Operation Cobra

breakout from NormandyBattle of Normandythe Allied breakthrough at Saint Lo in July 1944break-out from NormandyCobraNormandy breakoutNormandy CampaignOperation ''Cobraallied breakoutAmerican breakout
Operation Cobra was the codename for an offensive launched by the First United States Army (Lieutenant General Omar Bradley) seven weeks after the D-Day landings, during the Normandy Campaign of World War II. The intention was to take advantage of the distraction of the Germans by the British and Canadian attacks around Caen, in Operation Goodwood and break through the German defenses that were penning in his troops, while the Germans were unbalanced.wikipedia
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Operation Goodwood

GoodwoodBourguébus Ridgeadvancing towards Vire
The intention was to take advantage of the distraction of the Germans by the British and Canadian attacks around Caen, in Operation Goodwood and break through the German defenses that were penning in his troops, while the Germans were unbalanced.
While Goodwood failed in its primary aim, it forced the Germans to keep powerful formations opposite the British and Canadians on the eastern flank of the Normandy beachhead and Operation Cobra, the First US Army attack which began on 25 July, caused the weaker German defences opposite to collapse.

Operation Lüttich

Operation LuttichBattle of MortainLüttich
Reinforcements were moved west by Field Marshal Günther von Kluge and employed in various counterattacks, the largest of which, Unternehmen Lüttich (Operation Liège), was launched on 7 August between Mortain and Avranches.
The assault was ordered by Adolf Hitler, to eliminate the gains made by the First United States Army during Operation Cobra and the subsequent weeks, and by reaching the coast in the region of Avranches at the base of the Cotentin peninsula, cut off the units of the Third United States Army which had advanced into Brittany.

VII Corps (United States)

VII CorpsU.S. VII CorpsVII US Corps
Units of the U.S. VII Corps led the initial two-division assault, while other First U.S. Army corps mounted supporting attacks designed to pin German units in place. Within four days, VII Corps (Major General J. Lawton Collins) resumed the offensive toward Saint-Lô, alongside XIX Corps and VIII Corps, causing the Germans to move more armor into the U.S. sector.
VII Corps led the initial assault of Operation Cobra, the First Army-led offensive as part of the breakout of the Normandy area.

Brittany

BretonBritannyBretagne
Once a corridor had been created, the First Army would then be able to advance into Brittany, rolling up the German flanks once free of the constraints of the bocage country.
It was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1940 and freed after Operation Cobra in August 1944.

VIII Corps (United States)

VIII CorpsU.S. VIII CorpsUS VIII Corps
By 27 July, most organized resistance had been overcome and the VII and VIII Corps advanced rapidly, isolating the Cotentin Peninsula. Within four days, VII Corps (Major General J. Lawton Collins) resumed the offensive toward Saint-Lô, alongside XIX Corps and VIII Corps, causing the Germans to move more armor into the U.S. sector.
After closing on the Ay and Sèves Rivers, VIII Corps joined the allied breakout from Normandy (Operation Cobra) on 26 July 1944.

Omar Bradley

Omar N. BradleyBradleyGeneral Omar Bradley
Operation Cobra was the codename for an offensive launched by the First United States Army (Lieutenant General Omar Bradley) seven weeks after the D-Day landings, during the Normandy Campaign of World War II. The original plan for the Normandy campaign envisioned strong offensive efforts in both sectors, in which the Second Army (Lieutenant-General Sir Miles Dempsey) would secure Caen and the area south of it and the First US Army (Lieutenant General Omar Bradley) would "wheel round" to the Loire.
Later in July, he planned Operation Cobra, the beginning of the breakout from the Normandy beachhead.

First United States Army

First ArmyU.S. First ArmyUnited States First Army
Operation Cobra was the codename for an offensive launched by the First United States Army (Lieutenant General Omar Bradley) seven weeks after the D-Day landings, during the Normandy Campaign of World War II. The original plan for the Normandy campaign envisioned strong offensive efforts in both sectors, in which the Second Army (Lieutenant-General Sir Miles Dempsey) would secure Caen and the area south of it and the First US Army (Lieutenant General Omar Bradley) would "wheel round" to the Loire.
In Operation Cobra, its forces finally managed to break through the German lines.

