Pointe Du Hoc Memorial | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Pointe Du Hoc Memorial

Cricqueville-en-Bessin, Normandy, France

Luke Tomes

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Pointe Du Hoc Memorial

The Pointe Du Hoc Memorial in Normandy, France commemorates the American Second Ranger Battalion who fought there on 6 June 1944 as part of the D-Day landings in World War Two.

Pointe Du Hoc Memorial history

The D-Day attack was a pivotal offensive which allowed the Allies to gain a foothold in Nazi-occupied France and begin the process of liberating Western Europe.

Pointe Du Hoc overlooks Omaha Beach, which was a vital landing point for Allied troops during the D-Day operation. Led by Lieutenant Colonel James E. Rudder, the Second Ranger Battalion of Army Rangers was tasked with capturing German artillery at Pointe Du Hoc to ensure the safety of the troops landing on the beaches below.

During the American assault of Omaha and Utah beaches, these U.S. Army Rangers scaled the 100-foot cliffs and seized the German artillery pieces that could have fired on the American landing troops at Omaha and Utah beaches. At a high cost of life, they successfully defended against determined German counterattacks.

Pointe Du Hoc Memorial today

The Pointe Du Hoc Memorial is a large granite structure which stands at the edge of the 100-foot cliffs these Rangers had to scale to complete their dangerous mission. The Rangers succeeded in their task, but suffered significant causalities in the process.

Constructed by the French and now managed by the American Battle Monuments Commission, the Pointe Du Hoc Memorial is a reminder of the heroism of the Rangers and the forced involved in the Normandy landings.

The area surrounding the Pointe Du Hoc Memorial is also historically fascinating, littered by bomb craters, it is preserved in much the same state as it was immediately following D-Day.

To ensure your safety, stay on the designated walking path. As the site has remained relatively unchanged since 1944, large bomb craters and uneven ground fill the landscape.

Getting to Pointe Du Hoc Memorial

Pointe du Hoc sits on cliffs overlooking the English Channel. The site is seven miles west of Normandy American Cemetery.

If travelling by car from Paris, take the A-13 to Caen. Continue onto N-13 towards Bayeux in the direction of Cherbourg. Continue onto D-517 into St. Laurent-sur-Mer and then turn left on D-514 towards Pointe du Hoc. At a roundabout 6 miles west of St. Laurent-sur-Mer, you will see a sign that reads La Pointe du Hoc. Follow this sign to reach the parking lot.

Pointe du Hoc is open to the public daily. Hours of operation for the visitor center are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April 1 to September 30, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the rest of the year. It is open on host country holidays. Hotels are available in Bayeux and Port-en-Bessin.

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