Douglas A-20 Havocs (DB-7) Bomb Pointe du Hoc
May 1944 Photograph
For months, Allied commanders poured over aerial reconnaissance of the French coast, seeking the best place to land the amphibious assault. Once chosen, Allied bombing of the defenses at Normandy began in earnest in April 1944 to weaken as many of the large guns along the coast as possible. Allied commanders utilized annotated reconnaissance photos to determine the positions of German artillery at Pointe du Hoc, allowing for later bombing runs illustrated here by Douglas A-20 Havocs dropping their 1,000-pound payloads on the German gun emplacements.