Sunday, June 18, 1944

The days that marked the Battle of Normandy

The first objective of the 7th American Corps is reached: the Cotentin Peninsula is cut in two along a line that connects Utah Beach to Barneville. The German forces defending the area of Cherbourg, the new objective of the 7th Corps, can no longer rejoin their lines to the south. They are condemned to no longer being supplied. There are nearly 40,000 in this critical situation. The Americans, on the other hand, maintained the pressure and bombarded continuously the German lines of defense which retreated hour by hour. The fighting is violent, although the morale of the defenders is at its lowest.

The American attacks directed northward are numerous below a line connecting Montebourg to the east, Valognes to the center and Les-Pieux to the east. The allied armada regroups offshore Cherbourg to support land forces as closely as they progress, and prepare the bombardments of fortifications protecting the city and its deep water port. To the east of Cotentin, the 4th American infantry division attacks in direction Montebourg.

On the British front, north and northwest of Caen, the fighting between the mechanized infantry divisions is still as violent and the fall of the capital of Calvados does not seem possible for several weeks. This situation is disastrous for the Allied airmen who do not have enough territory to install advanced landing grounds. On the other hand, the German armored divisions are attracted to the east of Normandy, thus freeing the Americans on the western front. Beginning on June 18th, a new battle of great magnitude, located in the vicinity of Tilly, is supposed to break through the front.

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