Bombardment of Cherbourg 25 June 1944


Map Code: Ax00497

After the destruction of Mulberry harbour A, Cherbourg became a vital objective for the Allies because of its deep water port. Cherbourg had been heavily fortified by the Germans with an array of gun emplacements spread along the coast. The American VII Corps had advanced to the outskirts of Cherbourg by 22 June but were stopped from fully capturing the city by entrenched Germans. Two naval battle groups were formed to launch a bombardment of key targets in the vicinity so that the army could to storm the city from behind. During the operation the ships were only permitted to engage batteries firing upon them and any specific targets requested by the army so that friendly fire was minimized. Minesweepers cleared paths for the warships and aerial spotters provided guidance for their artillery fire. The five-hour operation was deemed a success as it occupied German batteries whilst the infantry stormed the city.

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