Montgomery launches on July 18 the Operation Goodwood, which aims
at releasing the East and South-eastern areas of Caen. It starts
from the positions captured on D-Day by the 6th British Airborne
division between the Orne river and the village of Troarn, but also
from the South-western part of the city. The 8th Corps, led by general
O'Connor, sends 3 armoured divisions in the attack in the East of
Caen to the South-south-west, towards the town of Falaise: the 7th,
the 11th, and the Guards armoured division.
The offensive begins with a terrible three-hour bombardment: 2,500
bombers drop nearly 6,000 tons of bombs, whereas the naval artillery
and the ground artillery fire nearly 250,000 shells, targeting a
vast area located between the Eastern part of Caen and the village
of Troarn, that is to say a corridor long of approximately 15 kilometers
and broad of 4 kilometers.
fightings in the South-west of Caen and in the surroundings of Louvigny
are keen between the Canadians and the 12nd and 21st SS Panzer divisions
belonging to the Western Panzergruppe led by Eberbach. This small
village, lost the day before by the Allies, is liberated once again
on July 18 at the time of a vast attack led by the Royal Regiment
of Canada supported by field and naval artillery.
The 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry, supported by the tanks of the
29th Brigade belonging to the 11th British Armoured division, progresses
in direction of the villages of Cuverville, Giberville and of Demouville,
severely bombarded the morning of July 18 and defended by the 16th
Luftwaffe Feld Division which folds up short after the bombardments,
abandoning the village of Cuverville to the Allied troops and repositioning
in the South-west of the locality of Saint-Pair.
The 3rd Royal Tank Regiment liberates the villages of Touffreville
and Sannerville, located at the South of the locality of Herouvilette-Escoville,
itself liberated in the first hours of the Goodwood operation.
The first German defense line is breached, and the British progress
by nearly 6 kilometers in direction of Cagny.
von Luck, leading the 21st Panzer Division, is conscious of the
low resistance of the British tanks towards the German 88 mm guns
and the Tiger
tanks. He then gathers five of these artillery guns and a Tiger
tank on the height of the village of Cagny, which becomes a fortified
town, South-west of Caen: nearly 16 English tanks are destroyed
in a few minutes and the English progression is strongly slowed
down. The German tanks are opposed to the English tanks and one
of the biggest armoured tanks fights of of all the Battle of Normandy
is engaged in the North of Cagny, and the German forces have the
the British do not give up: the Armoured Division of Irish Guard
attacks Cagny whereas the 5th Brigade of the Armoured Division Guards
moves in direction of the villages in the East of Cagny, towards
Emieville and Guillerville. But once more, the German Tiger tanks
of the 503 Armoured Battalion show their superiority and push back
the English attack. The Irishmen of the Irish Guard manage all the
same to bore the German defenses because of their numerical superiority
and thanks to the bombardment of the British artillery. They liberate
the village of Cagny, after having reduced to silence the artillery
positions defended by the men of the 21st SS Panzer Division.
the end of the day, the British have lost 1,500 soldiers and 270
tanks. They have progressed only by 7 kilometers. All the plain
in the South-east of Caen is finally liberated. The town of Caen
itself is entirely liberated, more than one month after the date
envisaged in May 1944 by the Allies.
the American front, US soldiers enter for the first time in the
ruins of Saint-Lo. They are the men of the 29th Infantry division,
joined together within a force called Task Force Cota (name of the
commander of the 29th division), which take the road connection
Lison and Saint-Lo from the crossroads of Couvains. The progression
of the infantry and the ehicles is made difficult by the action
of German artillery, positioned in the South of Saint-Lo. During
all their projection, the mortars bombard the groups of soldiers
who tries to open paths through the ruins of the city, severely
bombarded for a week.
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