Communique Number 113 – 1 August 1944
In the western sector, Allied forces which entered Granville have now cleared the town. An advance on a broad front towards the main Percy-Avranches road, has brought our troops close to Villedieu. There is heavy fighting near Percy. Strong enemy resistance continues northwest of Tessy. We have made substantial gains in the Torigny-les-Villes – St Martin-des-Besaces area. Isolated pockets of resistance throughout the sector are being steadily eliminated.
Escorted heavy bombers attacked naval vessels at Le Havre and the railway center of La Roche last night, as our air forces kept up their pounding of enemy supply and communication. Medium bombers hit rail bridges crossing the Seine River at Mantes-Gassicourt and Le Manoir and over the Loire River at Nantes and Tours and Les Ponts de Cé. Fuel dumps in the Forêt de la Guerche and at Tours and ammunition stores southeast of Caen were bombed effectively. Fighter bombers, on armed reconnaissance, attacked railways, rolling stock, airfields and motor transport over a wide area.
Communique Number 114 – 1 August 1944
Allied progress in the western sectors continues. Armored forces pushing on from Avranches have captured the dams southeast of Ducey and near Vezins, while others have taken Brécey and reached the Sée River in this area. Fighting is going on south of Villedieu though the town itself has not yet been taken. Our forces have driven further forward in the Tessy area and are now within a mile of the town. There has also been some major progress south of Torigny-sur-Vire. In the area south of Caumont, Allied troops, after clearing the Foret l’Eveque, have crossed the Souleuvre River and taken Le Bény-Bocage. Poor visibility limited air activity from midnight until noon. During the morning, Normandy based aircraft attacked targets in advance of our troops.
Periodical Communique Number 3 1 August 1944
The activities of the Maquis, which have provided a constant threat to the enemy’s rear, are forcing the Germans to employ considerable strength in repressive measures. In the Vercors in southeast France, the Germans, employing artillery, aircraft, and considerable detachments of parachute troops launched an attack on June 22. French Forces of the Interior, who had already repelled numerous attacks, held the enemy for 56 hours before disengaging and dispersing in the face of overwhelming superiority. In the Dordogne and Haute Vienne, the FFI have thrown back several attacks since July 19. German columns suffered serious losses in engagements in the Indre and the Loire et Cher on July 17, and in the Lot and the Ain on July 20. Attacks on railways continue to disorganize traffic. Trains are held up and thus made targets for more effective air attack. This action assisted Allied aircraft in destroying several trains carrying troops, petrol, and ammunition after the Paris – Nancy line had been cut by the FFI.
On July 19, the Chérisy Viaduct was blown up. In the Loiret, the destruction of a railway bridge stopped all traffic on a strategically important line for at least a week. Movement of the enemy troops and materials to the Normabdy battle front through the Ain, the Rhone and the Loire valleys and the Nord has been constantly interrupted. Locomotives have been put out of action and water points wrecked. New cuts in telecommunications and electric power lines have made normal working of these systems impossible. The Paris-BNruxelles cable has again been cut in several places. Telephone exchanges and lines have been put out of action in the Hérault, the Ain, and Nord and in the Paris area. Attacks on waterways continue. An eight-mile stretch of the Saone River has been drained dry. Several locks on the Marne River between Meaux and Esbly were blocked and a convoy of munition barges held up. The Canal de Bourgone, and several canals in the Nord and the Ardennes, have been put out of action for several weeks.
Communique Number 115 – 2 August 1944
In the Avranches sector, Allied armored forces continue to push forward to the south and east. South of Villedieu, further progress has been made. Allied forces have captured Tessy after heavy enemy resistance. Our hold on Le Bény-Bocage and the crossings over the Souleuvre River have been strengthened. Enemy vehicles, ammunition dumps and other battlefield targets were attacked by fighter bombers in close support of our ground forces yesterday. Better weather during the afternoon made possible a step-up in the Allied air offensive and large-scale attacks were launched on enemy bridges and airfields. Airfields at Châteaudun, Orléans-Bricy, Tours, Chartres, and Melun, bridges over the Seine and Marne Rivers, and an oil dump at Rouen were attacked by heavy bombers. Rail bridges crossing the Loire, other rail bridges in the Le Mans, Chartres, and Dreux areas, a fuel store at St Malo and an ammunition dump southeast of Caen were targets for medium and light bombers.
