Establishing a Foothold

The first American troops came ashore simultaneously at Omaha and Utah beaches at approximately 6:30 in the morning: H-Hour. After landings that put many of them off course and hundreds of yards from shore, Allied troops fought through the sea only to encounter heavy fire, obstacles, and heavily mined beaches. The men of the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions faced the heaviest concentration of German resistance, as they encountered intense fire upon landing on Omaha Beach. Estimates vary, but almost half of all casualties on D-Day occurred at Omaha Beach. The 4th Infantry Division and 70th Tank Battalion faced only moderate resistance when they hit Utah Beach, thanks in large part to the efforts of the paratroopers earlier that morning.