The beach obstacles to the D-Day landing included massive concrete tetrahedra, wooden embankments, bristly steel structures, and half-submerged traps and barricades lined with explosives. In order to clear the way for landing craft and ships, the Navy SEALs were tasked with clearing the obstacles under enemy fire, something they had been training for since exactly a year ago with the Naval Combat Demolition Unit training school. The training was extremely intense and forced members to spend months testing different methods for clearing traps, but the team that was sent to the beach on D-Day was still underprepared and inadequately supplied. Sixteen teams were deployed to blow up a fifty-meter wide gap, but the plan fell through when nearly all the soldiers landed between a half-mile and a mile from their target zones. The German 352nd Infantry Division met them with machine gun fire before they could reach the water. At the end of the improvised mission, only nine units survived to create the gaps and in need of medical assistance. The clearing of the beach obstacles was completed, but at the expense of 52% of the team members.
January 20, 2020