Saint-Vigor-le-Grand in 1944 – Calvados – Battle of Normandy

Saint-Vigor-le-Grand (Calvados)

The cities of Normandy during the 1944 battles

Liberation: June 7, 1944

Deployed units:

Drapeau anglais 2nd Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, 56th Independent Brigade

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

Drapeau nazi Grenadier-Regiment 726, [716. Infanterie-Division


On 15 March 1944, the 352. Infanterie-Division replaces the 716. Infanterie-Division in the area of ​​Saint-Vigor-le-Grand as part of the reinforcement of the line of coastal defense initiated by Marshal Rommel.

When the Allies set foot in Normandy, the commune of Saint-Vigor-le-Grand must be under control on the evening of June 6th. But the difficulties encountered during the landing phase lead to multiple delays in the initial schedules; The 56th Independent Brigade, temporarily attached to the 50th Infantry Division, arrived at the northern edge of Saint-Vigor-le-Grand at the end of the day on D-Day. The 2nd Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment settled in front of the village and sent patrols that informed the enemy device: they managed to infiltrate Saint-Vigor-le-Grand then into Bayeux and then rejoin their lines.

The next morning, the English soldiers of the regiment entered the village which had been deserted by the Germans. Less than 8 days later, on June 14, 1944, Saint-Vigor-le-Grand was crossed shortly before 3:30 pm by General de Gaulle in his Jeep conducted by Major Sanderson during his flash tour of various municipalities in Calvados. He went to Bayeux to give a speech.

Several personnel serving at the Sommervieu airfield (baptized ALG B-8) are housed in Saint-Vigor-le-Grand. This is the case for Canadian pilots belonging to the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 430th Squadron (39 Recce Wing), from June 16 to August 7, 1944.


Saint-Vigor-le-Grand maps:

Image : carte du secteur de Saint-Vigor-le-Grand - Bataille de Normandie en 1944