Omaha Beach

Landmarks and Historic Buildings

A few miles west of Arromanches is probably the most famous, and certainly the bloodiest, landing beach of all - Omaha. The cliffs here are still riddled with German bunkers, and deeply scarred with shell holes from the bombardment that this most heavily defended beach of all underwent.

With German strongpoints commanding the high ground overlooking all approaches, the advance group of US 1st and 29th Divisions, supported by the 5th Rangers and 5th Engineer Special Brigade, faced a terrifying task. The only way forward was by scaling the cliffs and taking out the German positions in a series of direct attacks. The fact that there were around 2,000 US casualties within the first few hours of the landing here speaks for itself.

Visiting the beach today, it is difficult to imagine what faced the Allieds when they landed on this picturesque golden beach. The memorial and the Les Braves sculpture by Anilore Banons are dedicated to those that fell here. A striking metal sculpture, Les Braves is in 3 parts rising up out of the sand - The Wings of Hope, Rise of Freedom, and The Wings of Fraternity. Remains of machine gun placements and Geman bunkers can still be found along the beach. In Colleville-sur-Mer the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial overlooks the now peaceful Omaha Beach below.

Places to visit nearby

Bayeux in Normandy is a beautiful medieval city, brimming with history, and is the home of the famous Bayeux Tapestry.

Carentan in Normandy is a quaint town surrounded by vast wetlands and marshes teeming with wildlife - but it is most famous as the site of the Battle of Carentan during the Battle of Normandy in WW2.

Caen, in Normandy, is one of the oldest university towns in France. Bustling with activity, it is a vibrant and attractive city on the River Orne.

Nearby attractions

You don't have to be American to be moved by the scale and the story of courage and sacrifice that lies behind the cemetery at Omaha Beach.

The Overlord Museum is a brand new museum, opened in June 2013, dedicated to June 6th 1944 and the Battle of Normandy.

Standing right at the tip of this rugged clifftop, the Pointe du Hoc Ranger Memorial was originally erected by the French in honour of the American Second Ranger Battalion.