Battle of Villers-Bocage
The Battle of Villers-Bocage took place on 13 June 1944, one week after the Normandy Landings. A two-pronged British attempt to surround and capture Caen was defeated. The British withdrawal marked the end of the post D-Day’s ‘cramble for ground’ and the start of an attritional battle for Caen.
About Battle of Villers-Bocage in brief
The Battle of Villers-Bocage took place on 13 June 1944, one week after the Normandy Landings. The Allies and the Germans regarded control of Caen as vital to the Normandy battle. The Germans rapidly established strong defences in front of the city. A two-pronged British attempt to surround and capture Caen was defeated. The British withdrawal marked the end of the post D-Day’scramble for ground’ and the start of an attritional battle for Caen. The Battle for Caan continued east of the small town of Villers- Bocage. The ruins of the town were captured on 4 August, after two raids by strategic bombers of the Royal Air Force. Some historians have written that the British attack was a failure caused by a lack of conviction among some senior commanders, rather than the fighting power of the German army. Others judge the British force to have been insufficient for the task and that the role of SS-Obersturmführer Michael Wittmann in the battle has been exaggerated. The battle was won by the British 3rd Infantry Division, of I Corps, with Caen—9 miles inland—as their final objective. The next day the British began Operation Perch, an advance to the south-east of the Caen, according to a contingency plan in the invasion plan. General Bernard Montgomery, commander of the Allied forces in France, revised the plan to be a bigger attack with bigger attacks into the city on 12 June. On 9 June, Allied forces began attacking the city, but the Germans were able to reinforce the defenders, which made it impossible to rush the attack.
On 12 June, General Montgomery revised the plans to get the city taken by the time of the next day’s attack. The Allied forces took Caen on 27 June and the Battle of the Bulge began, with the Germans unable to repel the Allied advance. The German advance was stopped short, by elements of the 21st Panzer Division, and the Allies were forced to withdraw from the city the following day. After the battle, the Germans attacked the British brigade box, arranged for all-round defence, in theBattle of the Island, and inflicted a costly repulse on the British and then retired from the salient. The following day, the Allies captured the island, which had been held by the Germans since the First World War, and was later used as a staging area for the Second World War’s invasion of Normandy. The Battle for the Rhine was fought between the Germans and the Allied armies in the Ardennes and the South of France from July to August 1944. It was the last major battle of the war, and ended with the surrender of the Germans in June 1945. In the aftermath of the battle the Allies began a series of major military operations in Europe and the Pacific, including the liberation of Dunkirk and the fall of Saipan, as well as the invasion of the Rhineland.