Thursday, June 8, 1944
The days that marked the Battle of Normandy
The two bridgeheads of Omaha Beach and Gold Beach are gathered on June 8 in Port-en-Bessin. To the south, the commune of Bayeux is liberated that same day by the British troops.
US forces, reinforced by new divisions (such as the 2nd Infantry Division), are on the offensive. The 1st and 29th infantry divisions, which have had very heavy losses since the landing on Omaha Beach, are continuing to advance.
The 29th Infantry, on its way to Isigny-sur-Mer, which was to be under control on June 6th, makes its junction en route with the 90 survivors of the Rangers battalions at Pointe du Hoc, isolated on a thin strip of Land for three days since D-Day.
It seizes the village of Grandcamp, thanks in particular to the courage of Sergeant Frank Peregory who won for her heroic action the Medal of Honor. Indeed, he forced to surrender several dozen German soldiers and captured a machine-gun all by himself. In Maisy, the battery is still in the hands of its defenders while advanced elements of the 29th division reach the south of the village.
The 4th American infantry division, disembarked at Utah Beach on June 6, attacked the city of Montebourg, as part of the offensive for the capture of Cherbourg in the north of Cotentin Peninsula.
The junction between troops disembarked at Utah and Omaha is still not realized. In the hours that followed, it is one of the proratory objectives for the American land forces.
On the British front, the 346th German infantry division counter-attacks in the vicinity of Bréville. The fighting is extremely violent and is similar to those of the First World War, with opponents burying themselves in trenches.
The achievements of the allied military engineers begin: the first elements of the two artificial ports of Saint-Laurent and Arromanches are being installed as of June 8 (these were old ships that were sunk to serve as breakwaters) and an aviation runway is built on the plateau of Omaha Beach to the east of Colleville-sur-Mer. The planes taking off from this runway evacuate the wounded as a matter of priority to hospitals in England.
Allied aviation remains master of the sky and attacks the German elements without interruption, while for its part, the artillery embarked on the warships bombards relentlessly the opposing positions.
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