General George S.Patton’s Third Army’s attack to the east encircled numerous German forces when it hooked northwards towards Argentan and Falaise.
The 1st Infantry Division had been securing the shoulder of this offensive, but now received orders to join in the attack as Allied forces squeezed the entrapped Germans into an ever smaller and smaller “Falaise Pocket”.
The division advanced from Mayenne to eight miles northeast of Domfront by 16 August, after which it was pinched out by British forces crossing its front as the pocket disappeared.
This proved yet another disaster for the Germans, who lost 50,000 prisoners in addition to the tens of thousands already killed or wounded in the fighting.
Perhaps equally damaging, the Germans who did escape lost most of their equipment in the pocket or in the pursuit.
The 1st Infantry Division was now free for another mission.