Point Du Hoc
Point du Hoc is an amazing place. It looks like a lunar landscape from the results of American Heavy Bombers and 16 inch Naval artillery. Bottom line, the Germans had a really, really bad morning. A must see for a D-Day tourist.
This is LTC James Earl Rudder's command bunker. He was the battalion commander of the 2nd Rangers and led the improbable assault on the Point du Hoc. He set up his headquarters in this bunker along the cliff in order to minimize the effects of incoming German shells. He was also a graduate of Texas A&M University as was I. My children are Aggies as well and will graduate in 2014 and 2017 respectively. Thumbs up is Aggie speak for A-OK.
Earl Rudder's Statue at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
Earl Rudder's ID card as displayed in the Corps of Cadet's Museum, College Station, Texas.
Back to Normandy, 1944.........
Did I mention that these shell craters are deep!
View of the point from above. This is the side that all 3 Ranger companies scaled. They were and still are very brave men.
A view from across the point. The lunar landscape has intermingled smashed bunkers. Apparently, German concrete is no match for American steel and gunpowder.
Remains of concrete bags long since exposed to rain and hardened in the sun.
Over the edge. The beach where the landing crafts approached.
This is the main forward observer bunker hanging over the point. It has since become unstable due to erosion and is off limits. On top of it is the memorial to the Rangers. A new memorial has been constructed in a safe area. There are still bullet holes around the vents where the last die hards made their stand.
View of the same bunker from the rear. Notice the bullet holes around the round vent opening.
One of the infamous gun positions. In actuality, the Germans had not yet installed the French guns. At any rate, we took the point and there was nothing the Germans could do to stop American determination, flexibility, and leadership. Texas A&M still recognized Earl Rudder as a hero and he has a building, fountain, and the Corps of Cadets Ranger Challenge Team named after him.