The 5th Infantry Division attacked to seize Fontainebleau and force a crossing of the Seine River.
En route it encountered and destroyed strong garrisons left behind at Etampes and Malesherbes.
Even as these battles were raging, other columns bypassed the resistance and pushed on to the Seine.
Here an enterprising battalion commander swam the river, policed up five small boats on the far bank, and brought them back for the use of his men.
The battalion began crossing, and scavenged further boats as the operation progressed, beating back German counterattacks as it did so.
By 24 August engineers had installed a tread-way bridge, and an entire regiment was across the river at that point.
Meanwhile, another regiment, assisted by the French Forces of the Interior (FFI), had forced a crossing at Montereau.
The division’s third regiment swung to the south of both of these crossings, and crossed the Yonne River to come on line with its sister regiments.
German prospects for defending the line of the Seine had been hopelessly compromised.