Operation Cobra & the liberation of Paris

Period: July 25 - August 25, 1944

Quote: British General Sir Alan Brooke: Attended a thanksgiving service for the liberation of Paris. Hearing the Marseillaise gave me a great thrill. France seemed to wake again.

Involved: Major General Maurice Rose takes command of 3rd Armored Division in Operation Cobra and in the liberation of Paris.

Engineer Richard Wells of 82 Engineer Combat Battalion during Operation Cobra is stationed near the town of Saint Lô, close to the front. He would have seen and heard the heavy bombings by German defenses and would have been part of the march in the following days.

After a delay in the advance and 7 weeks after D-Day, the Allied military leadership decided to launch Operation Cobra on July 25. The aim was to find a way out from the difficult Normandy terrain through the French town of St. Lo.

The assault began with a massive bombardment by B-17 and B-24 bombers on the German defense line, followed by an attack which included 2ndArmored Division and 1 Infantry Division. The result was as hoped. After a few days the Germans were pushed back and on July 31 the Allied armies could begin a further advance into northwestern France.

Before them lay open country where they could advance much faster than they could in Normandy. Although there was some German resistance, the numerical superiority of the Americans in the air and on the ground finally began to bear fruit. Paris was liberated on August 25th. The road to the German border was practically open.

American soldiers are advancing during Operation Cobra
Source: Public domain

Liberation is celebrated late July 1944 in Paris
Source: Public domain

The Battle for Paris

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