Tuesday, July 4, 1944
The days that marked the Battle of Normandy
On the British front to the east and north of Caen, General Montgomery’s strategy began finally to pay: while the English clashed north of the city to the strongly entrenched German defenders, Canadians were sent to bypass Caen by the west and to seize the airport located near the locality of Carpiquet. This offensive is part of operation Windsor, set up for General Dempsey, which begins on July 4, 1944.
Carpiquet, located 1 kilometer west of Caen, is attacked by the 8th Brigade of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles Regiment, the North Shore Regiment, the Queen’s Own Rifles Regiment and the Chaudière Regiment, which clash with the German defenders of the 12th SS Panzer division, largely bombed by Allied gunners and British Typhoon aircraft.
At the end of the day, the Anglo-Canadians became masters of Carpiquet as well as of the northern part of the airport and repelled several German counter-attacks.
West of Carentan in the Cotentin Peninsula, the Americans pursue the siege of La-Haye-du-Puits. Numerous units are grouped north of this village which are to be launched in the battle the next day. North of St-Lô, General Collins’ 7th Corps continued its offensive the day before, and the 83rd and 90th US infantry divisions had to face German soldiers belonging to the 7th Army. The fighting is extremely violent. The soldiers of the 83rd Infantry Division reached the village of Sainteny, defended by the S.S. grenadiers of the Götz von Berlichingen division and by elements belonging to the 6th German parachutist regiment. The American losses are terrifying and reach the thousand men put out of action, for a very limited allied progression in this sector: only 200 meters.
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