Manche - 4 and 5 km east of Saint-Lô

One week to capture Saint-Lô ruins
At the beginning of July 1944 the battle seemed endless for the Americans in the norman bocage. The advance was slow in the marshy area of the river Vire. On 12 July they were at the gate of Saint-Lô; the 38th and 23rd Regiments of the 2nd Infantry Division pushed back the Germans parachutists of the 9th Regiment. Saint-Georges d’Elle and Cloville were liberated, hill 192 was seized. On 17 July Major Howie was killed while preparing the attack of his battalion. This 36 years old officer became the symbol of the fighting for the city. The 29th American Infantry Division met with strong resistance of General Meindl paratroops, supported by a self propelled antitank gun brigade. On 18 July in the morning General Gehrardt launched a task force against Saint-Lô, in the afternoon the Americans entered the city on the heels of the routing Germans. Saint-Lô was ruined and 450 people had been killed in the bombing.

Major Howie monument
Monument in memory of Thomas D. Howie, « le major de Saint-Lô », who commanded the 2nd Battalion, 116th Regiment of the 29th American Infantry division, killed on 17 July 1944 in the lead of his troops to liberate Saint-Lô.
Situation : at the south-eastern exit of the city, at the crossroads of N174 road toward Vire

  Hill 192 stele

This orientation table remembers the fighting for the conquest of Hill 192, a strategic position east of Saint-Lô in July 1944.
Situation : at the edge of the D95 road, 2 km east of the town

  2nd Infantry Division stele

Stele in memory of soldiers of the 2nd American Infantry Division killed in the fighting for the liberation of Saint-Georges-d'Elle.
Situation : in the town, in front of the town hall

  Major Howie plaque
Plaque dedicated to Major Thomas Howie, killed on 17 July 1944 to liberate Saint-Lô. His body was presented symboliccaly in the ruins of the church.
Situation : in the city center, on the wall of Sainte-Croix church

29th Infantry Division plaque

Plaque recalling that units of the 29th American Infantry Division under General Gerhardt entered the city through this street on 18 July 1944.
Situation : General Gerhardt street, at the gate of the cemetery, on the wall at the left

  Civilian casualties monument - Underground shelter plaque

Monument (inaugurated in 1969) dedicated to casualties of the bombing of the city in June 1944. In 1943 the Germans undertook to build this shelter in the rock to establish a military hospital. A plaque remembers that hundreds of civilians took refuge in this shelter during the bombing of the city from 6 to 9 June 1944.
Situation : monument at the foot of the battlements, 6 June 1944 croosroads, plaque 100 meters to the left of the monument
  La Madeleine Memorial

This chapelle was converted into a Memorial to the 29th and 35th American Infantry Divisions. Inside you can see photographs, plaques and objets belonging to the veterans and related to the liberation of the city.
Situation : east of the city, toward Bayeux
  Blanchet mausoleum

This mausoleum - tomb of Blanchet family - was used by Major Glover Johns, Commander of the 1st Battalion - 115th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division - as a temporary headquarter during the fighting for the liberation of the city.
Situation : in the city cemetery, on the right after the entrance
    Robert J. Harding stele

Stele dedicated to 1st Lieutenant Robert J. Harding who died as a result of injuries on 6 August 1944 in the fighting to liberate the city.
Situation : near the La Madeleine Memorial

Official web site of the 29th US Infantry Division
Official web site of the 35th US Infantry Division
Personal web site about the US Army in Europe
Manche departmental tourism office web site

Personal web site about the German infantryman

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