Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide Books And Maps
Major and Mrs Holt's
Battlefield Guide Books and Maps - the very best
Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide Books And Maps
Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide Books And Maps

Illustrated guide books and maps of the First & Second World Wars


 


CHERBOURG

The D Day landing beaches lie between two major ports. In the west there is Cherbourg and roughly 100 miles away to the east is Le Havre.

Neither of these ports featured in the D Day landings themselves because the failure at Dieppe had shown that a frontal assault on a defended harbour was probably going to fail.

However, while the Mulberry harbours could supply the initial build-up after the 6 June more extensive facilities were needed for the later advance inland.

It was hoped that the Americans would be able to take Cherbourg on the 8th day but that estimate was later revised to the 15th day after it was discovered that the Germans had moved extra troops into the area.

On the 19th June heavy storms destroyed the American Mulberry harbour making it even more urgent that Cherbourg be taken and on 22 June the US V11 Corps began a fierce attack on the port. Hitler demanded that the defenders fight 'to the last man'. Casualties were heavy on both sides and the Americans brought in fire support from ships at sea including the battleship Texas which was damaged by counter fire from the port's batteries.

The Germans did fight on until all hope had gone and it was not until 30 June that the last post fell.

On Cherbourg Town Hall is a plaque to Sergeant William Finlay the first US soldier to enter the town hall and on top of Montagne du Roule overlooking the town is the Fort du Roule Museum of War and Liberation.

The full story is in our book Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches'.