As the Allies consolidated their strength on the eastern side of the Cotentin Peninsula, and the various pockets of paratroopers linked up with infantry forces from Utah beach, attention turned to the heavily fortified city of Cherbourg. German forces in Brittany had been slow to react to the Normandy landings, leaving the Allies an opportunity to sever the link between Cherbourg and the rest of the German Army in the south. Hitler’s refusal to concede ground near Cherbourg resulted in the strongest fighting unit in the area, the 77th Division, being caught north of the American drive across the peninsula. By the time Hitler had allowed the 77th Division to retreat south where they could be utilized more effectively, the American 9th Division had managed to reach the western coast of the peninsula, leaving the majority of the 77th division isolated and now resigned to the defence of Cherbourg.
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