Utah Beach stretches from Sainte-Marie-du-Mont as far as Quinéville, along about 5 km; the main assault zone was centred on Varreville.

 

This was the first of the two zones selected for the American landings. This beach was wanted by General Bernard Montgomery who wished to establish a beachhead on the Cotentin in order to rapidly capture Cherbourg and its deep water port.

The Germans believed that a landing on this part of the coast was unlikely.  Fortifications were therefore more sparsely built here and enemy resistance weaker than on the other beaches. This led to fewer casualties there than on "Bloody Omaha" and objectives were met.

A night-time airborne operation preceded the landings at Utah. Claiming many lives, this operation was carried out in order to take control over the few roads through the marshes, thus allowing the Allies to advance from the beaches.

 

Essential sites

The Utah-Beach Landings Museum at Sainte-Marie-du-Mont

Holiday Normandy

Situated on the exact site of the American landings of 6th June 1944, Utah Beach Museum relates the military and technical exploit which has made the beaches off the Madeleine so famous.

The Battery of Azeville

Weekend Normandy

Seen as a vital part of the Atlantic Wall, the battery at Azeville, with its underground passages and defence system was one of the Allies’ prime objectives in June 1944.