Friday, June 30, 1944

The days that marked the Battle of Normandy

General Montgomery orders the shutdown of operation Epsom. The British forces camp their positions and stop moving. They have to resist German counter-attacks, particularly in the vicinity of the village of Baron-sur-Odon, which resulted in a failure for the Panzer Lehr troops. Allied aviation neutralized the German columns still in motion and British artillery established shoot-outs in front of Scottish and English defensive positions.

The after action report of the British 8th Corps indicates that the three divisions involved have more than 4,000 men killed, wounded, missing in action or taken prisoner between June 25 and June 30, 1944. German losses are also significant, but operation Epsom remains a tactical failure, as Canadian and British troops have progressed by 10 kilometers in five days. The front is still not truly pierced and the situation remains extremely fragile: positions are under control, then abandoned and under control again, like the infamous Hill 112.

The American soldiers of the 7th Corps in the Cotentin control the peninsula. Cherbourg is completely under control, and the 6,000 soldiers of the German garrison of the city surrendered. The US troops now headed south of the Cotentin, and concentrated their attack in the direction of Saint-Lô, constantly bombed by the allied air force.

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