Monday, August 21, 1944

The days that marked the Battle of Normandy

The evacuation of the German forces from the “Falaise pocket” has now been completed and a large number of Axis soldiers leave Normandy to retreat east of the Seine river. Thus, if more than 6,000 soldiers were killed, more than 165,000 Germans reached the right bank of the Seine. This bad news for the Allies entails a new tactic: a larger encirclement is envisaged, which must trap the Axis soldiers fleeing Normandy and making their way to the east of France (thus, the greater part of 17th SS Panzergrenadier division already reached Lorraine as of August 13). Canadians control the village of Saint-Lambert-sur-Dive entirely. The Poles, who are positioned on Hill 262 (also known as Mont-Ormel) overlooking the village of Chambois, are attacked by elements belonging to the 2nd Panzerkorps, but they manage to repel the assault.

The Americans moved rapidly eastward towards the Seine and crossed the bridges installed in the previous hours by the military engineer. The city of Mantes is reached by the 15th US Corps and other units of the 3rd Army are now directed towards Fontainebleau, Melun and Sens. But US troops are moving faster than the British and Canadians.

To the north-east of Caen, the British and Belgian troops continued their offensive: the town of Cabourg was liberated and the Brigade Piron occupied the village of Dives-sur-Mer.

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