Battle of Cherbourg

The Battle of Cherbourg was part of the Battle of Normandy during World War II. It was fought immediately after the successful Allied landings on 6 June 1944. Allied troops, mainly American, isolated and captured the fortified port, 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.

Date: June 13 to June 30 1944
Location: Cherbourg Peninsula
Country: France
Result: Allied victory

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