Monday, July 31, 1944
The days that marked the Battle of Normandy
The running of operation Cobra continues, and American forces enter Brittany, painfully defended in the Pontaubault region by elements of the 91st German infantry division. Facing it, the 4th and 6th armored divisions do not weaken and continue their progression. At the southern point of the progression, the Allies have made a progression of 56 kilometers since 24 July and nearly 20,000 German soldiers have been taken prisoner throughout the Cobra operation. Fierce fighting took place east of Avranches, near the village of Brécey. However, the Americans retain the advantage and the German forces retreat south and south-east.
On the eastern flank of US forces, British troops continued operation Bluecoat. Since the previous day, they are advancing towards the south, attacking the German soldiers who have retreated following operation Cobra. At the end of the day, the Commonwealth forces reached the villages of La Ferrière-Harang south-east of Saint-Lô, as well as La Morichèse-Les Mares and Les Loges south of Caumont, Cahagnes and Briquessard to the east while the 50th British infantry division attacked south of Saint-German-d’Ectot, defended by the 276th German infantry division.
South of Caumont, the 21st Panzer Division, backed by the 326th German infantry division, resisted and counter-attacked the 15th and 43rd infantry divisions. Hard fighting were taking place, but Dempsey’s 2nd Army resisted well.