From the moment that the Germans caught the LCAs in their sights, they started to unleash a deadly torrent of firepower onto the green replacements and battleharded veterans. The weapons on WN-60 that the 40 Germans stationed within it used, were two 75-millimeter antitank guns, a Renault tankturret and four mortar Tobruks and several machine guns which was further supplemented by two mine fields. From the moment that Fieldmarshall Rommel took command of Army Group B, the Germans started to fortify the Atlantic Wall, particularly in the Normandy region. Rommel told his fellow officers several times over and one time in private to Major Werner Pluskat, ‘’ Pluskat, in my opion it is in this very area that the Allies will land. If they do, you’re going to have to fight one of the toughest battles of your life.’’ When Pluskat asked him why he thought so, Rommel replied: ‘’Because this is exactly the type of place that the Allies will choose. They did so in Italy.’’ Because Rommel thought this would be the place where the Allies would start their invasion into Western Europe, he had ordered that the strongpoints needed to be reinforced and better defendable in order to keep the Allied soldiers pinned as long as possible on the beach. This was crucial to the German defence, because when the Allies were able to establish a beachhead inland, the Germans would not be able to push them back into the sea.
So the Germans began to fortify their positions and knew exactly how best to use their weapons in this fortified position. So when the men from L Company got the signal that the ramp would be lowered and that they were to debark from the landing craft, the Germans opened fire with their deadly MG-42 machine guns and the leading men were cut down as they attempted to get off the boats. Those who were able to leave the LCA, would get into chin-deep water which caused some of these men to drown due to their heavy load of equipment. But the fortunate ones, now had to cross 180 meters of beach, where the Germans were able to see their every move and target them with effective artillery and small arms fire. To make it even more difficult, the men weren’t able to run to the cliffs, because, again, they were so heavily loaded down with equipment. Captain Armellino said that he lost a lot of green soldiers, because they had no fear and failed to hit the ground every few yards. The battle hardened veterans did, however, knew what to do and hence more of them survived the landing. But some men would not be able to hit the ground every few yards, they had to run to every soldier that was hit. These men were the Battalion medics and were determined to save as many lives as they possibly could. Armellino thought that of the 200 men he had, only 125 made it to the cliff. Within these 125 men were also men from E Company, 116th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division, they just landed on the wrong spot of the beach and had become entangled with elements of the 16th Infantry. Moments later, while Captain Armellino was reorganizing his company, he was hit and wounded by shrapnel. His wounds were severe, an artery in his leg was cut by fragments from the shell. So while he was fighting for his life, the command of the company went down to First Lieutenant Cutler.