Here on June 18, 1944, General Bradley's 9th Division of the 7th Corps of the 1st US Army achieved the coupure du Contentin.
The Cotentin Cutoff June 6-18, 1944
Barneville-Carteret was liberated on June 18, 1944, at the end of a marathon that took the Americans from the east coast, where they had landed on June 6, 1944 at Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, to the west coast, thus achieving the Cotentin Cutoff at Barneville-sur Mer, isolating in the Presqu'ile 4 German divisions or 40,000 men cornered into continuing the fight without the slightest hope of receiving reinforcements.
After fierce fighting, airborne troops established a first bridgehead around Sainte-Mère-Eglise. Chef-du-Pont was liberated on June 10, 1944, followed by Pont l'Abbé on the 13th. General Ridgway's 82nd Airborne Division and the 9th Infantery Division of General Menton S. Eddy received orders from General Bradley to cut off the almost with the first objective of crossing the Douve at Saint Sauveur-le-VicomteOn June 14, the 82nd was & La Bonneville and occupied Saint-Sauveur-le Vicomte on the evening of the 16th, after the town had been shelled on the 6th and 10th and then set on fire on the 16th by artillery shelling.
On June 16, the 9th I.D. occupies Sainte-Colombe and is able to move tanks across the still intact bridge. The Germans put up energetic resistance at Nehou, but the lock was broken on the night of the 16th to the 17th.
Two units of the 9th I.D. were to make the Cotentin cut: Colonel Georges W. Smythe's 47th I.R. towards Saint-Lô d'Ourville and Colonel Frédérick J. de Rohan's 60th I.R. towards Barneville. The town of Barneville was completely liberated at 7 a.m. on June 18, by Captain Léo C. Williamson, commanding Company K of the 60th I.R., 4 years to the day after the start of the German occupation.
However, the corridor that cut across the peninsula was only four or five kilometers wide, and the front was uncertain. Protected on their southern flank by the flooded marshes, the Americans were to devote all their efforts to liberating the port of Cherbourg, which they needed at all costs to transport their supplies. This they did on June 26, two weeks behind the allied plan.
Photocredit Mickael fr.
Text source: explanatory panel.