There were destroyers whose captains disobeyed orders on D-Day and moved close to the beach to destroy pillboxes that were pinning down our GIs. Does anyone know the story details?

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Mudassir Ali
Feb 24, 2020 05:18 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 24, 2020 05:18 AM

At Omaha beach, where the landing was held up at the strand, destroyers were sent in from the bombardment line several miles off the beach to a direct fire position, as close as possible and not ground. The decison to move the destroyers in for direct fire was made at a flag level. People were given commendations.

The primary risk would have been mines. Fortunately none of the Omaha Beach destroyers hit mines or apparently suffered much damage due to gunfire or shoaling. Mark Stratton’s answer has an informative link.

At least 3 destroyers did hit mines at the Normandy beaches as well as numerous other ships. Exactly why things suddenly blew up was unclear and mines do not write good after action reports.

Quite a number of event occured to finally get the landing force at Omaha off the beach and past the first fortifications. The direct application of 4″ and 5″ high explosive shells to concrete was undoubtably helpful.

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