Omaha to Pointe du Hoc
Part One: Secure the crossroads
The bulk of the Ranger force entered the battle through an orchard to the right hand side of a farm road. Their objective was the crossroads, but they had a limited timescale. One squad, a recon unit, was using a communication trench. They were faced by an open field overlooked by a farmhouse to their left. The squad in the communication trench crept forward under cover of smoke laid down by the mortar in the orchard. The Yanks were not taking any risks just in case there were some krauts occupying the building. The farmhouse was secured and found to be unoccupied. What a relief!
The rest of the Rangers rushed across the open field and took up positions behind a hedge. Reinforcements followed the recon squad along the communication trench but came under HMG fire as they moved up the road to occupy the farmhouse. Luckily they only lost one casualty despite taking seven hits. The recon squad vacated the building as the reinforcements entered and crept up the hedge with their comrades. Another farmhouse and a ruined building were in the next field, both of which were occupied.
The Rangers laid down fire at the farmhouse and called in mortar support which, as it turned out, was ineffective. Obviously the mortar crew were better with smoke rounds than with explosive ones. However the small arms fire inflicted enough casualties to drive the Germans out of the farmhouse and they fell back across the road.
More smoke was called down and the recon squad moved forward to take the empty farmhouse. Meanwhile Rangers advanced along the bocage which lay to the right of the farmhouse and took up positions ready to assault the ruins and clear the German occupiers. They came under fire from across the road, suffering one casualty. The mortar crew advanced, too, in anticipation of further action. The squad occupying the first farmhouse also came forward and prepared to advance.
With everyone in position the Rangers opened fire on the ruins and again inflicted enough casualties to clear the Germans out. They moved in to take over. Darkness was coming and although the prize was in sight the Rangers had to give up and the day belonged to the German defenders.