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Following the Germans’ successful seizure of Mortain on the morning of 7 August, battles raged through the streets all around the city. The Americans and Germans were locked in a stalemate until 11 August, when the chief of staff of …
Following the Germans’ successful seizure of Mortain on the morning of 7 August, battles raged through the streets all around the city. The Americans and Germans were locked in a stalemate until 11 August, when the chief of staff of the 50th Infantry Division declared, ‘I want Mortain demolished burn it up so nothing can live there.’ Artillery strikes levelled the city. On 12 August, the German retreat from Mortain began. The 50th Infantry Division had defeated the German counterattack.
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
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