On Sands Stained Red: Ordinary Men and Extraordinary Courage on Omaha Beach

Tyler Abt


On June 6, 1944, at approximately 7:15 A.M., only 45 minutes after the initial allied landing craft hit the beaches of Normandy, France, to breach Hitler's Atlantic Wall, 1st Lt. Bob Edlin and the men of 1st Platoon, A Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion approached the smoke-shrouded Dog Green Sector of Omaha Beach in their LCA (Landing Craft Assault). Both A and B Companies' landing craft had spent the early hours of the morning trolling in a circling pattern a few miles off the coast of France awaiting orders to land. Those orders had now arrived.

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Primary Sources:

Adams, Jay S. Interview by Tom Swope. Painesville, OH, July 5, 2001.

Beazley, Jesse A. Reminiscing on World War II experiences. January 13, 2004.

Bradley, Omar N. A Soldier's Story. Scranton, PA: The Haddon Craftsmen, 1951.

Garman, Gale E. Interview by Jordan Bowling. Dayton, OH, November 14, 2005.

Delaney, Kenneth T. Reminiscing on World War II experiences. Undated.

Giangreco, D.M., with Kathryn Moore. Eyewitness D-Day: Firsthand Accounts from the Landings at Normandy to the Liberation of Paris. New York: Sterling Publishing Co, 2005.

Library of Congress: Veterans History Project. While a potentially useful source, the lack of the exact unit that each veteran was in and the time they landed vastly limited the usefulness of almost all interviews for my purpose.

Loncaric, William V. Interview with William S. Switzer. Undated.

Marcia, Moen, and Margo Heinen. The Fool Lieutenant: A Personal Account of D-Day and World War II. Elk River, MN: Meadowlark Publishing, 2000.

Woodring, Claud C. Interview by Andrew Fisher. January 2, 2003.

Secondary Sources:

Ambrose, Stephen E. D-Day: June 6, 1944, The Climactic Battle of World War II. New York: Touchstone, 1994.

Astor, Gerald. The Voices of D-Day. New York: Dell Publishing, 1994.

Balkoski, Joseph. Beyond the Beachhead: The 29th Infantry Division in Normandy. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1989.

Balkoski, Joseph. Omaha Beach: D-Day June 6, 1944. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2004. Balkoski's work is the absolute best book on Omaha Beach. It is written in a hybrid style with narrative by Balkoski and quotes only coming in usually long block form.

Kershaw, Alex. The Bedford Boys: One American Town's Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2003.

Lewis, Adrian R. Omaha Beach: A Flawed Victory. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001. Though I disagree with many of Lewis's views, he is a needed and thought provoking voice in the muddle of patriotic cheerleading that makes up the bulk of historical writings about Omaha Beach.

Pogue, Forrest C. George C. Marshall: Organizer of Victory. New York: Viking Press, 1973.

Ryan, Cornelius. The Longest Day: June 6, 1944. New York: Touchstone, 1959.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21061/vtuhr.v5i1.38


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