Communique Number 116 – 2 August 1944
Allied formations have continued to fight their way forward during the day and have now reached Vire and from Vire to Condé. The village of Estry has been taken and progress continues. There is also heavy fighting in the area of Ondefontaine. Our troops are approaching Aunay. In the Caen area, bitter fighting continues against enemy armored formations in the region of Tilly-la-Campagne. In the western sectors, Allied armored formations have progressed beyond Pontorson, while other forces are approaching St Pois and advancing southeast of Brécey. The town of Villedieu has been captures and further progress has been made south of Torigny. Our air operations were limited by the weather.
Communique Number 117 – 3 August 1944
Little change was reported from the front during the night. Southeast of Brécey, enemy opposition was overcome at Le Mesnil-Adelée and fighting continues a few miles southeast of Percy. Fighting was also heavy in the neighborhood of Villers-Bocage and Aunay. The advance beyond Pontorson continues. Bridges, armored vehicles, ammunition and oil dumps, road and rail transport, and enemy shipping were primary targets for Allied aircraft which ranged from Belgium to the Bay of Biscay and deep into southern France in varying weather, yesterday.
Railway bridges at Lisle, Nantes, Épône Mézières, Mainvilliers, Noyen and Cinq-Mars were attacked with good results by escorted medium bombers. Barges on the Seine River and ammunition dumps at Caudebec, Montreuil and Le Lude were also hit. Fuel dumps at Sens, St Ouen and Gennevilliers were targets for escorted heavy day bombers which also attacked bridges in the Paris area and the in the Loire Valley and other tactical targets struck by day at naval vessels in Le Havre. Railway yards were attacked by fighter bombers which also destroyed locomotives, munitions cars and motor transport over a wide area. Throughout the day, fighters and fighter bombers provided close support for our armies along the entire front. Ten enemy aircraft were destroyed during these operations. Seventeen of ours are missing.
Periodical Communique Number 4 – 3 August 1944
The Maquis groups in southern and central France are now contending with steadily increasing German pressure. In most sectors, the Maquis have foiled the enemy by dispersal; in other sectors, the Maquis have withdrawn, after inflicting serious losses on the enemy. The FFI in the Vercors, who had to give ground after strong German attacks, have regrouped, and are now being subjected to new attacks. Resistance Forces in the Languedoc were attacked on July 20 by more than 1000 Germans, supported by artillery and bombers. After twelve hours’ fighting, the FFI inflicted substantial casualties on the enemy, and destroyed one aircraft.
Resistance shock-troops are carrying out many hit-and-run operations such as setting on fire, destruction of power stations and attacks on factories. In the Rhone Valley, a train of 26 wagons was attacked at close range. Many Germans were killed without loss of a single member of the FFI. In the Isère, on July 23, a petrol train was successfully attacked. In the Loir et Cher, rail traffic was suspended. Attacks on telecommunications have been extensive in Touraine, the Paris area, and the southwest. Operations against locks and barges in the Ardennes, the Seine et Marne, the Meurthe et Moselle and the Seine et Oise have interrupted water-borne traffic.
Communique Number 118 – 4 August 1944
Allied forces have reached Rennes and have elements to the south of the town. Another column advanced through Dol and moving westward along the north side of the Brittany Peninsula has reached the area of Dinan. Other Allied formations east of the Percy-Villedieu road have captured Beaumesnil and are in the area of St Sever-Calvados. Further south our forces have captured Mortain. In the area southeast of Caumont, Allied troops have made progress towards Villers-Bocage and Aunay where there has been some hard fighting. We hold the Bois de Buron. There has been a series of enemy counter-attacks along the entire front from the north and east of Le Bény-Bovage. Good weather yesterday afternoon and evening allowed Allied fighters and fighter bombers, some carrying rockets, to give close support to the ground forces. Barges on the Seine River, an ammunition dump southeast of Caen, gun positions, and a considerable number of enemy vehicles, were destroyed.
