start all of this. Someone had added UK support in the infobox of only the Omaha beach article. Thanks to the user who had compiled the bombardment force lists articles I was able to add those nations who were explicitly mentioned to all 5 articles and etc.... So here we are. I fear that next someone will bring up air support and this will never end. Otherwise fair enough :) . Juan Riley (talk) 16:07, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
USS Emmons, actually, but the Georges Leygues was next, according to my source, and your point is valid. But the "...and other..." bit cannot stand. We can indeed exclude from the Omaha Beach article Allied navies with elements present off the Normandy coast that day if they do not appear in the sources as being present or in action at Omaha. The other beach articles seem to suffer from relying on the relevant Bombardment Force list for sources, but those sources need to be added to the article itself as well. Except Utah, which claims a Canadian contribution, but this is not supported by a reference in either the article or the Bombardment Force list, as far as I can see. And air support is on my to-do list :O FactotEm (talk) 17:42, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
I will have to dig about a bit but to my memory Canadian minesweepers went in ahead of most if not all ships at Omaha AND Utah. Juan Riley (talk) 18:02, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
On Canadian minesweepers at Normandy see, e.g., page 3: "The one thing that remained in common was that they [31st Canadian Mine sweeping Flotilla] were all attached to the western Task Force so would be leading the way into the American beaches Utah and Omaha. " Juan Riley (talk) 18:25, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
This page is not really the place to discuss Utah Beach, so I've responded on the talk page for that article. Any more thoughts on the lack of references for the statement "...and other Allied navies."? FactotEm (talk) 15:41, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
I still prefer the "...and other Allied navies..." but (a) admittedly it is a vague and un-referencable addition (and sentiment?) and (b) I can't complain given your well written and informed additions to the naval effort. In short thanks again. Juan Riley (talk) 18:29, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Ambiguous sentence[edit]

Article reads:

Another issue was the equipping of contact-fuse bombs instead of time-delay fuses in a tradeoff between more craters, meaning more cover for advancing infantry, or no craters, meaning easy vehicle access to the beach.

This is unclear. It says that there is a tradeoff, but a) isn't clear about which kind of bomb was actually used and b) which kind of bomb creates which kind of crater. This may be obvious to the military reader, but not to the general reader. The sentence should be recast, perhaps something like this (if I've understood the intent correctly):

Contact-fuse bombs were used, so bomb craters were shallow, allowing easy vehicle access to the beach; if time-delay fuses had been used instead, bomb craters would have been deeper, providing more cover for advancing infantry.

But I am not sure that I am interpreting the sentence correctly. --Macrakis (talk) 13:45, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

No idea what that sentence is trying to convey either, and it's unsourced. I would be inclined to just delete it. FactotEm (talk) 14:03, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

What are "obstacles"?[edit]

The article talks many times of obstacles being cleared, but never clarifies what sort of obstacles were encountered. Mine fields? Barbed wire? Caltrops? Anti-tank obstacles? There is a category on Category:Fortification (obstacles), but no article to refer to. This may all be obvious to the WWII expert, but is not obvious to the general reader. --Macrakis (talk) 13:55, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

Doesn't the 2nd para of the Terrain and defenses section pretty much cover this? FactotEm (talk) 14:06, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
You're right, sorry. I had skipped directly to an inner section.... Never mind. --Macrakis (talk) 17:04, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

Hobart's Funnies[edit]

Not sure what the following section is trying to achieve:

"Additionally, with the exception of DD tanks, they did not have the benefit of "Hobart's Funnies" (a wide range of British-designed, specially adapted armored vehicles specifically designed to penetrate German fixed defenses) which had been offered to American commanders, and were accepted. The Americans requested all "Funnies" that were based on the Sherman M4 tank chassis, but the vehicles could not be produced in enough quantity to supply both the Commonwealth forces and American forces in time for D-Day. Even if enough could have been produced in time for D-Day there were not enough LCTs available to carry the DD and wading tanks and the "Funnies"."

The source basically states that the 'funnies' were offered to the Americans, they were interested in some but not others (for very legitimate reasons), but at the end of the day the Brits were not in any position to provide any, and anyway there is no evidence that the presence of specialised engineer vehicles would have reduced casualties at Omaha. It's all a bit of a non-event section and I don't understand how it is relevant to the story. Can anyone enlighten me? FactotEm (talk) 20:35, 10 September 2016 (UTC)