Wednesday, August 16, 1944
The days that marked the Battle of Normandy
The Americans are still advancing towards the east of Argentan and Alençon, in pursuit of the German forces fleeing the Falaise pocket. The encircled soldiers have received the order of general withdrawal from Hitler. Orléans and the Loire are reached on August 16 by the 12th corps belonging to the 3rd Army of General Patton, while Chartres and Dreux are also occupied respectively by the 20th Corps and the 15th Corps.
The progression of the Canadians and the Poles north of Argentan continues: Falaise is finally liberated by the 2nd Corps belonging to the 1st Canadian Army led by General Crerar. On the evening of August 16, the 21st Army group commanded by General Montgomery controlled the localities of (from west to east): Condé-sur-Noireau, part of the town of Flers, Saint-Denis, Pont-d‘Ouilly, and heavy fighting continues near the village of Trun.
However, at 3:30 pm, General Montgomery ordered the closure of the pocket from the village of Trun, whereas Bradley believes it is already too late and that a large part of the German forces have already withdrawn towards the Seine river.
The Allies are also preparing a new operation, called Paddle, which will break the German lines east of Caen. The beginning of this offensive is planned for 17 August, and must be carried out in particular by the Belgian brigade of Colonel Piron. The first Belgian soldier of the Piron Brigade was killed on 16 August: Edouard Gerard, 20, fell in Sallenelles.