Bridges near Paris, Orléans, Chartres, and Rouen were bombed with satisfactory results by medium and light bombers yesterday. Other formations attacked an ammunition dump at Maintenon. Three marshalling yards and an oil dump in Alsace Lorraine, objectives near Paris and Bruxelles and a synthetic oil plant and a storage depot near Douai were hit by strong forces of heavy bombers. Accompanying fighters attacked rolling stock, power stations and other targets. Rail communications were attacked during the night by our light bombers. One of a formation of five E-Boats was sunk by a direct bomb hit by coastal aircraft in an attack off the Channel Islands. A force of enemy E-Boats was intercepted on Thursday morning west of Cap de la Hève by light naval coastal forces. In the short action which followed one of the enemy was sunk and another damaged before he made good his escape towards Le Havre.
Communique Number 119 – 5 August 1944
Allied troops have made rapid progress in Brittany, fanning out to the neighborhood of Loudeac, Mauron, Derval and Châteaubriant. Rennes is in our hands, and Dol has been cleared of enemy. Our forward troops are already beyond Fougères. Other forces are advancing southeast of Landivy and while fighting continues for Mortain, advanced troops have reached the area of Barenton. A large part of the Forêt de St-Sever is in our hands. Esquay and Evrecy have been cleared of enemy and leading troops are reported in the area of Vacognes and Amayé-sur-Orne. Further south, our position has been improved by the capture of Ondefontaine. Determined enemy counter-attacks in the area east and northeast of Vire have been frustrated.
Yesterday, escorted heavy bombers attacked targets in widely separated districts of France, including airfields at Lille and Achiet-le-GRand, a railway bridge at Étaples, a coastal battery in the Pas de Calais and oil storage depots at Pauillac and Bec d’Ambès, near Bordeaux. Medium bombers attacked railway yards at Monfort, and Beauvais, a railway embankment at Épernon and a concentration of enemy troops south of Aunay. Light bombers went for rail targets in western France, blowing up an ammunition train near Bordeaux. Fighter bombers flew reconnaissance beyond the battle area and in northeastern France in addition to attacking an oil dump at Angers, barges on the Seine River and an airfield near Amiens. In these operations, locomotives, rolling stock and motor transport were destroyed. A coastal vessel was blown up during an attack by rocket-firing fighters on a convoy off the Dutch coast. During last night road and rail transport and enemy concentrations were attacked by medium and light bombers. Five enemy aircraft were shot down over Normandy.
Communique Number 120 – 6 August 1944
In Brittany, an Allied armored force has driven to Redon. Another force has continued its attack northwest of Dol. Vitré and Pontivy have been cleared of the enemy. Rennes, Pontorson and Avranches were bombed by the enemy early yesterday. Damage was slight. German SS Panzer troops were captured at Dinan, Rennes and Vitré. An Allied task force has engaged the enemy near St Malo. In Normandy, we have moved through the Forêt de St-Sever. The forest is not entirely clear of the enemy, and in approaching Champ-du-Boult, our troops are encountering pockets of machine guns and small arms resistance. Enemy Panzer units and paratroopers are opposing our advance in the town Le Mesnil-Gilbert. Near Vire, our forces are encountering enemy artillery fire. We are about 1500 yards from the center of the town.
Further north, enemy pockets of resistance left behind by our advance have now been eliminated. Leading troops have entered Aunay-sur-Odon. On the west bank of the Orne, our advance southwards has continued. All the high ground as far south as the village of Le Hom, a mile north of Thury-Harcourt, is in our hands. At midday yesterday, heavy bombers attacked a railway bridge at Etaples and submarine pens at Brest. Hits were scored on the pens with 12.000-pound bombs. In the evening, oil storage depots at Bassens and Blaye near Bordeaux, and at Pauillac, were attacked by other heavy bombers. Two heavy bombers are missing.
