Aerial reconnaissance prior to D-Day indicated that gun emplacements were under construction at Pointe du Hoc to house a battery of six guns. Since these could threaten the UTAH and OMAHA invasion beaches, the position was heavily bombed in the weeks before the invasion. Construction was severely disrupted and to ensure that the guns were neutralised, US Rangers scaled the cliffs under fire and attacked the position in the early hours of D-Day. They successfully captured the position but found that the guns had already been removed. Pushing southwards to enlarge their defensive perimeter, a group of Rangers discovered and destroyed five artillery pieces concealed in an orchard.