Omaha Beach: Honor and Sacrifice
On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the green 29th Infantry Division faced some of the most brutal fighting on Omaha Beach. Perhaps the worst area on the beach was Dog Green, directly in front of strong points guarding the Vierville draw and under heavy flanking fire from emplacements to the west, near Pointe de la Percee. Company A of the 116th [29th Division] was due to land on this sector with Company C of the 2nd Rangers on its right flank, and both units came in on their targets. One of the six LCA’s carrying Company A [116th Regiment,29th Division] foundered about a thousand yards of shore, and passing Rangers saw men jumping overboard and being dragged down by their loads. At H+6 minutes the remaining craft grounded in water 4 to 6 feet deep, about 30 yards short of the outward band of obstacles. Starting off the craft in three files, center file first and the flank files peeling right and left, the men were enveloped in accurate and intense fire from automatic weapons. The order was quickly lost as the troops attempted to dive underwater or dropped over the sides into surf over their heads. Mortar fire scored four direct hits on one LCA, which “disintegrated.” Casualties were suffered all the way to the sand, but when the survivors got there, some found they could not hold and came back into the water for cover, while others took refuge behind the nearest obstacles. Narrated by baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Tim McCarver.
Each of our documentary films has a corresponding quiz or essay question for use in the classroom by teachers and educators.
We encourage you to choose one of the PDFs below that is the best match for your students. It’s up to each educator if you would like to offer either the exam or the one-question essay. An answer sheet corresponds with each quiz. Our goal is not to overwhelm students with dates, treaties, and strategy. Instead, we would rather focus their attention on the individual stories of the subjects of our documentaries. We find these visual stories to be inspiring, impactful, and educational.
We hope that after viewing one of our films, students will want to learn more about the personal stories of World War II generation. Maybe they do this by reading a book, watching another documentary, or perhaps a full-length film. Maybe our films will inspire your students to ask an older family member about their role, or inquire about another relative’s story, in World War II.
We recommend the below curriculum for grades 7-12 and college.