Omaha Beach was the location of one of the most significant moments of fighting in World War II. On June 6th 1944, American troops were given the task of securing the beach as part of a strategy to land Allied troops along five points on the coast of Normandy, France. Due to unforeseen tidal forces and stronger than expected German defenses, the American soldiers suffered massive losses, 2,400 casualties, in a day of bloody fighting. Eventually however the landing was successful with 34,000 troops securing the area for the Allies, and thus beginning the end of the war.
The landings on Omaha Beach are perhaps best known these days from the film Saving Private Ryan which opens with this battle and shows the impact of the fighting and loss of life on families back home in the USA. The American Cemetery sits above Omaha Beach and is a well-kept memorial to the events.
Review by Joan R, May 2013
Doing what: 3-Day Normandy, St Malo, Mont St Michel, Chateaux Country Tour from Paris
This was a highlight. Being an American and standing in the same location that our troops finally landed on was an overwhelming experience.
The cemetery was amazing and so well cared for. Their was a great museum with artifacts. St. Michele was a true sight. the small towns such as my favorite of Honfluer were delightful. I recommend anyone visiting France to do this tour.
We had a great tour and learned so many details about the area and battle fields, that would have been unknown to us without the experienced guide. Our guide was great!!!
Bob and Donna Caljouw
My husband and I did the full-day Normandy battlefield tour. It was fantastic. We were staying at a hotel in Bayeux and the tour guide/driver came to pick us up in a van around 8:30 am. Our guide, Ann Sophie, was very friendly and knowledgeable and we learned a great deal. It was sunny but windy. We went to German Cemetery, Ste Mere Eglise, Airborne Museum, Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach and American Cemetery (plus a nice no-host lunch). We were glad that we did the full-day tour instead of half day so that we weren't rushed. I took so many pictures that my batteries ran out toward the end. There were no gift shops to replace batteries...I'll bring extras next time! I would highly recommend this tour.
The easiest way to get to Omaha Beach is by organized tour or private car. Public transport can be lengthy due to the need to take a train from Paris to Caen or Bayeux, then a bus to the beach. The American Cemetery is easy to find and from there a long walkway goes to the beach itself.