Liberation of Vouilly in 1944 during the Battle of Normandy

Vouilly (Calvados)

Les villes de Normandie pendant les combats de 1944

Liberation: June 9th, 1944

Deployed units:

Drapeau américain 115th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division

Drapeau américain 104th Medical Battalion, 29th Infantry Division

Drapeau nazi Panzerjäger-Abteilung 352, 352. Infanterie-Division

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


During the Occupation, a few weeks before D-Day, the Germans set up the command post of Panzerjäger-Abteilung 352 (352. Infanterie-Division) at the Château de Vouilly. This anti-tank unit is under the command of Hauptmann (Captain) Werner Jahn.

At the dawn of June 9, 1944, the Americans of the 29th Infantry Division cross the Aure valley, surprising the Germans who did not expect their opponents to cross the swamps. The 2nd Battalion of the 15th Infantry Regiment (29th Infantry Division), commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel William E. Warfield, is advancing south from Longueville and approaching the outskirts of Vouilly for the first time, where they are attacked early in the morning. afternoon by the German defense. Without delay and in accordance with orders, they make a detour to the north-west to clean the wood of Calette and its various crossing points south of Monfréville.

The 2nd battalion then returns to the commune of Vouilly which is reached around 19:00. When approaching the village, US soldiers are again under fire from the German defense, consisting mainly of snipers belonging to different units of the 352. Infantry Division. The attackers push the Germans out of the village and seize them before dark. Despite a state of advanced fatigue, the Americans continue towards the Carrefour des Vignes aux Gendres where they suffer very heavy losses in the night.

From June 12 to 17, the 104th Medical Battalion (29th Infantry Division) moved to Vouilly, during which the medical unit treated 490 people (military on both sides as well as Norman civilians).

From June 10 to August 10, 1944, Vouilly Castle became one of the main press camps of the US Army, where senior officers carry out many conferences for journalists. Among the most famous can be mentioned: Robert Capa (photographer for Life Magazine), Walter L. Cronkite Jr. (correspondent for CBS News), Ernest Hemingway (correspondent for the weekly Collier’s), Ernest “Ernie” T. Pyle (correspondent for the Scripps-Howard News Agency) or Andrew A. Rooney (correspondent for Stars and Stripes).

Map of Vouilly :

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