Eight railway bridges and embankments on an arc extending from Elbeuf on the Seine River to Briollay near Angers, were attacked by medium and light bombers. Other medium bombers attacked railway yards at Compiègne, Serqueux and Verneuil, and flak barges in the harbor at St Malo. Locomotives and rolling stock in the Chartres – Orléans area and motor transport were targets for fighter bombers. Direct support was given our ground forces by fighter bombers. Fighters provided bomber escort. Two enemy aircraft were destroyed over northern France during the night.
Communique Number 121 – 7 August 1944
In the Brittany Peninsula, Allied troops continue to strengthen their positions in the vicinity of Brest. Our armor has freed Carhaix, Vannes, and Redon and other units have reached the Vilaine River at various points from Rennes to the sea. Château-Gontier and Houssay have been cleared of the enemy. The Mayenne River has been crossed 17 miles south of Laval. The town of Mayenne is in our hands. Allied armor is in the outskirts of Vire. The Forêt de St-Sever is being cleared of light enemy resistance. The strong point of St-Pois has been taken. Two enemy counter-attacks in that area were unsuccessful. To the northeast, the high ground at Mont Pinçon was captured yesterday by Allied troops after heavy fighting. Between this area and Vire, enemy resistance was stubborn and a strong enemy counter-attack was repulsed. The advance continues.
South of Caen, a local attack on the east bank of the Orne met heavy enemy resistance in May-sur-Orne. Railway bridges at Oissel, St-Rémy-sur-Avre, Courtalain and Beaumont-sur-Sarthe, and ammunition and fuel dumps in the Forêt de Blois, Forêt d’Andaine and Forêt Perseigne, and at Livarot, were attacked by escorted medium and light bombers. Other formations attacked Panzer division concentrations near Thury-Harcourt. Submarine pens near Lorient were attacked by escorted heavy night bombers. Fighter bombers hit an ammunition train at Belleville south of Nantes, and trains near Saumur, and attacked gun positions, rolling stock and vehicles throughout the day. Rail lines were cut near Chartres, Tours, Le Mans, St-Cyr and Orléans. Four enemy aircraft were destroyed. Eight of ours are missing.
Communique Number 122 – 8 August 1944
The largest attack against the western sector since D-day was launched by the enemy Sunday night on a front extending from Mortain to Sourdeval. At least four German armored divisions are being employed in the drive. Mortain has changed hands for the third time and is now held by Allied troops. The enemy penetrated some three miles in the area of Chérence-le-Roussel where a tank battle is in progress. Armor of both sides is involved. Another enemy penetration has been made to St-Barthélemy. More than 100 tanks and 90 motor vehicles were destroyed in a series of attacks in the Mortain area by our fighter bombers and rocket-firing aircraft. Other tanks and trucks were damaged.
In the Brittany Peninsula, Allied troops have freed Châteauneuf, and fighting is in progress outside St-Malo, which is now cut off. St-Brieuc has been taken and the advance is continuing beyond the town. No changes are reported in the areas of Brest and Lorient. Auray has been reached by Allied forces. Châteaubriant has been freed. Sporadic fighting continues over the peninsula. In Normandy, Allied troops have taken Vire.
Across the Orne River, a bridgehead was established yesterday in the neighborhood of Grimbosq. Counter-attacks against this bridgehead, and further west, were repulsed. In the Mont Pinçon area, mopping-up of the ground won is nearly completed. Allied troops are attacking south of Caen. Heavy bombers, in very great strength, attacked the hinge of the enemy’s defense line just south of Caen before midnight last night. The attack was in clear weather, and a great weight of bombs was dropped on targets indicated by our ground forces.
