- Point of Interest
- D421, 50480 Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, France
Utah Beach was the codename of D-Day’s westernmost landing beach. Here the U.S. 4th Infantry Division came ashore. The Utah Beach landing was quite successful, partially thanks to the Airborne troops who prevented any significant counterattacks against the landing area.
Utah Beach was the codename for D-Day’s westernmost landing beach. Here the U.S. 4th Infantry Division came ashore with the task of establishing a bridgehead at the base of the Cotentin peninsula. This was an important assignment in the effort to seize the deep-water port of Cherbourg as quickly as possible.
Five hours before the first seaborne landings, U.S. airborne troops were dropped behind the coastal defences. Fighting their way towards the beach, they cleared the enemy positions that threatened the Allied exit from the beaches. The paratroopers managed to prevent any significant counterattacks.
The German strongpoint on the beach of La Madeleine was composed of various shelters and bunkers, a grenade launcher and four canons assigned to cover an antitank zone. These modest defences could not withstand the terrible air and naval bombardments of D-Day. They offered little resistance to the American assault forces, even though many units landed nearly 2.000 meters to the southeast from the original plan. At the end of the day, the assault was a total success, with relatively few American casualties.
Because the Germans had destroyed almost all port facilities along the Atlantic coast, the beaches had to take over their crucial logistic role. From June to November 1944, an almost endless stream of men and supplies were brought in via Utah Beach. On 11 November 1944 a monument was dedicated to the 1st Engineer Special Brigade on the site of the La Madeleine strongpoint, making it the first war memorial established on the landing beaches.
Each year since 2007, D-Day Festival Normandy has been offering a program of festive events for the anniversary of the Allied Landings of 6th June 1944. In 2019, for the 13th edition of the D-Day Festival Normandy, the tourist offices of the D-Day Landing Beaches present their area at its best.
The Utah Beach Landings Museum is situated on the site of a former German strongpoint that was crushed by the U.S. assault force on Utah Beach in the morning of D-Day, 6 June 1944. Among a lot of war related items, this museum features a rare Martin B 26 ‘Marauder’, an American medium-size bomber.
Through old pictures and recent ones, visitors will be brought back at the time of D-Day on Utah Beach and Sainte-Marie-du-Mont. This temporary exhibition will be presented from June 2019 until November 2020.
The Utah Memory Field is a historical gathering that presents in a playful and immersive way the army of yesterday and today. The various exhibitions on display provide a glimpse into the events that took place in Utah Beach on June 6, 1944 and the days that followed.