XIX CORPS COMBAT CHRONOLOGY

 
 

JULY 1944

 

7 July:
30th Infantry Division, on right flank, attacks: 120th Infantry Regiment storms across Canal Vire et Taute and captures St. Jean de Daye; 117th crosses Vire River under cover of darkness and establishes bridgehead but is unable to seize high ground east of St. Jean de Daye and so leaves 120th Infantry Regiment exposed on 3 sides to enemy fire; 119th Infantry Regiment crosses the Vire just north of Airel and reaches point just south of Pont de St. Fromond.

 

8 July:
Three strong counterattacks repulsed by 120th Infantry Regiment south of St Jean de Daye but fourth counterattack forces some withdrawal; rest of 30th Infantry Division attacks west and seizes crossroads south of St. Jean de Daye. CCB of 3rd Armored Division passes through bridgehead and drives south to area just west of Cavigny.

 

9 July:
In St. Jean de Daye area, 120th and 117th Infantry Regiments encounter determined opposition; 119th Infantry Regiment moves south along Vire River through Cavigny. CCB of 3rd Armored Division attacks southwest toward Hts. Vents ( southeast of Esglandes) and reaches objective but is ordered to withdraw. Counterattack by 2nd SS Engineer Battalion is frustrated by heavy artillery concentration.

 

10 July:
CCB, 3rd Armored Division, resumes attack toward Hts. Vents but terrain is difficult for armor and opposition is very strong. Night of 10 / 11 July, combat groups of Panzer Lehr Division counterattack positions of 120th Infantry Regiment in attempt to break through to St. Jean de Daye; heavy fighting results.

 

11 July:
Enemy troops in 30th Infantry Division sector advance and recapture les Landes; attack of 30th Infantry Division checks enemy but fail to produce any gains. CCB, 3rd Armored Division reaches crest of hill at Hts. Vents and defeats strong counterattack. On east side of Vire River, 35th Infantry Division attacks to gain north bank of Vire River west of St. Lo; La Meauffe captured, attack by German 3rd Paratrooper Division and elements of 352nd Infantry Division repulsed, and about 1 1/2 miles gained before enemy's fortified positions at St. Gilles check advance. 29th Infantry Division attacks with 2 regiments abreast: 115th Infantry Regiment, on right, makes slow progress against strong opposition from units of 3rd Paratrooper Division; 116th Infantry Regiment, on left, attacks astride Bayeux - St. Lo road, south of St. Andre de l'Epine, and seizes positions northeast of La Boulaye. 

 

12 July:
On right flank XIX Corps sector, 119th Infantry Regiment attacks toward Pont Hebert and penetrates positions of Panzer Lehr Division to reach point less than a mile west of objective; CCB, 3rd Armored Division supports 119th Infantry Regiment but is somewhat disorganized after being mistakenly strafed by P-47s. 35th Infantry Division attempts to push south but is checked by enemy troops in well fortified positions. On 29th Infantry Division front, 115th Infantry Regiment captures Belle Fontaine but is then completely checked by enemy opposition; 116th Infantry Regiment occupies positions, including Hill 147, about 3 miles east of St. Lo; 175th Infantry Regiment, south of St. Lo - Bayeux highway, attacks south to secure high ground in vicinity of la Barre de Semilly but stopped by small arms and  mortar fire.  

 

13 July:
CCB, 3rd Armored Division and 2 regiments of the 30th Infantry Division hold positions under heavy fire; all enemy attempts to retake hill at Hts. Vents defeated. La Luzerne, southwest of Belle Fontaine, captured by 115th Infantry Regiment which is pushing steadily southwest toward St. Lo despite determined resistance; east of St. Lo, 175th Infantry Regiment occupies hill 150, just south of St. Andre de l'Epine, and passes through 116th Infantry Regiment but opposition is so strong that progress is impossible.

 

14 July:
Pont Hebert captured by troops of 119th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division; elements of 117th Regiment move west to Terrette River to protect Divisions right flank. 35th Infantry Division attacks south toward hill 122, overlooking St. Lo from the north.

