Pointe du Hoc is situated on a cliff, 131 feet (40 meters) above the English Channel, 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) west of Omaha Beach. It was here on June 6, 1944, D-Day morning where Lt. Colonel James Earl Rudder led an assault by elements of the American Second Ranger Battalion on a German gun battery that had five, 155 millimeter guns protecting Omaha and Utah beaches.
The Rangers scaled the cliff only to find that the Germans had moved the guns because of the heavy allied bombings on this position. The Rangers later found the guns about .15 miles (250 meters) inland from Point du Hoc and disabled them.
Today the site is still pocked with large craters left from the allied bombing runs that lead up to D-Day, and from the shelling from the 14 inch guns of the U.S. Battleship Texas on D-Day morning. Huge chunks of concrete litter the site because of the hits the German gun casements took from the allied bombing and shelling.
A raised observation platform provides good views for visitors to the site. The Ranger Monument located at the edge of the cliff has been re-opened after the completion of the cliff-side restoration project completed in October 2010.
Click here to read about one of our Normandy tours to Pointe du Hoc.
D-Day June 6, 1994: The Climatic Battle of World War II. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. 1994
‒Stephen E. Ambrose