Operation Cobra 1944 (Praeger Illustrated Military History Series): Breakout from Normandy

Overview

One of the most decisive months of World War II was the 30 days between July 25 and August 25, 1944. After the success of the D-Day landings, the Allied forces found themselves bogged down in a bloody stalemate in Normandy. On July 25, General Bradley launched Operation Cobra to break the deadlock. U.S. forces punched a hole in the German frontline and began a spectacular advance. As Patton's Third Army poured into Brittany and raced south to the Loire, the German army was threatened with encirclement. By the end...

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Overview

One of the most decisive months of World War II was the 30 days between July 25 and August 25, 1944. After the success of the D-Day landings, the Allied forces found themselves bogged down in a bloody stalemate in Normandy. On July 25, General Bradley launched Operation Cobra to break the deadlock. U.S. forces punched a hole in the German frontline and began a spectacular advance. As Patton's Third Army poured into Brittany and raced south to the Loire, the German army was threatened with encirclement. By the end of August, German forces in Normandy were utterly destroyed, and the remaining German units in central and southern France were in headlong retreat to the German frontier. In this title Steve Zaloga explains how the breakout from Normandy came about.

One of the most decisive months of World War II was the 30 days between July 25 and August 25, 1944. After the success of the D-Day landings, the Allied forces found themselves bogged down in a bloody stalemate in Normandy. On July 25, General Bradley launched Operation Cobra to break the deadlock. U.S. forces punched a hole in the German frontline and began a spectacular advance. As Patton's Third Army poured into Brittany and raced south to the Loire, the German army was threatened with encirclement. By the end of August German forces in Normandy were utterly destroyed, and the remaining German units in central and southern France were in headlong retreat to the German frontier. In this title Steve Zaloga explains how the breakout from Normandy came about.

Following the D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6, 1944, the Allied forces found themselves facing determined German resistance in the ideal defensive country of the Normandy bocage. A grim war of attrition gradually expanded the beachhead and Caen, an objective for D-Day itself was finally taken on July 13. However, much of the German armor had been drawn to the British section of the front and General Omar Bradley's U.S. First Army was preparing for a breakthrough in the area of St. Lo. On July 25, Bradley launched his attack preceded by carpet bombing by long-range bombers that dropped 4,200 tons of explosives. In the face of heavy resistance Major General Collins, VII Corps broke through Coutances to Avranches, and General Patton's Third Army hurtled through the gap in the German lines at Avranches. While his troops poured into Brittany and south to the Loire, First Army turned east. It was briefly halted by a determined German counter-attack at Mortain that was aimed at Avranches. Meanwhile the British in the north and the Americans from the southwest were closing the pincers on the German forces in Normandy. As the Falaise pocket closed desperate German forces attempted to flee eastwards. 10,000 Germans were killed and 50,000 more captured as the German army in the West disintegrated. A pursuit began that would only halt on the borders of Belgium when the Allies outran their supply lines.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

STEVEN J. ZALOGA received his BA in history from Union College, and his MA from Columbia University. He has published numerous books and articles dealing with modern military technology.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 7
Chronology 11
The Opposing Commanders 13
Opposing Forces 18
Opposing Plans 32
Operation Cobra 37
Further Reading 94
Index 95
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