The cities of Normandy during the 1944 battles
Liberation: June 6, 1944
2/8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
70th Tank Battalion, 4th Infantry Division
3/501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
Grenadier-Regiment 1058, 91. Infanterie Division
In the spring of 1944, the small village of Pouppeville was occupied by some sixty personnel belonging to the Grenadier-Regiment 1058 (91. Infanterie Division). It is located on one of the five roads connecting the coastline inland by crossing the areas deliberately flooded by the Germans. The Allies coded the local road 329 “Exit 1”: they entrust the mission of seizing Pouppeville to the 3rd battalion of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Julian J. Ewell.
But on the night of June 5-6, 1944, the airborne operation did not proceed as planned for the 101st Airborne Division and many airborne soldiers were not dropped to the right place. At six o’clock in the morning, Ewell succeeded in gathering only about forty of his men south of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont. Despite this, he set out for his goal, accompanied by General Maxwell D. Taylor (Division Commander) and Brigadier General Anthony C. McAuliffe (Commander 101st Divisional Artillery). Arrived at the outskirts of Pouppeville around 9 o’clock, he immediately engaged the fight despite an unfavorable balance of power. During three long hours until noon, the parachutists fought a furious battle from house to house: 18 paratroopers were killed or wounded, the Germans recorded the loss of 25 of them, to which 38 prisoners had been added. Some soldiers of the Grenadier-Regiment 1058 retreated towards the coast, that is to say, towards the American landed forces: they are trapped. General Taylor sent couriers to establish liaison with the disembarked troops, in order to avoid possible fratricidal shots as they approached Pouppeville.
The 2nd battalion of the 8th Infantry Regiment (4th Infantry Division), commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Carlton O. MacNeely, joins the paratroopers in Pouppeville, thus securing exit number 1. Early in the afternoon, soldiers Airborne belonging to the 1st Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment reached the village, not yet knowing that it was in the hands of the Americans. Pouppeville is also crossed by several platoons of the 70th Tank Battalion.