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Wednesday, July 26, 1944

Wednesday, July 26, 1944

The days that marked the Battle of Normandy

Operation Cobra in the south of the Cotentin Peninsula continues. Northwest of the area which was the starting point for the offensive, four American infantry divisions also attacked: the 8th, 79th, 83rd and 90th divisions. These divisions attack on two axes, one on the east along the road linking the localities of Lessay and Coutances, the other along the Périers-Coutances road.

The German forces no longer oppose any strong resistance, and the Americans are heading south: the village of Marigny is attacked and violent battles are fought in the vicinity. This village is defended by elements of the Das Reich division, supported by tanks and by elements of the 353rd Infantry Division. The 2nd US Armored Division reached the village of Saint-Samson-de-Bonfossé at the end of the evening, after making the most important US progression of the day. But the best news for the Allies is that the breakthrough has been carried out south of the Cotentin.

The Anglo-Canadians, for their part, try to recover from operation Spring, launched the day before. The terrifying losses force them to abandon the ground gained during the past twenty-four hours. However, the sacrifice of the Canadians allowed the Spring offensive to be accomplished: the Germans decided not to send reinforcements to the Cotentin but rather to maintain a sufficient force south of Caen to counter possible offensives. Spring is a success on paper, but a catastrophe at the level of losses: 1,500 Canadians are put out of action.

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