German control of
back flooding the lowlands behind Utah Beach and the Douve and Merderet
River valleys was accomplished by opening and closing the lock gates
at the appropriate times over a two year period. Colonel "Skeets"
Johnson, commander of the 501st Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division,
attacked from the north early D-day morning with 150 men. The Germans
withdrew south several hundred feet to prepared positions. US Navy counter
fire against two German 88s in Carentan silenced the Germans. On D-day
+1 German paratroopers of the 1st Battalion, 6th Parachute Regiment
attacked from the top right towards the T-junction. Although out-manned
the Americans bluffed the Germans into surrendering. In error German
artillery killed many of their comrades as the POWs were being marched
into captivity. Today, the Liberte' Expressway across these lowlands
near Carentan passes very close to the lock.