The cities of Normandy during the 1944 battles
Liberation: August 22, 1944
1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles, 6th Airlanding Brigade, 6th Airborne Division
1er groupement indépendant belge “Brigade Piron”, 6th Airborne Division
II/Grenadier-Regiment 731, 711. Infanterie-Division
On 17 August 1944, more than two months after D-Day, the British launched Operation Paddle in the direction of the Seine. The Belgian and Luxembourg soldiers of the “Brigade Piron” (1st Belgian independent group attached to the 6th Airborne Division) are in the front line in the race towards the Seine.
On August 22, the progress of the Allies towards Deauville is made difficult because of the specificity of the terrain. This one is particularly compartmental and the important relief, dominated by Mount Canisy. The Piron brigade is divided into two elements: the 3rd company is progressing along the coastal road while the 1st and 2nd companies bypass the hill by the south.
The 3rd company supports a reconnaissance carried out by the 1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles (6th Airlanding Brigade) to the gates of Deauville. On the outskirts of the commune, the Germans of the second battalion of the Grenadier-Regiment 731 belonging to the 711. Infantry Division engaged the combat. Supported by the Piron brigade, the 3rd company in front, the Allies entered Deauville and seized it. Local resisters also help to guide allied military forces on the streets of their city. The soldiers then set out to cross the Touques river to reach Trouville-sur-Mer, but the bridges were destroyed by the Germans.
Picture of Deauville in 1944
On the beach of Deauville after the fighting, German prisoners under guard cleared the beach obstacles and the networks of barbed wire. Photo: US National Archives.