After two more weeks of active defense and aggressive patrolling, the 1st Infantry Division was relieved in its sector by the newly arrived 5th Infantry Division.
With Cherbourg secured, the Allies turned their attention to a major breakout operation, which came to be codenamed COBRA.
While grinding attacks by units on line west of the Vire River clawed towards ground suitable for mechanized operations, First Army Commander General Omar N.Bradley accumulated a mobile reserve to serve as his breakout force.
When COBRA commenced, he wanted “to make certain the blitz would get off to a fast start” and “called on the Big Red One to pace it.”
The division withdrew to the vicinity of Bricqueville- sur-Mer to rest, refit, and fully motorize itself.
The Big Red One, along with the 2nd and 3rd Armored Divisions, would serve as the breakout force.