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Fox Green Beach - Map and Operations

Fox Green Beach - Map and Operations Geography Famous Historical Events Visual Arts World War II

American assault troops penetrated the "Fox Green" area of Omaha Beach.  They did so in spite of significant German defenses in the immediate vicinity. 

In the face of formidable odds against a successful advance, the men moved forward and achieved their objective much quicker than anyone could have expected.

We learn how this happened in Omaha Beachhead (6 June-13 June 1944), Chapter 4 (“Assault of the Bluffs”), at pages 73-75:

Fox Green fronted two exit routes:  the fairly large valley (E-3) winding a mile inland toward Colleville and, 600 yards to the east, an area (F1) where the bluff front was only slightly interrupted by a shallow and steep draw.  Two main enemy strongpoints, one just east of F-1 and the other near the Colleville draw, commanded the narrowing beach flat [as depicted in the above map].

As a result of the eastward trend of landing approaches, elements of seven assault companies had come in on Fox Green by 0800. Behind the shingle embankment scattered sections from Company E, 116th RCT, and Companies E and F, 16th RCT, were intermingled with units of the 3d BLT of the 16th. The 3d Battalion command group had come in west at another sector.

Most of the landings had been costly, and nowhere would discouraging conditions seem to have had better opportunity for checking assault. Nevertheless, by 0800, an assault was under way.

Its main power came from Company L, which landed fairly well together, kept its organization, and led off the attack. But elements of Companies I, K, and E (116th) shared in the advance; the heavy weapons of Company M were used to support it; and both tanks and destroyers gave noteworthy assistance. Under most difficult circumstances, enough coordination was somehow achieved to make possible a successful advance.

Four sections of Company L had landed and reorganized on the western end of Fox Red sector, where the bluff, merging here into a partial cliff just beyond the highwater shingle, afforded good cover. The company commander was killed as he exposed himself to direct the fire of some nearby tanks, and 1st Lt. Robert R. Cutler, Jr., took command...

Capt. Kimball R. Richmond of Company I, who had just reached Fox Green to find himself the senior officer present of the battalion, started to organize the follow-up of Company L's advance. Two sections of Company K, a handful from Company I, and Lieutenant Klenk's mixed detachment were involved in this second assault wave, which went straight up toward the strongpoint. Machine guns and mortars of Company M, the tanks, and naval guns combined to cover the advance, and enemy fire was light. The Company L sections already on the hill sprayed the strongpoint with BAR fire and helped to keep the Germans down.

A destroyer' s fire, helpful in the first stages of the assault, now caused a halt. The 2d Section of Company L, from on top of the hill, telephoned the beach that it was ready to close on the strongpoint if naval fire could be lifted; the second assault wave was stopped short of the enemy positions by the same fire.

When it lifted, the strongpoint was immediately stormed by the troops coming at it from below. Enemy resistance was broken; grenades and satchel charges cleaned out the trenches and emplacements, and 31 prisoners were taken, 15 of them wounded.

About 0900 the battalion was informed that the strongpoint had been subdued, the action having required little more than an hour.  Led by Company L, the 3d BLT at once started south for inland objectives.

Click on the map for a better view.


Media Credits

Map image, described above, online courtesy U.S. Army Center of Military History.

PD

 

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"Fox Green Beach - Map and Operations" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Aug 23, 2019.
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