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Friday, July 7, 1944

Friday, July 7, 1944

The days that marked the Battle of Normandy

General Montgomery prepares the assault of Caen, which must begin the next day. Preparations were organized and while the Allied artillery bombarded German positions around and in the city, the Highland Light Infantry belonging to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division attacked Buron, 5 kilometers north-west of Caen. Solidly entrenched in this village, elements of the 12th S.S Panzer Division opened a heavy fire on the Canadian troops who progressed with difficulty. Each house is transformed into an impregnable fortress and the crossing of an anti-tank ditch dug around Buron hinders the allied advance which is exposed to the shots of the German defenders. The fight lasted a whole day, and the losses on both sides were impressive: Canadians lost more than 260 soldiers at the end of the day, a quarter of whom were killed. The village is still not entirely under control. The British artillery took over and bombed Buron in the evening.

American artillery, meanwhile, ceases its bombing of the village of Saint-Fromond to allow the infantry of the 30th American division to attack. After violent fighting, the northern part of the city is under control and American soldiers already cross the Vire-Taute canal to secure access to the bridge which is of vital importance to the Allies. Indeed, it allows the Sherman tanks to join the south shore of Saint-Fromond and continue the progression towards Saint-Lô, located 7 kilometers from the village. Immediately after its securing, the bridge allows the 113th Cavalry Group to pass its tanks.
To the east of Saint-Fromond, the small village of Saint-Jean-de-Daye is freed by elements of the 30th American infantry division, which advance immediately to the south. The Germans were jostled, but they recovered a few hours later by establishing a line of defense prohibiting any progress. It will require the support of American artillery to silence these German resistance points.

Since the disembarkation on 6 June and until 7 July 1944, the Germans have recorded a total of 80,783 soldiers out of fight, whether killed, wounded, missing in action or taken prisoner.

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