Category: Invasion and Campaign for Normandy

Landing in Normandy

On May 8, General Eisenhower designated D-day as June 5, but because of bad weather he decided on June 4 to postpone the invasion to June 6. Though the weather remained poor, further delay would have necessitated waiting until June 19, when tidal conditions and the light of the moon would again have been propitious. […]

Battle of the Hedgerows

Despite Allied success in getting ashore in Normandy, the lodgment secured by the beginning of July was much smaller than had been anticipated. Because the British seemed stalled before Caen, Bradley’s First Army initiated on July 3 the offensive that became known as the battle of the hedgerows. The hedgerows are walls, half earth and […]

Breakthrough

To penetrate the German defenses and make a limited exploitation to the town of Coutances, General Bradley on July 13 drew an outline plan called Cobra. This plan projected a heavy attack on a narrow front just west of St.-Lo, the ground effort to be propelled forward by a mighty air attack. Bradley concentrated 6 […]

Breakout into Brittany

Middleton’s 8th Corps, now under the Third Army, turned west from Avranches and entered Brittany. One armored division drove to Rennes and then to Lorient, another armored division drove to Brest, and an infantry division moved to St.-Malo. The entrance of American troops into Brittany chased the Germans into these port cities, as well as […]

Breakout to the East

When the Third Army became operational on August 1, General Patton took control not only of the 8th Corps operations in Brittany but also of Maj. Gen. (later Gen.) Wade H. Haislip’s 15th Corps, which turned southeastward toward Mayenne. Taking Mayenne on August 4, capturing Laval on August 5, and seizing Le Mans on August […]

Liberation of Paris

The climactic incident in the Normandy campaign was the liberation of Paris, which occurred almost by accident. In order to avoid a battle that would damage the French capital and inflict casualties on its inhabitants, General Eisenhower intended originally to bypass Paris. Hitler for his part wished to retain the city for the prestige involved, […]