I now have a new view of what the German defenses were like and what happened. It was not like the movie Saving Private Ryan.


Some videos:

historian comments about mg42s in Saving Private Ryan

How accurate was Dog Green From Saving Private Ryan at Omaha.

Bunkers. Some tanks.

How Accurate is Saving Private Ryan? - WW2 D-Day Special

This key video is a long talk about German defenses. Guns pointed down the length of the beach, not out to sea. Does "guns" includes machine guns? Ehh .. See 2.2. A lot of casualties were caused by the various types of artillery, supplemented by machine guns.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. There is a picture out there showing a smaller-calibre artillery gun I believe on Omaha Beach. It is in a simple slit trench on a bluff, no top cover, and it can shoot out the open end of the slit trench. The slit trench is at an angle so that it can shoot down the beach. You can not see the position, let alone shoot at it, if you are facing south.

It's well known that the duplex drive tanks had a disastrous time trying to land. However, the wading tanks later did better. The wading tanks were released from their landing craft (varying sizes) in shallow water. By the way, I've never seen these tanks in Saving Private Ryan.

Unsurprisingly, they did have (ginger?) seasickness pills (source, if you care).

Before D-Day, the Americans were not aware of certain things:
Omaha Beach had been reinforced with the experienced 352nd infantry division.
Pointe du Hoc didn't have any artillery. The Americans therefore launched troops and tanks farther from shore.
Before D-Day, the British had found from experience that duplex drive tanks are likely to sink in choppy water. On D-Day they launched their tanks closer to shore. The Americans did not learn this lesson.

Aerial video of the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy

There is drone footage out there too.

Normandy at low tide

Google image search. I don't think the landing craft stopped right at the water's edge.

You could see the very brief "Omaha Beach and German Bunker" video too.

What is a tobruk at Omaha Beach?

Tour The Normandy Battlefields Omaha Beach

One page, showing a position or two. I wouldn't want to be a paratrooper around that flak gun.