Earlier in the day, strong forces of heavy bombers, operating in small units, attacked fuel storage points, bridges and rail targets in a wide arc northeast and east of Paris and southeast of Bordeaux. Fighter bombers, sweeping east and southeast of Paris, destroyed 32 locomotives, 350 railway cars and 80 military vehicles. Ammunition dumps at Livarot, La Follière, Le Lude and Les Bauches du Désert were attacked by medium and light bombers. Other formations bombed shipping in the Brest harbor and bridges at Nogent-le-Roi, Neuvy-sur-Loire, and Corbie, east of Amiens. At least 20 enemy planes were destroyed in the air during encounters throughout the day and last night. From all operations, 22 of our aircraft are reported missing. Early Sunday morning, a force of enemy R-Boats was intercepted close to the port of Le Havre by light coastal forces and brought to action. The last R-Boat in the enemy’s line received very heavy damage and many hits were observed on another.
Communique Number 123 – 9 August 1944
Allied forces in Brittany are closing in on the ports of St Malo, Brest and Lorient. Converging columns have pushed to within five miles of Lorient, and other forces have engaged the enemy four miles from Brest. Fighting is now in progress in the outskirts of St Malo. Large fires are burning at both St Malo and Lorient, indicating destruction by the Germans of their supplies in both ports. Confused fighting is in progress around Mortain on the Normandy front. To the northwest of Mortain, a German counter-attack, with tanks and infantry, was broken at Gathemo, which has been freed. The drive penetrated about one mile into our lines, but heavy losses were inflicted on the enemy by Allies troops, assisted by planes and artillery. The front line in this area now extends generally along the road between Gathemo and Vire. In the vicinity of Vire, the enemy is offering stubborn resistance south and southwest of the town.
The Allied drive south of Caen progressed some 7000 yards yesterday. After heavy and accurate preliminary bombing the first objectives were secured by first light and a number of pockets of enemy which had been by-passed in this first advance were cleared up during the day. The advance continued at midday in face of determined enemy resistance, supported by armor. The villages of St-Vaast-la-Hougue, Hautmesnil, Cintheaux and St-Aignan and the town of Bretteville-sur-Laize are in our hands. The bridgehead over the Orne River has been extended, and local advances were made to improve our positions east of Mont Pinçon. Targets in immediate support of the ground forces southwest of Caen and airfields at Perthe, Clastres, Villacoubay and Romilly-sur-Seine were attacked successfully by heavy bombers in a day of great air activity.
By last light, and during darkness, heavy bombers also attacked fuel dumps in the Forêt de Chantilly, Forêt d’Aire-sur-Lys and Forêt de Lucheux. Road and rail bridges were attacked by medium and light bombers, with satisfactory results reported over nine widespread targets, most of them east of the Seine River. Rail yards at Igoville, south of ROUEN, were also attacked. Long-range and short-range fighters, in considerable numbers, swept the area south and east of the battle zone throughout the day, taking heavy toll of enemy transport and attacking gun positions. Three enemy minesweepers in the Bay de Biscay were attacked by rocket-firing coastal aircraft and were left ablaze. During the night, fires were started among oil tanks south of Fontainebleau and a crane at Dijon was also set afire by light bombers.
Communique Number 124 – 10 August 1944
La Mans has been liberated by Allied forces, and our troops are in the vicinity of Angers in the Loire Rive Valley. The city of Nantes has been reached and our columns are converging on Lorient. In the Brittany Peninsula, we are now in St Malo, but the enemy at Dinard is resisting stubbornly. Along the north coastal road we have passed through Morlaix. At Brest, the enemy garrison has rejected and ultimatum to surrender and fighting is proceeding outside the city. Gen Karl Spang, commanding the German 266.Infantry-Division, was captured near Brest.
