Liberation of Mosles in 1944 during the Battle of Normandy

Mosles (Calvados)

The cities of Normandy during the 1944 battles

Liberation: June 7th, 1944

Deployed units:

Drapeau américain 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division

Drapeau américain 745th Tank Battalion, 1st Infantry Division

Drapeau nazi Grenadier-Regiment 916, 352. Infanterie-Division


The town of Mosles is located south of Omaha Beach, on the fast track linking Bayeux to Isigny-sur-Mer. In the spring of 1944, it was placed under the responsibility of Grenadier-Regiment 916 (352. Infanterie-Division) and was to be taken on D-Day by the Americans of the 18th Infantry Regiment (1st Infantry Division), according to the initial plans of the Neptune operation. But on June 6, 1944, the Americans are severely hooked during the landing: suffering very heavy losses, they manage to hold a thin beachhead in the evening. The crossing of the lower Aude to reach the national road 13 at Mosles is postponed to the following day.

On June 7th, the 2nd battalion of the 18th Infantry Regiment (IR) commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel John Williamson set off at around 10:00 am from the Colleville-sur-Mer sector. American infantrymen are supported by a platoon of tanks belonging to Squadron C of the 745th Tank Battalion. At 14:00, they crossed the Lower Aure between Surrain and Russy without a hitch until Company G was attacked at the hamlet of Houtteville, less than one kilometer north-west of Mosles: mortar shells and machine gun fire hit the Americans. South of the hamlet of Bellefontaine, other soldiers of the battalion reach a bridge crossing the Aure near the castle of Argouges: they are taken part by the Germans in their turn.

A violent fight with the light weapon of infantry engages for long minutes on both sides of the river. The intervention of the Sherman tanks of the 745th Tank Battalion, which by fire support the crossing of the Aure north of Argouges Castle, allows the battalion of Lieutenant-Colonel John Williamson to create a breach in the German line of defense. Companies F and G engage in it and quickly reach the first houses of Mosles, overtaking the German positions which are left to the 2nd level of the battalion, armed by the company E. A Sherman tank is destroyed during the assault.

At 17:00, the Americans begin the recognition of Mosles that the Germans are unable to defend. A large part of them retreats to the southwest, towards Tour-en-Bessin. The defenders record heavy losses: thirty dead bodies are discovered by the Americans along the river, testifying to the brutal fighting. The 1st Infantry Division lost a tank and less than five men.

Map of Mosles:

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