Along the base of the Normandy peninsula the fighting grew in violence.
British troops around Caen smashed a series of desperate German counterattacks and ground ahead slowly. To the west, U.S. troops, who had been building up for a new strike, launched their drive along a 40-mile front in drenching rain; on the first day they churned through for gains of as much as three miles.
The armies were not yet locked in the full shock of decisive battle. But the day was at hand; the war in western Europe was about to enter a fourth phase.
In Phase 1 the...