On the Normandy front, there has been no major change in the line. Vigorous patrolling is being carried out in the Mayenne area. The enemy holds Mortain and heavy fighting has been going on north and west of the town. A German counter-attack at GAathemo was checked by our forces, with the destruction of five of the 25 enemy tanks participating. South of St-Germain-de-Tallevende, our troops advanced about 1000 yards. The Allied advance toward Falaise has penetrated the first and second German positions and reached the neighborhood of Potigny. The village of Poussy-la-Campagne and St-Silvain have been taken and armored columns have reached Estrées-la-Campagne and Soignolles. Our troops in the bridgehead over the Orne River repulsed further counter-attacks yesterday and have driven the enemy back. Further west, more ground was gained southeast of Mont Pinçon and between Estry and Vire.
Yesterday afternoon, heavy bombers attacked with 12.000-pound bombs the U-Boat base at La Pallice (La Rochelle). A fuel dump in the Forêt de Mormal, southeast of Valenciennes, was also attacked in the afternoon, and last night, heavy attacks were made on two more fuel depots, at Châtellerault, some 40 miles south of Tours, and in the Forêt d’Englos, near Lille. None of our heavy bombers are missing. Railway bridges in the valley of the Oise River, and at Épernon, L’Isle-Adam and Chauny were attacked by medium and light bombers, as was a rail junction at Épône Mézières. An ammunition dump in the Forêt de Lyons; military building at Tonneins on the Garonne River; a radio installation in the Argentan area and two freighters in Brest harbor were also bombed.
Tanks, gun positions, rolling stock as well as barges on the Seine River were attacked by fighter bombers. Fighters provided escort for bombing missions. Barges on the Seine were also attacked last night by light bombers. P/-PT-Boats, on offensive patrol off the island of Jersey, intercepted a southbound enemy convoy off La Corbiere in low visibility early yesterday morning. One enemy vessel was hit by torpedo and one other damaged by gunfire before the convoy escaped. Shortly after daylight, with visibility further reduced by fog, other PT-Boats entered the roadstead of St Helier and attacked two M-class minesweepers with gunfire. Many hits were observed on the enemy before our forces withdrew. Off the port of Le Havre light coastal forces intercepted an enemy vessel under escort of six R-Boats. The enemy vessel was sunk. One of the escorts was also hit by torpedo and its destruction is considered probable.
Communique Number 125 – 11 August 1944
Allied troops have entered the city of Nantes and Angers. Enemy resistance was slight at Nantes, but there is extensive enemy mining in the area of both cities. In the Brittany Peninsula, mopping-up is proceeding in the area of Hennebont, Auray and Quiberon the south coast. Lorient has been completely surrounded by Allied troops on the land side. The enemy is maintaining strong resistance at Brest, where elements of three German divisions are located. Our forces outside the city have been joined by another force which proceeded along the north coastal road of the peninsula. The enemy defense at St Malo has been reduced mainly to a single strong point which still is offering stubborn resistance. A total of 3000 prisoners has been taken thus far in the port. Dinard, in the St Malo area, is still being strongly defended by the Germans.
Hard fighting continues in the Mortain-Vite area of Normandy. Stubborn enemy resistance is being encountered north and south of Mortain, particularly in the vicinity of St Barthélemy. Gains of one to one-and-one-half miles were made in a southerly direction by the Allied forces in the area of Vire, and other units are attacking towards Gathemo against strong German resistance. Enemy resistance to the Allied thrust toward Falaise increased considerably yesterday. A strong screen of anti-tank guns and heavily defended positions in the areas Fontaine-le-Pin, Quesnay, Estrées-la-Campagne, St-Silvain. and Vimont slowed the advance and heavy fighting resulted. Estrées-la-Campagne was captured. Soignolles changed hands several times and fighting in and around Vimont continued all day. Allied forces have enlarged the bridgehead over the Orne River with an advance of 4000 yards, capturing Espins, on the fringe of the Forêt de Cinglais, and the villages of Croisilles and La Forgé à Cambro.
