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In the early hours of 7 August, Germany launched a counterattack to eliminate the gains made by the US forces during Operation Cobra and to cut off the units that had advanced into Brittany. One of the first key targets …
In the early hours of 7 August, Germany launched a counterattack to eliminate the gains made by the US forces during Operation Cobra and to cut off the units that had advanced into Brittany. One of the first key targets was the town of Mortain, which had only recently been occupied by the 50th Infantry Division. The German forces made quick gains against the US forces’ light defenses, overrunning roadblocks, and assaulting infantry and heavy weapons platoons on the strategic Hill 514. The Americans ordered reinforcements to repel the attacks and restore a defensive perimeter. The reinforcements battled their way through Mortain and up Hill 514.
Operation Lüttich was a codename given to a German counter-attack during the Battle of Normandy, which took place around the American positions near Mortain in northwestern France from 7 August to 13 August 1944. The offensive is also referred to in American and British histories of the Battle of Normandy as the Mortain counterattack. The assault was ordered by Adolf Hitler, to eliminate the gains made by the First United States Army during Operation Cobra and the subsequent weeks, and by reaching the coast in the region of Avranches at the base of the Cotentin peninsula, cut off the units of the Third United States Army which had advanced into Brittany. The main German striking force was the XLVII Panzer Corps, with one and a half SS Panzer Divisions and two Heer Panzer Divisions. Although they made initial gains against the defending U.S. VII Corps, they were soon halted and the Allies inflicted severe losses on the attacking troops, eventually destroying most of the German tanks involved in the attack. Although fighting continued around Mortain for six days, the American forces had regained the initiative within a day of the opening of the German attack.
Wikipedia: Operation Lüttich