Operation Bluecoat 30 July–6 August 1944


Map Code: Ax00525

Following the blunder which severely exposed the left flank of the quickly progressing Allied units to the west, the commanders of XXX Corps and 7th Armoured Division were soon relieved of their positions and replaced. On 31 July a fluke resulted in a group of scouts from VIII Corps coming across a virtually unguarded bridge close to Vire, their objective. The bridge was only guarded by one sentry because it lay on the boundary between the German 7th Army and Panzer Group West. Neither one had assigned a force to defend it so Allied reinforcements were sent to secure the bridge. The Allies subsequently made an unexpected breakthrough of the German lines and managed to hold off counterattacks. By the end of the operation, although the Allies had suffered heavy losses, most of the intended territory had been taken and they were close to the important high ground of Mont Pinçon.

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