Following a slow push from Utah beach into the restrictive bocage terrain of the Cotentin Peninsula, the Americans focussed their attention on Cherbourg at the northern tip. Securing the city reduced the fighting in the area to one front in the south, although its functionality as a port was badly damaged. The Americans then began their move south under Operation Cobra, aiming to clear the Germans from the peninsula. After a lengthy battle to secure St-Lô, the Americans then prepared a large scale offensive to pierce the weakening German lines along the road stretching from St-Lô to Periers. Large scale aerial bombing aided this phase of the attack by overwhelming the German defences. The breakthrough was a success, enabling the Americans to move out of the bocage and push southwest. After blocking the German counterattack in Operation Lüttich, they reached Avranches, their final objective on the peninsula, and began to push east.
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