7th Army (Wehrmacht)

7th ArmyGerman Seventh ArmySeventh Army
On 8 August, troops of the newly activated Third United States Army captured the city of Le Mans, formerly the German 7th Army headquarters.
Finally, in Operation Cobra in late July 1944, the 7th Army's weakened left wing was flattened by a massive Allied aerial bombardment and then assaulted and broken by the US 1st Army.

Rhino tank

Rhinoarmored vehiclesCulin Cutter
To overcome the constraints of the bocage that had made attacks so difficult and costly for both sides, Rhino modifications were made to some M4 Sherman, M5A1 Stuart tanks and M10 tank destroyers, by fitting them with hedge-breaching 'tusks' that could force a path through hedgerows.
In the summer of 1944, during the Battle of Normandy, Allied forces – particularly the Americans – had become bogged down fighting the Germans in the Normandy bocage.

Invasion of Normandy

Normandy invasionNormandyBattle of Normandy
Operation Cobra was the codename for an offensive launched by the First United States Army (Lieutenant General Omar Bradley) seven weeks after the D-Day landings, during the Normandy Campaign of World War II.

Mortain

county of MortainNotre Dame de Mortain county of Mortain
Reinforcements were moved west by Field Marshal Günther von Kluge and employed in various counterattacks, the largest of which, Unternehmen Lüttich (Operation Liège), was launched on 7 August between Mortain and Avranches.
Over a period of six nights the 30th Infantry Division fought (with one radio with dying batteries) against the German Panzer counter-attack of Operation Lüttich, to preserve the breakout established in Operation Cobra.

21st Army Group

British 21st Army Group21st Army21st
Following the conclusion of Operation Charnwood and the cancellation of the First Army offensive towards Saint-Lô, Montgomery met with Bradley and Dempsey on 10 July to discuss plans for the 21st Army Group.
These operations left the Germans unable to prevent the American breakout at the western end of the Normandy beachhead in early August 1944.

Günther von Kluge

von KlugeGunther von KlugeHans Günther von Kluge
Reinforcements were moved west by Field Marshal Günther von Kluge and employed in various counterattacks, the largest of which, Unternehmen Lüttich (Operation Liège), was launched on 7 August between Mortain and Avranches.
Launched on 25 July, Operation Cobra was intended for U.S. forces to take advantage of German armies occupied by British and Canadian attacks around Caen and achieve a decisive breakthrough in northwestern France.

Operation Spring

SpringCrête de Verrières-Tilly-la-Campagne
At Montgomery's urging, "strongly underlined in the Supreme Commander's communications to Montgomery", the II Canadian Corps commander, Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds, began a second offensive a few days later, codenamed Operation Spring.
The plan was intended to create pressure on the German forces operating on the British and Canadian front simultaneously to American offensive operations in their sector known as Operation Cobra, an attempt to break out from the Normandy lodgement.

M4 Sherman

ShermanSherman tankSherman tanks
To overcome the constraints of the bocage that had made attacks so difficult and costly for both sides, Rhino modifications were made to some M4 Sherman, M5A1 Stuart tanks and M10 tank destroyers, by fitting them with hedge-breaching 'tusks' that could force a path through hedgerows.
The first standard-production 76 mm gun-armed Sherman was an M4A1, accepted in January 1944, which first saw combat in July 1944 during Operation Cobra.

Miles Dempsey

Miles C. DempseySir Miles DempseySir Miles C. Dempsey
The original plan for the Normandy campaign envisioned strong offensive efforts in both sectors, in which the Second Army (Lieutenant-General Sir Miles Dempsey) would secure Caen and the area south of it and the First US Army (Lieutenant General Omar Bradley) would "wheel round" to the Loire.
This fighting drew vital German units including the bulk of their armoured strength to the Caen sector, facilitating the breakout further west in July (see Operation Cobra) by Lieutenant General George S. Patton's U.S. Third Army.

Lesley J. McNair

Lesley McNairMcNairGEN Lesley J. McNair
The dead included Bradley's friend and fellow West Pointer Lieutenant General Lesley McNair—the highest-ranking U.S. soldier to be killed in action in the European Theater of Operations.
During Operation Cobra, an Eighth Air Force bomb landed in his foxhole during combat near Saint-Lô when the Army attempted to use heavy bombers for close air support of infantry operations as part of the Battle of Normandy.

