Will you tell me how we did this? Anybody would be a fool to try this. It was crazy then, and it’s crazy now,’ was LT-Col James A. Rudder’s response on revisiting Pointe du Hoc after World War II.
On 6 June 1944 Rudder had led the assault Companies D, E and F of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, United States Army, up the 100ft high cliffs of Pointe du Hoc in the face of ferocious German oppositions. Sandwiched between the D-Day beaches of Utah and Omaha the objective was an enemy gun emplacement threatening the Allied landings. Although the 155 mm guns were not in their emplacements the Rangers did locate and destroy them. Then held out despite heavy losses against German counter-attacks until relieved two days later.
Secret Operations: Pointe du Hoc gives a detailed account of this entire operation, and covers the United States and German forces involved in the assault.