Hein Severloh, the »Beast of Omaha Beach«
It was Hein Severloh, a soldier of the 352th Infantry Division, and his MG 42 that made the American landing at Omaha Beach / Normandy on June 6, 1944 so costly.
Severloh had manned the »Widerstandsnest 62« (strongpoint 62) early that day and watched the Allied armada approaching the French shores.
Some 34142 soldiers of the 1st U.S. Infantry Divison would soon have their rendevous with some 300 German soldiers awaiting them.
With his strongpoint some 100 feet above the beach and his devastating machine gun supplied with sufficient ammo, Severloh had superb conditions for the upcomming events.
Between 6.30 a.m. and 15.30 p.m. Severloh fired no less than 12,400 rounds against the enemy in the moment they left the landing boats thus killing and wounding roughly 2,000.
He was even shot on by a destroyer from the sea but continued firing until his superior at last ordered the retreat.
Hein Severloh became prisoner the same day and was eventually shipped to the U.S.
For good reasons, he never talked about what happened on June 6 during his captivity.
Hein Severloh often returned to Omaha Beach after the war. He died in 2006.