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Battle of Cherbourg

Battle location: Cherbourg Peninsula
Country affected: France
Battle duration: June 13 to June 30 1944

Battle outcome: Allied victory

    Total Allied casualties

    • Killed: 2.800
    • Wounded: 13.500
    • Captured: 5.700
    • Total: 22.000

    Total Axis casualties

    • Killed: 8.000
    • Wounded: not known
    • Captured: 30.000
    • Total: 37.500

    Please keep in mind that 100% accurate figures about the number of casualties cannot be given with complete certainty.

    "Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops"
    Dwight D. Eisenhower's letter if D-Day had failed

    History and facts about Battle of Cherbourg

    The Battle of Cherbourg that followed after the successful Allied landings on 6 June 1944 also know as D-Day, were a part of the Battle of Normandy during World War 2. Allied troops, first isolated and then captured the fortified port of Cherbourgh. Cherbourg-en-Cotentin is located at the northern tip of the Cotentin Peninsula, in the department of Manche, which was considered vital to the campaign in Western Europe, in a hard-fought, month-long campaign.

    When the Allied forces drew up their plans for the invasion of France, the Allied staff considered that it would be necessary to secure a deep-water port to allow reinforcements to be brought directly from the United States. (Without such a port, equipment packed for transit would first have to be unloaded at a port in Great Britain, unpacked, waterproofed and then reloaded onto landing craft to be transferred to France). Cherbourg, at the end of the Cotentin Peninsula, was the largest port accessible from the landings.

    The Allied planners decided at first not to land directly on the Cotentin Peninsula, since this sector would be separated from the main Allied landings by the Douve River valley, which had been flooded by the Germans to deter airborne landings. On being appointed overall land commander for the invasion in January 1944, British Army General Bernard Montgomery reinstated the landing on the Cotentin peninsula, partly to widen the front and therefore prevent the invaders becoming sealed into a narrow lodgement, but also to enable a rapid capture of Cherbourg.

    Insignia of the defeated forces