Allied forces make gains, pocket German troops
Here is the news for 1st August. Allied forces in Normandy have continued to make gains against increasingly fragmented German resistance. Speaking from his headquarters, General Eisenhower stated that reports from advancing Allied units indicate several German divisions have collapsed or been destroyed as the drive south continues. He also confirmed that the US Third Army under General Patton had been activated as part of the break-out.
There has been limited progress in clearing the German forces isolated around the city of Cherbourg, although local commanders have described the rate of advance as “satisfactory”. The US forces have focused the majority of their effort on the town of St. Lo and its surroundings, with armoured divisions pushing to cut the town off while infantry move in to clear the town itself. Some German units, particularly the panzer and parachute divisions, have been contesting the advance strongly, but their defence is becoming more erratic as other German forces disintegrate. Further east, US troops are attempting to completely seal a pocket of German troops, who are still holding strong positions near the original landing beaches.
British troops have continued their push south from the area around Caen. Armoured units have succeeded in breaking free of the bocage areas and advancing into more open terrain. The success of the drive from Caen has succeeded in creating a large pocket of German troops in the area between Audrieu and Le Molay Littry. Troops of the 7th Armoured division are reportedly close to establishing contact with US forces, which would see substantial numbers of German troops cut off. However, German panzer forces are battling to hold open a corridor, and also to try and push back the Allies. There have been a number of determined counterattacks, and Allied commanders have conceded that some of these have been successful.
Allied commanders remain positive that the battle currently raging will be won and won soon. General Eisenhower has pointed out that German attempts to cut Allied supply lines have amounted to scattered attacks by torpedo boats and manned torpedoes, whereas German supply lines are ravaged daily by aerial attack. He stated “Without fuel or ammunition, the remaining German forces engaged with us will soon be forced to quit the field.”
By Patrick Gribble