Omaha Beach East in Focus
   The map sections reproduced below are from the so-called"Bigot" map of Omaha Beach (East) prepared in advance of the invasion (during May 1944). The Bigot maps were detailed and highly secret maps of the D-Day landing sites. (Bigot clearance was above top secret.) An interesting story related to the Bigot maps involved an American tragedy that had been covered up during the war and for many years thereafter. Prior to D-Day, on the evening of April 27, 1944, "Operation Tiger," a beach-landing rehearsal, was conducted on the coast of Devon county in southwest England by the U.S. 4th Division, which was scheduled to land at Utah Beach. The beach at Slapton Sands closely resembled the area at which they would land in Normandy. German intelligence picked up allied radio traffic during the exercise, and dispatched nine fast-moving motor torpedo boats (E-Boats) from Cherbourg and attacked the convoy. Two American LSTs, 507 and 53, were sunk; LST 289 was badly damaged, but would make port. But 746 GIs were killed — more then four times the losses that would be suffered at Utah on D-Day itself. Several Quartermaster and Engineer companies were virtually wiped out. General Eisenhower ordered that all bodies were to be recovered and the disaster kept secret, primarily to protect the landing plans. He especially wanted to find the bodies of 10 men who had been issued the "Bigot" maps of Utah Beach. All were recovered, and the mission was still secure.

   The sectioned Bigot map from which all of the following images were culled was the Omaha-East map, and it shows the beaches between Colleville-sur-Mer and Les Moulins, including the countryside just inland. Reproducing this map for the Web and to assist former members in identifying where they landed on Omaha would not have been possible without discovering Tim Roop's Web Site. It took Tim 17 years to find an original copy of Omaha-East (his uncle had given him his copy of the map he carried on Omaha, Omaha-West, back in 1977). Visit Tim's site and support his efforts by ordering your own copy of Omaha-East. Thanks, Tim!
OMAHA EAST (PANEL 2) (47 K) Omaha East, Panel 1, Colleville-sur-Mer area. The beach exit designated E-3 ("Easy 3") is clearly labeled and is on the right side of the image, protected by a 20-foot-wide antitank ditch. The small valley that forms the natural exit from the beach (the GIs called these "draws") that leads inland is on the extreme right and curves toward Colleville [click to view a larger (169 K) version]. Other enlargement options:

OMAHA EAST (PANEL 2) (47 K) Omaha East, Panel 2, the beach East of Colleville-sur-Mer, with Saint-Laurent-sur Mer in the upper right. The beach exit designated E-1 ("Easy 1") is clearly labeled and is in the center-right side of the image, protected by an 18-foot-wide antitank ditch. The small valley of the River Ruquet that leads inland is directly above the label; the draw it forms curves slightly away from Saint-Laurent. Anyone who moved inland via this draw would remember the tiny stream bisecting the heavily wooded draw. Note also what seems to be railroad tracks along the beach at the left side, with a clearly labeled "reservoir" [click to view a larger (188 K) version]. Other enlargement options:

OMAHA EAST (PANEL 3) (41 K) Omaha East, Panel 3, centered on the village of Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer at the top. Les Moulins is just visible on the extreme right edge of the image, west of Saint-Laurent. The map shows how the village was nearly dead-center between the E-1 draw and the Les Moulins draw. Draw a line down the middle of this map section and you'd have the boundary between the 1st Division on the left (assigned Exit E-1, or "Easy 1") and the 29th Division on the right (elements in this sector assigned to move inland through the Les Moulins draw) [click to view a larger (148 K) version]. Other enlargement options:

OMAHA EAST (PANEL 4) (19 K) Omaha East, Panel 4, showing the extreme edge of the Omaha East map. The prominent feature in this panel is the Les Moulins draw at the lower right. Again, the draw was protected by an antitank ditch (up to 18 feet wide), parts of which had been flooded. This exit, northwest of Saint-Laurent and west of Vierville-sur-Mer (out of view) is clearly labeled D-3 ("Dog 3") and was assigned to elements of the 29th Infantry Division [click to view a larger (66 K) version]. Other enlargement options:


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