St. Lô, Breakout at
The First Army commander, Gen. Omar Bradley, in consultation with Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gen. Bernard Law Montgomery, and the U.S. VII Army Corps (under Maj. Gen. J. Lawton Collins) devised a plan to attack on a narrow front following massive air bombardment of the enemy lines.
Scheduled for 24 July, the bombers were launched, but bad weather in the target area—a rectangle 5,000 yards by 2,500—forced a postponement to the next day. A few planes did not receive the message and bombed anyway. Some bombs fell short, killing 25 and wounding 130 in the 30th Division.
On July 25—a bright, clear day—the attack of 2,000 heavy and medium bomber aircraft and 700 fighter bombers started about noon. Many bombs fell short and over 600 American casualties resulted. Lt. Gen. Leslie J. McNair, commander of army ground forces in the United States, on an observation visit to the front, was killed.
Despite the disorganization, only one regiment and one battalion were unable to attack on time.
The German Panzer Lehr Division and remnants of the German Fifth Parachute Division put up spirited resistance. By the end of the first day, the American infantry was only halfway through the bombed area, but the defense seemed uncoordinated and General Collins ordered the exploitation force to attack the next day. The breakthrough at St. Lô (25 July) and then at Coutances (28 July) opened the way for Lt. Gen. George S. Patton's Third Army to slash into Brittany and toward the Seine. Thus, the invasion of Normandy led to the liberation of France.
[See also World War II: Military and Diplomatic Course.]
J. Lawton Collins , Lightning Joe, 1979.
Martin Blumenson , Breakout and Pursuit, 1984.
James L. Collins, Jr.
"St. Lô, Breakout at." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 19, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/st-lo-breakout
"St. Lô, Breakout at." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved March 19, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/st-lo-breakout
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.