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 Battle Zone Normandy - Battle for Caen

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PostSubject: Battle Zone Normandy - Battle for Caen   Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:32 pm



The city of Caen was perhaps the greatest major obstacle in the path of the Allied advance inland after their landings in Normandy, 6 June 1944. Consequently it was a key objective for 3rd British Division, landing on Sword Beach. The Allies were unable to capture the strategically important city on D-Day, however, in the teeth of armoured counter-attacks from 21st Panzer Division. Renewed attempts by 3rd Canadian Division on 7-8 June were foiled by 12th SS Panzer Division 'Hitlerjugend', as were 7th British Armoured Division's thrusts towards the city on 11-14 June. On 25 June Operation 'Epsom' was launched to take Caen. Preceded by RAF Bomber Command attacks, further British and Canadian assaults on 4 July stalled before the whole of the city could be taken. On 7 July Operation 'Charnwood' forced the Germans to withdraw from northern Caen. A much heavier bombardment opened Operation 'Goodwood' on 18 July, in the course of which the Canadians finally managed to liberate the rest of Caen, by now largely demolished after five weeks of intensive fighting.


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