housed in cement casements were a major threat to the invasion forces
off Omaha and Utah Beaches. Bombing had not destroyed the positions.
Companies D, E and F of Colonel James Rudder's 2nd Ranger Battalion
landed at the base of the cliffs at 7:00 AM. Hand grenades and machine
gun bullets thwarted the Rangers climbing ropes to the top. Of the 225
in the assault only 120 made it to the plateau. The casements were empty
with only camouflaged telephone poles as decoys. The Rangers moved south
to the coast road intersection discovering a six howitzer field battery. Sergeants
Leonard Lommel and Jack Kuhn using thermite grenades demolished the
firing and sighting mechanisms. German counterattacks compressed the
Rangers back to within 50 feet of the cliff face which they held until
relieved by Omaha landed forces on D-day +2.