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Last Updated: Thursday June 03 2004 09:22 GMT


Utah beach

Who landed on Utah beach?
This was an American landing beach. The US 4th Infantry Division came ashore here at 6.30am on D-Day.

What were their orders?
To break out and split up. Most of the troops would push north towards the important harbour at Cherbourg.

How did it go?
Small landing craft were launched from bigger ships several kilometres offshore. This was a problem as 2m high waves meant some soldiers were injured or even drowned as they climbed down into the smaller boats. Twenty three thousand troops were landed and 210 were killed, missing or wounded.

The waves and strong winds meant the first soldiers landed 2km to the south of their target. This turned out to be a good thing. They found there were fewer German defences there - so the rest of the troops also came ashore at the "wrong" place.