Utah Beach

Landmarks and Historic Buildings

Forming the right-hand flank of the Allied invasion, the troops landing on Utah Beach encountered far less resistance than Omaha Beach just a few miles east. Paratroopers from the 101st Airborne Division, commanded by General Taylor, were dropped in the night to secure the exits from the beach and capture the bridges around Carentan. The German defences were generally very sparse but included 4 causeways with locks that were designed to flood the beach, which were secured by the paratroopers in the night.

The landings, led by the US 4th Infantry Division, were pushed off course by strong currents, with the ships landing almost 2,000m away from their intended position. It was Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. who co-ordinated the landing forces to attack, uttering his famous remark that, "We'll start the war from here!" By the end of the day, the troops had pushed 4 miles inland and had met up with the paratroopers holding the roads - with losses of less than 300 men.

Several monuments to the American forces who landed here on D-Day can be found along the coast including a statue of Lt Richard Winters, whose exploits during D-Day and the Liberation of France formed the lynchpin of the Band of Brothers HBO television series. There is also a monument to the US Navy featuring the names of all the ships that took part in Operation Overlord, and is the only monument in the world dedicated to the US Navy. The Utah Beach museum is housed partially inside a German bunker, code named WN5, which was at the heart of the German coastal defences.

Places to visit nearby

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.

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

Cherbourg, in Normandy, is a port town with a seafaring history that is second to none.

Nearby attractions

The Musée du Débarquement at Utah Beach recounts the story of D-Day from the preparations to the landings themselves and their eventual success at Utah.

Forgotten for the past 60 years, the Batterie de Maisy was an integral part of the German Atlantic Wall around the Utah and Omaha beaches.

The Musée des Rangers traces the historic acts of the elite US Rangers who took the Pointe du Hoc on D-Day.