Cherbourg

© Nomandy Tourist Board

In February 1944, Generals Eisenhower and Montgomery decided that the landings would take place in an area 80km (50 miles) long – rather than 40km (25 miles) – extending from Colleville to Varreville and including the Cherbourg Peninsula, so that the port of Cherbourg could be captured as quickly as possible.

Cherbourg, a strategic objective for the success of Operation Overlord

 

Cherbourg was a strategic objective for the success of Operation Overlord. In a short space of time, the port had to be able to handle troop ships from the United States, as well as munitions and machinery needed for the conquest of Europe.

The Americans needed to capture Cherbourg under the orders of General Bradley.

 

“It is a pleasure to be able to say to the French people: here is the first large town that is returned to you.”

On June 21st they surrounded the town. On the 25th, they had advanced into the streets. On the 26th, the Fort du Roule was taken. General Bradley responded to the inhabitants who acclaimed him: “It is a pleasure to be able to say to the French people: here is the first large town that is returned to you.”

On the other hand the port, sabotaged by the Germans, was in a sad state: a pile of ruins. Not to be discouraged, the soldiers set to the task of making it usable once more. So it was that from the middle of July, the port of Cherbourg welcomed the first Liberty Ships arriving from the United States.

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