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BATTLE FOR ST. LO - The Nazi-held town was re-taken by the American forces on 18 July 1944, the decimated American attackers finally taking possession of its cratered landscape in which hardly a building remained standing.

Click to EnlargeBattle Zone Normandy: BATTLE FOR ST. LO - the name of the town of St-Lo, a powerful resonance for American Normandy veterans. Both the German defenders and the Allies were aware that the town was the strategic key to western Normandy. St-Lo'd already been subjected to a massive bombardment campaign before D-Day, as it formed the hub of the local road network. Major General Charles H. Gerhardt, commander of 29th US Infantry Division that landed at Omaha on 6 June, was ordered to capture the town by D plus 9 (15 June). The scene was set for a trial of strength between the opposing sides that would decide the outcome of the Battle of Normandy.

Several elite German divisions were ordered to the Saint Lo sector to counter the American threat from Carentan, captured on 12 June. By concentrating their defences twelve miles inland, these German forces halted the US advance before St-L?espite costly American attacks in the difficult bocage countryside. The town fell to 29th Infantry Division on 18 July, the decimated American attackers finally taking possession of its cratered landscape in which hardly a building remained standing. Over a month later than planned, St-Lo's occupation opened the way for the Allies' advance to the River Seine and victory in Normandy.

Participating U.S. Divisions:
-- 1st Infantry Division
-- 2nd Infantry Division
-- 3rd Armored Division
-- 9th Infantry Division
-- 29th Infantry Division
-- 30th Infantry Division
-- 35th Infantry Division
-- 192 pages, 65 b&w, 65 color photographs and illustrations
-- Full color mapping
-- Easy to follow battlefield tours

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