Monday, July 10, 1944
The days that marked the Battle of Normandy
On July 10, the northern part of the city of Caen was finally liberated, more than a month after D-Day, while the whole city had to be under control in the evening of June 6th. This 34-day delay is proof of the stalemate in which Commonwealth forces find themselves. Once the northern sector of Caen, almost completely destroyed by the bombardment, captured, the British military forces decided to focus their efforts on the key position of Hill 112, located 3 kilometers southwest of the capital of Calvados. This offensive is part of operation Jupiter, which aims to pierce the front in the Odon valley southwest of Caen and cross the Orne River in this area.
The 8th British Corps launched its offensive on July 10th, and in particular towards Hill 112, and if its progression is supported by the allied fighter-bombers and artillery, the German resistance remained very strong and limited the British advance in this sector.
Hill 112 is defended by the soldiers of the 2nd SS Armored Corps, who are aware of the tactical importance of this position. Indeed, it defends the accesses of the southern region of Caen, held by the Panzergroupwest of Eberbach.
The 43rd British Wessex Infantry Division is heading towards the village of Maltot 6 kilometers south-west of Caen and as it manages to enter the city, German defenders of the 9th and 10th SS Panzer divisions repel the assailants and using a heavy fire, they isolated a handful of British soldiers in the village: the allied losses were very heavy and they were obliged to retreat a few kilometers further north of Maltot.
The Americans are making difficult progress north of Périers and Saint-Lô, despite the intensive bombing of allied aviation and artillery. American soldiers are delivering very bloody fighting in this area, known as “hedgerow warfare”. They left the marshy area to the south of Carentan with difficulty, and progressed unremittingly, albeit very slowly.