The Battle of Pointe du Hoc is an interactive combat narrative about a heroic and crucial part of the Normandy invasion. The website acts as a companion to a visitor center at the Pointe du Hoc battlefield location in France. Interstitial videos, an interactive map, animations, and zoomable stills come together to make this an immersive experience, allowing users complete control over their pathway through this battle story.
To liberate Europe, World War II Allied commanders planned to invade through Normandy, establish a lodgment, and drive through France and into Germany. Between the two American landing beaches, code-named OMAHA and UTAH, the prominent hundred-foot cliffs of Pointe du Hoc thrust into the sea. Here the Germans strongly emplaced six 155mm cannons that could wreak havoc on both OMAHA and UTAH beaches with their heavy shells and 25-kilometer range. Thus it was that the American invasion planners characterized Pointe du Hoc as the single German defensive position most dangerous to their plans. The Germans considered it unassailable from the sea, and mined and fortified it to defeat an overland assault. They reasoned that by the time attackers forced their way overland through these formidable defenses, the big guns would have devastated the landing forces on both beaches. What the German planners did not know was that the Americans did not consider the massive 100-foot cliffs of Pointe du Hoc unassailable. In fact, American military planners believed that a well trained, elite Ranger force could land on the narrow strip below the cliffs, climb the cliffs using ropes and ladders that were propelled aloft by rockets and surprise the defenders. It was a bold and daring plan of action.