Part Three - Breakout & Pursuit
“Breakout and pursuit” – Volume 3: While General Montgomery was stalled before Caen, denying the Allied armies the terrain they needed to advance their campaign across north western Europe, the task of breaking out from the Normandy beachheads fell to the Americans.
This was over terrain better suited to defence than attack, through hedgerow country that was to claim many American casualties as they fought across the Cotentin peninsula.
Combining overwhelming air and armoured power in Operation “Cobra”, the Americans broke German resistance and forced their bloody way towards Brittany.
Only then was Caen taken and an opportunity arose to encircle a whole German army as they counter-attacked the Americans at Mortain. Exploiting this situation American armour swung eastwards and formed part of a huge pincer movement trapping the German army in the “Falaise pocket”.
Once the enemy was destroyed the way lay open to pursue them towards Paris.