Sunday, June 25, 1944
The days that marked the Battle of Normandy
June 25, 1944 marks the beginning of operation Martlet, initial phase of operation Epsom and the battle of the Odon river. The British front, lagging behind the planned dates and slowly starting to evolve after the battle of Tilly on 18 June, now penetrates the German defenses held by the formidable Hitlerjugend division. 60,000 Canadian and British soldiers and 600 tanks were launched, divided into an armored division and two independent armored brigades (8th Corps).
General Montgomery plans to bypass the city of Caen by the east and attack the city by the south. The 49th British “West Riding” Infantry Division is attacking Fontenay-le-Pesnel in accordance with the plan of operation Martlet, but in the vicinity, the Panzer Lehr resists well, like in the village of Rauray, West of Tilly, which is firmly defended by the 1st SS Armored Corps and where hard fighting takes place. The adversaries of the British, the Hitler Youth fanatics, fight to the death. The losses are high on both sides of the front.