World Battlefronts: Drive to The Port

The battle for Cherbourg opened on a clear, cool, summery day. U.S. troops had chased the beaten Nazi divisions up the peninsula, driven wedges to the sea on both sides of the seaport. There was no escape except by sea—and the Allies controlled the sea.

Leaflets had warned the battered Cherbourg garrison to surrender or die. They were ignored: Nazi officers had orders to shoot, any man who attempted to retreat or give up. The attack was run off in the classic form that an army can achieve when it has overwhelming air power,...

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