Sunday, August 6, 1944

The days that marked the Battle of Normandy

Northeast of Avranches, the town of Vire is finally under allied control and most of the forces of the 1st German Army goes towards the town of Mortain, resisting fiercely to the bombardments and the skirmishes of the American troops. The 3rd Army of General Patton, divided since the previous day into two parts, continues to progress: in Brittany, where the American soldiers of the 8th corps reaches lightning fast at the gates of Brest and Nantes, then in the south of Normandy where the men of the 15th and 20th corps accelerate in the direction of Laval and Le Mans. Dietrich Kraiss, commander of the German 352nd Division and seriously wounded on 4 August, died that day.

The British front has practically ceased to evolve in the southern region of Caen for almost a week and the 1st Canadian Army suffers from the defenders of the 1st SS Panzer, while to the east of the city the 2nd British Army is moving slowly towards Thury-Harcourt and Condé, opposite the 74th German Corps, after having captured Mont-Pinçon, a height dominating the region.

Hitler absolutely wishes to counter-attack in the Cotentin, and General von Kluge, commander of the German forces in Normandy, is convinced of the uselessness of attacking under such conditions, and that a withdrawal behind the Seine river is absolutely necessary. However, von Kluge does not contradict his Führer, who does not want to hear anything, and decides to launch a vast operation in the night of 6 to 7 August. The Germans then assemble a maximum of units in the region of Mortain and in particular planes, taken from the Russian front and prepare the attack.

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