Utah Beach: A Key Success Story on D-Day with Alexander Wilson - Context Travel

Utah Beach: A Key Success Story on D-Day with Alexander Wilson


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Utah Beach is a success story on D-Day, but a story which tends to be undertold, overshadowed as it is by the enormity of events at Omaha. This Conversation looks to put Utah back up there as a key chapter in the history of the Normandy Landings.

There is a clear tendency on the part of historians (and filmmakers) to underplay the importance of Utah, the most westerly of the beaches on D-Day, perhaps encouraged in this by the somewhat contentious affirmation by General Omar Bradley in his memoirs that: “Utah Beach was a piece of cake”.

It is Omaha Beach that has come to symbolize the magnitude and sacrifice of the D-Day landings : its geography, with bluffs firing down onto a beach closed at either by cliffs ; the horrific initial casualties there ; the extraordinary heroism in turning the situation; the precarity of the beachhead at the end of the day…

But this is to underestimate the importance of Utah, added late in the planning to meet very clear and critical strategic objectives. It is also to give too little credit to the troops of the 4th Division landing there who, if they met with less initial resistance, nevertheless went on, with great resource (not least in that they landed in the wrong place already!), to establish a strong beachhead and vital logistical base.

This talk will look above all to put the assault on Utah in its rightful context as a key success story on D-Day. It will also explore the absolutely critical role played by the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions in preparing the way for the seaborne landings.

Led by Alex Wilson, local guide and historian who lives in Port-en-Bessin (and whose late father landed on Gold Beach on D-Day), this Context Conversation will also hopefully convey what a great place the Normandy coastline is to visit in the future.

Alex Wilson, a History First from Oxford, has been living and working in France for 35 years. After running his own publishing company, he has been guiding in Normandy (and for Context) for the last ten years. While his interests extend from William the Conqueror through to the post-War reconstruction, his main focus is on WW2 and the Battle of Normandy.

This conversation is not suitable for children under 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
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M
M.
Excellent description
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J.
J
J.