Friday, August 18, 1944
The days that marked the Battle of Normandy
The nine-kilometer corridor, located near Chambois and which still allows the German forces to escape to the east, is gradually reduced by the Allied soldiers. But since the beginning of the evacuation of the German troops towards the Seine river on 13 August, nearly 55,000 men managed to retreat, about 40 per cent of the German forces threatened at the beginning of the encircling maneuver.
This is why the Allied forces do not directly close the pocket south of Falaise, but try to catch the German troops eastward. However, there are still several thousand German soldiers, surrounded in their pockets, who have not yet reached the town of Falaise. These units, accompanied by tanks and cannons, were bombarded day and night by the allied artillery and aviation. The German situation in Normandy is disastrous: the roads in the pocket are encumbered with wrecks and bodies and the rout is total.
Operation Paddle continues east of Caen and the last Germans who were positioned east of the Orne river are driven on the other side by the paratroopers of the 6th British airborne division, while to the north, Belgian soldiers of the Brigade Piron liberated the village of Merville after having delivered the locality of Franceville the day before.