 

15 July:
Just west of Moon-sur-Elle - St. Lo road, 134th Infantry Regiment ( 35th Infantry Division ) pushes to north slope hill 122, forcing left wing of German 352nd Infantry Division to withdraw about 5/8 mile. 29th Infantry Division attacks at 0515 hours and immediately encounters stiff resistance; 115th Infantry Regiment advanced about 1/2 mile southwest of La Luzerne but rest of Division is unable to gain during day; units of 352nd Infantry Division and 3rd Paratroopers Division are fighting strong defensive battle. During night 2nd Battalion of 116th Infantry Regiment advances to positions about 1 mile east of St. Lo south of stream junction at Ste. Croix de St. Lo; troops dig in but are isolated from rest of regiment.  

 

15 July:
German 3rd Paratroopers Division counterattacks several times but is repulsed by 29th and 35th Infantry Divisions; 116th Infantry Regiment secures Martinville, 1 1/2 miles northeast of St. Lo.

 

17 July:
35th Infantry Division continues slow, southward advance, gained about  1/4 mile in face of strong opposition from left wing of 352nd Infantry Division. 29th Infantry Division closes in on St. Lo: 115th Infantry Regiment presses south to high ground just west of Martinville and sends a battalion to outskirts of St. Lo; enemy armor and infantry of Second Paratroop Corps attacks this battalion which requests close air support; air corps breaks up counterattack shortly before midnight.

 

18 July:
After bloody street fighting all day, St. Lo falls, at 1900 hours, to task force from 29th Infantry Division; 115th and 116th Infantry Regiments had formed and are about the north and east sides of the city from south of St. Georges Montcocq to south of Ste. Croix de St. Lo to south of Martinville and across Bayeux road to stream north of la Barre.

 

28 July:
XIX Corps is to exploit breakthrough of VII Corps. 30th Infantry Division continues southward attack west of Vire River; 117th Infantry Regiment attacks toward Tessy-sur-Vire but encounters determined resistance in area of le Mesnil Opac; units of 120th Infantry Regiment strongly counterattacked by elements of 2nd Panzer Grenadier Regiment which crossed the Vire during night but other units make gains south and secure le Mesnil Raoult in early morning. CCA, 2nd Armored Division, attacks southeast; enemy counterattack repulsed and high ground north of Moyen seized but troops are unable to capture town. 29th Infantry Division crosses Vire River and moves in 2 columns to assembly areas at St. Samson de Bon Fosse and near la Denisiere.

 

29 July:
29th Infantry Division attacks south along le Mesnil Herman - Percy road and southeast toward Tessy-sur-Vire; on left flank 116th Infantry Regiment relieves elements of CCA, 2nd Armored Division, north of Moyen which attack east from area north of Villebaudon; 115th Infantry attacks Percy and reaches positions northwest, north and northeast of objective. On XIX Corps left flank, 117th and 119th Infantry Regiments of 30th Infantry Division continue south but opposition is very strong and progress slow.

 

30 July:
CCA, 2nd Armored Division, splits into 2 forces, 1 of which aids 115th Infantry Regiment in unsuccessful attack on Percy and the other attacks east toward Tessy; 116th Infantry Regiment is northwest of Tessy, attempting to reduce pocket composed of elements of 2nd SS Panzer Division; 1 Battalion of this regiment attacks west along road to Denisiere where 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, is delayed by heavy enemy fire. Enemy strongly counterattacks northeast of Percy, between 115th and 175th Infantry Regiments, forcing latter to move to position closer to Percy. 30th Infantry Division units continue attempts to clear enemy from areas north and northwest of Tessy-sur-Vire. 

 

31 July:
CCA, 2nd Armored Division, and 175th Infantry Regiment resume eastward attack along general line of Villebaudon - Tessy road; opposition strong but line through Beaucoudy reached. Farther south, 115th Infantry Regiment, which has been relieved near Percy by 110th Infantry Regiment, gains west slope of hill northwest of Montabot ( on Percy - Tessy road ). On left flank CCA, 116th Infantry Regiment unsuccessfully attacks Moyen. In 30th Infantry Division sector, 119th Infantry Regiment gains Troisgots, and enemy strongpoint southeast of le Mesnil Opac, while 117th Infantry Regiment cuts road southwest of Tessy.

 
 

 

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