I saw a documentary once...

By: Waldorf



...that featured one of the Germans who was a machine-gunner on the bluff overlooking Omaha Beach.  He estimates that he shot over 1,000 men that day.  He didn't kill all of them (some were wounded), but he said he was certain he killed hundreds.  One crew killed hundreds of guys that day. 

I thought perhaps he was full of crap (he wasn't bragging; I just thought he had to have been mistaken).  But the more I read up on it, it's entirely possible he was telling the truth.  Some of the positions were so hidden that the Germans were able to fire for hours, unmolested, because they just couldn't be hit with rifle fire from the beach.  And there were so few tanks ashore in the early morning hours. 

I also read that a couple of 88mm cannon, in revetments that couldn't be seen from the beach or air, also took out hundreds of men and vehicles, for hours, until they were finally silenced.  Omaha Beach was just a slaughter, and there was little the Americans could do but move forward into the fire -- fire that, surprisingly, wasn't being laid down by that many Germans.

When I visited Omaha Beach years ago, it was low tide.  And I was immediately struck by just how far those guys had to move forward from the beach to the bluff, under murderous fire.  It was a LOT further than what is shown in the movies, like Saving Private Ryan. 

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