The Battle of Cherbourg
was part of the Battle of Normandy
during World War II
. It was fought immediately after the successful Allied
landings on June 6, 1944. American troops isolated and then captured the fortified port, considered vital to the campaign in Western Europe, in a hard-fought campaign of 2 months.
When they drew up their plans for the invasion of France, the Allied staff considered that it would be necessary to secure a deep-water port to allow reinforcements to be brought directly from the United States. (Without such a port, equipment packed for transit would first have to be unloaded at a port in Great Britain, unpacked, water-proofed and then reloaded onto landing craft to be transferred to France). Cherbourg
, at the end of the Cotentin Peninsula
, was the major port most easily reached from the intended landing beaches.
The Allied planners decided at first not to land directly on the Cotentin Peninsula, since this sector would be separated from the main Allied landings by the Douve River
valley which had been flooded by the Germans
to deter airborne landings. On being appointed overall land commander for the invasion in January 1944, British General Bernard Montgomery
reinstated the landing on the Cotentin peninsula, partly to widen the front and therefore prevent the invaders becoming sealed into a narrow lodgement, but also to enable the more rapid capture of Cherbourg.
In the early hours of June 6, the US 82nd
and 101st Airborne......