Most American GIs were unfamiliar with the dense hedges. They used tanks to ram the berms with hollow rods. Combat engineers would then place explosives in the holes. However, they didn’t have nearly enough explosives to destroy all the hedges they would encounter, and the explosions drew unwelcome attention from German artillery. The Americans also used “dozer” tanks—regular tanks equipped with a bulldozer blade—to power through the thickets of earth and undergrowth. Every D-Day battalion had approximately 70 tanks, four of them being dozers. Although these modified vehicles could clear the hedgerows with some effort, they were highly visible, and German anti-tank squads made them target number one.
Soldiers take cover at the base of hedgerows. Some of the hedges were 15 feet tall.