Thursday, July 20, 1944

The days that marked the Battle of Normandy

Operation Goodwood continues southwest of Caen. The British repulsed several German attacks from the 21st Panzer Division to the north and east of the villages of Emiéville and Guillerville. The weather is getting worse in Normandy and the Allied forces are no longer moving in the southern plain of Caen. Operation Goodwood abruptly stopped and German defenders, if they were disoriented on July 18 during the bombings and the beginning of the Commonwealth offensive, are now determined not to let go of an inch of land to the Allies. They also inflicted the loss of more than 100 tanks to the British on July 20, which already lost nearly 400 tanks in three days.

The rain falls again on Normandy, and the air support ally remains nailed to the ground. A large-scale operation aimed at breaking through the American front, called Cobra, must be delayed by General Bradley, because of the impossibility of aviation support. Saint-Lô is still the prey of numerous snipers who handicap the American troops: houses are searched one after the other by soldiers of the 29th Infantry Division. The city is almost entirely destroyed by the bombing and difficult work is being undertaken by the US military engineer to open roads previously closed to traffic. An odor of death comes from Saint-Lô, destroyed at nearly 80%, where 800 inhabitants (out of a population of 10 000 souls) have died as a result of the bombings since the Allied invasion in Normandy.

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