Sunday, July 23, 1944
The days that marked the Battle of Normandy
The Germans see their strength exhausted against the Americans in the Cotentin. Von Kluge asks Hitler to allow a tactical withdrawal from all soldiers and vehicles in eastern Normandy. Hitler, having refused most withdrawals since D-Day, agrees. But US forces are continuing “punch” operations to maintain contact with German soldiers and to observe the new positions taken by the latter.
The weather, extremely bad in Normandy, still does not allow to beginning of the American operation Cobra to the south of Cotentin. The American troops are near the town of Lessay and try to progress towards Périers. However, the soldiers are preparing for the big offensive and are massing towards the different points that will serve as starting point for operation Cobra. US units receive new uniforms, helmets, and get rid of unnecessary equipment that might slow them down.
The British strengthened their positions south of Caen, weakened by the losses of operation Goodwood. The US High Command has severely criticized General Montgomery, who is judged incapable of breaking through the front. Moreover, the very small space controlled by the Commonwealth forces does not allow the installation of a large number of aviation runways, which seriously handicaps the allied air capability at this stage of the Battle of Normandy. Eisenhower even proposes to the English Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, to sack Montgomery, which he will not do, but it shows the tension that is reigning at the moment in the allied forces.
General Bradley, for his operation Cobra, is convinced that the infantry must attack the tanks, while Montgomery uses the opposite strategy.