Driving down from Le Plessis-Grimoult, Allied armor and infantry have captured a number of villages including Cauville and Lenault, and have reached the vicinity of St-Pierre-la-Vieille. Despite variable weather and unusually intense anti-aircraft fire in many sectors, Allied aircraft continued their close support of our Armies, especially near Le Mans where fifteen tanks were destroyed. Throughout the day, our planes ranged from Belgium to Bordeaux to attack supply centers and road and rail targets. Eight enemy aircraft were shot down and 26 others were destroyed or damaged on the ground by our fighters after they had escorted heavy bombers to attack several bridges in the Paris area and the oil storage center at Dugny, near the metropolitan airport of Le Bourget. An estimated 150 locomotives, some 1000 railway cars and scores of vehicles were shot up by other strong forces of fighter bombers and fighters which also hit numerous rail centers, bridges, barges on the Seine River and two ammunition trains.
Good results were reported from medium bomber attacks designed to destroy or halt repairs on rail bridges and embankments at Nogent-sur-Seine, Anizy-le-Château, Péronne, Épône Mézières, Épernon, and Merey. Submarine oil storage depots at Bordeaux and La Pallice and the Dijon rail centers were hit by heavy bombers in a series of midnight attacks. Enemy rail movements westward from Anvers, Bruxelles, Metz, Strasbourg, Lille, Sedan, and other points east of the Seine River were attacked incessantly by fighter bombers. During the evening, five enemy aircraft were shot down over the battle area. Twenty-two of our aircraft are missing.
Communique Number 126 – 12 August 1944
Allied troops have crossed the Loire River and have reached a point ten miles south of Nantes. Some fighting continues in the areas of Nantes and Angers. In the Brittany Peninsula, a small part of the enemy’s one remaining strong point at St Malo is still holding out. Heavy fighting is in progress in Dinard. The situations at Brest and Lorient remained unchanged. In Normandy, the enemy is maintaining a stubborn defense in the Mortain-Vire sector. Near Mortain, an Allied attack is meeting strong resistance from German armored units east and north of the town. Farther north, our troops have pushed beyond Gathemo to the vicinity of Vengeons, on the Gathemo-Tinchebray highway. Further gains have been made below Vire, and the enemy has been pushed back to a point 1000 yards south of Maisoncelles-la-Jourdan.
East of Vire, Allied troops advanced from 1000 to 2000 yards on a six-mile front in spite of determined enemy opposition. Further west, in the vicinity of St-Pierre-la-Vieille, Hills 266 and 229 were captured. Patrols operating from the Orne bridgehead through the Forêt de Cinglais and from east of Laizé penetrated to Barbery. Thury-Harcourt and St-Martin-de-Sallen were cleared of enemy, while southeast of Thury-Harcourt, the village of Esson was taken. Fighting continues in the town of Vimont. During the 24 hours ending midnight August 9, the total of prisoners taken in the western sectors, mostly in Brittany, reached 4822.
In a day of widespread air activity, harbor defense, fuel depots, railway yards and bridges, locomotive depots, submarine shelters, and airfields were under attack by many formations of our heavy bombers. The stubbornly-resisting harbor defenses of Brest were bombed at more than 20 points by small formations. Fuel depot targets included St-Florentin, Pacy, Strasbourg, La Pallice, and Bordeaux. Railway yards attacked were at Strasbourg, Mulhouse, Belfort, Saarbrucken, Lens, Douais and Givors. Airfield targets included Villacoublay, Toussus-le-Noble and Coulommiers. Still other targets were the submarine shelters at La Pallice and Bordeaux, the locomotive depots at Somain and the Etaples rail bridge, which was attacked last night. Our medium bombers also operated against a variety of targets. Coastal batteries, which were holding out in the St Malo area, were attacked in support of our ground forces. In the Falaise sector, mortar and artillery positions were bombed. Other targets included an ammunition dump in the Forêt de Roumare, rail targets at St-Maximin and at Fismes, and a temporary bridge at Oissel. Fighter bombers operated both in close support of our forces and also on strafing missions in the Evreux area and from Paris southeastward to Dijon.