It was hard enough to see the beach from just offshore because of smoke from the firing and from the burning vehicles.
Photo from National Archives
This log of radio calls from soldiers on the beach and ships just offshore to the 1st Infantry Division's headquarters ship, the U.S.S. Ancon, illustrates why for much of that morning, Allied leaders thought the landing was failing. From 6:47 a.m. to 11:46, there are about 30 messages, and almost every one is bad news. The Ancon was far out in the English Channel and those aboard could not see the action on the beach.