2nd Armored Division (United States)

2nd Armored DivisionU.S. 2nd Armored Division2d Armored Division
In the first phase, the breakthrough attack would be conducted by the 9th Infantry Division (Major General Manton S. Eddy) and the 30th Infantry Division (Major General Leland Hobbs), which would break into the German defensive zone and then hold the flanks of the penetration while the 1st Infantry Division (Major General Clarence Huebner) and 2nd Armored Division (Major General Edward H. Brooks) pushed into the depth of the position until resistance collapsed.
The division then landed in Normandy, on Omaha Beach on 9 June 1944, three days after the initial Normandy landings, and operated in the Cotentin Peninsula and later formed the right flank of the Operation Cobra assault.

30th Infantry Division (United States)

30th Infantry Division30th Division30th
In the first phase, the breakthrough attack would be conducted by the 9th Infantry Division (Major General Manton S. Eddy) and the 30th Infantry Division (Major General Leland Hobbs), which would break into the German defensive zone and then hold the flanks of the penetration while the 1st Infantry Division (Major General Clarence Huebner) and 2nd Armored Division (Major General Edward H. Brooks) pushed into the depth of the position until resistance collapsed.
Beginning on 25 July, the 30th Division spearheaded the Saint-Lô break-through of Operation Cobra, which was intended to break out of the Normandy beachhead, thus ending the stalemate that had occurred.

Battle of Verrières Ridge

Verrières RidgeBattle of Verrieres RidgeBourguébus Ridge
Again the fighting for Verrières Ridge proved extremely bloody for the Canadians, with 25 July marking the costliest day for a Canadian battalion—The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada—since the Dieppe Raid of 1942.
While failing to achieve its original objective, an important strategic result of the Battle of Verrières Ridge was to aid the overwhelmingly successful Operation Cobra, by tying down powerful German Panzer formations that might otherwise have been moved to counter-attack Cobra.

1st Infantry Division (United States)

1st Infantry Division1st DivisionU.S. 1st Infantry Division
In the first phase, the breakthrough attack would be conducted by the 9th Infantry Division (Major General Manton S. Eddy) and the 30th Infantry Division (Major General Leland Hobbs), which would break into the German defensive zone and then hold the flanks of the penetration while the 1st Infantry Division (Major General Clarence Huebner) and 2nd Armored Division (Major General Edward H. Brooks) pushed into the depth of the position until resistance collapsed.
The division followed up the Saint-Lô break-through with an attack on Marigny, 27 July 1944.

Troy H. Middleton

Troy MiddletonTroy Houston MiddletonLt. Gen. Troy H. Middleton
Also on 26 July, VIII Corps (Major General Troy H. Middleton) entered the battle, led by the 8th U.S. Infantry Division and 90th U.S. Infantry Division.
His leadership in Operation Cobra during the Battle of Normandy led to the capture of the important port city of Brest, France, and for his success he was awarded a second Distinguished Service Medal by General George Patton.

Panzer Lehr Division

Panzer-Lehr-DivisionPanzer LehrPanzer Lehr'' Division
Approximately 3,000 U.S. aircraft had carpet-bombed a narrow section of the front, with the Panzer-Lehr-Division taking the brunt of the attack.
On several occasions it fought almost to destruction, in particular during Operation Cobra, and by the end of the war in Europe bore little resemblance to the unit that had originally been activated.

J. Lawton Collins

Joseph L. CollinsJoseph Lawton CollinsLawton Collins
Within four days, VII Corps (Major General J. Lawton Collins) resumed the offensive toward Saint-Lô, alongside XIX Corps and VIII Corps, causing the Germans to move more armor into the U.S. sector.
VII Corps played a major role in the Normandy landings in June 1944 and the subsequent Battle of Normandy, including Operation Cobra.

Ultra

Ultra secret ULTRA Special Liaison Unit
Planning was immensely aided by detailed Ultra intelligence which supplied up-to-date decodes of communications between Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW, the German armed forces high command) and Hitler's generals.