The Normandy Campaign

The Fighting

The Normandy Campaign began with the storming of the beaches on D-Day 6 June 1944, and continued through to 21 August 1944. On that latter date the "Falaise Gap" was closed and the remaining German troops surrendered. The map below shows the "bomb line" at the end of each day between 6 June and 21 August at one second intervals.

Note the phases of the battle as the beachheads are consolidated 6 June through 12 June, the encouraging drive to Caumont 13 June, but then deadlock at Caen until 8 July with the only gains being made by the Americans cutting off the Cotentin Peninsula and taking Cherbourg 27 June. Even after 8 July when the push to take Caen entailed massive carpet bombing and enormous losses of life on both sides, the advance was limited and the stalemate after that lasted through to 18 July. A massive thrust was launched but the advance around Caen was minimal and a new stalemate held the line static until 7 August. In the meantime carpet bombing and a concentration of American armour forced the break-out at St. Lo 27 July.

Two other points to note are (a) the speed with which Patton's Third Army raced south into Brittany and east to Le Mans, and (b) the German counter-attack at Mortain 6 August through 13 August.

situation map

last updated 20 December 2002 in sunny Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.