Route the counter attack
La Contre-Attaque (the Counter Attack) is starting in Avranches is ending in Alençon.
Eight itineraries in chronological sequence clearly signposted “Normandie Terre – Liberté” through whole Normandy. See an example at the beginning of this small video.
It enables the visitor to discover these history-packed places and follow the unfolding of this huge battle in the first 80 days of the beginning of the liberation of Western Europe.
Avranche.Le Musée d'Art et d'Histoire. Address: Place Jean de Saint-Avit, 50300 Avranches, France
After the liberation of the area by Allied Forces in 1944, engineers of the Ninth Air Force IX Engineering Command began construction of a combat Advanced Landing Ground outside of the town. Declared operational on 14 August, the airfield was designated as "A-29", it was used by the 373d Fighter Group which flew P-47 Thunderbolts until early September when the unit moved into Central France. Afterward, the airfield was closed
4,408 graves and a Memorial Terrace inscribed with the names of 498 American Missing.
Address: Brittany American Cemetery Cimetière Américain 50240 Saint James
The town was finally liberated on 2 August 1944, the reminder of the Manche department of Normandy on the evening of 14 August. Saint Hilaire du Harcourt was unrecognisable, so horrifically damaged its future uncertain. Should it be rebuilt? There was no question for the townspeople, they would ‘revitalize, relocate and rebuild’ Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët. And so they did.
Operation Lüttich was a codename given to a German counter-attack during the Battle of Normandy, which took place around the American positions near Mortain from 7 August to 13 August 1944. (Lüttich is the German name for the city of Liège in Belgium, where the Germans had won a victory in the early days of August 1914 during World War I.) The offensive is also referred to in American and British histories of the Battle of Normandy as the Mortain counter-offensive. Read the whole story: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Lüttich
On 6 August 1944 near Sourdeval, France, Bates was commanding a Section. Upon discovering that the enemy had penetrated deeply in the area occupied by his section, Bates seized a light machine-gun and charged, moving forward through a hail of bullets. Although twice wounded, he was undaunted and continued firing until the enemy started to withdraw away from his fire. At that moment he was wounded for a third time — mortally. He still however continued to fire until his strength failed him. By this time the enemy had withdrawn and the situation had been restored, and the immediate thread to his platoon subsided. He died in hospital two days later.
Like other towns near the D-Day landing, Flers was one of the targets of strategic bombing of Normandy on 6 and 7 June 1944, aimed at reducing the advance of German reinforcements. 80% of the town was destroyed. What remained of the town was liberated on 16 August by the British 11th Armoured Division (United Kingdom) and the memorial to the division is at Pont de Vère, north of Flers.
Photo: Ju 87 B Stab III/StG 77 Flers France July 1940 Hauptman Helmut Bode
07. La Ferté-Macé
The liberation of La Ferté-Macé https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suFfA7NmhVw
Liberation of Alençon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX5CiVYhfqg