The first domino


Operations Bluecoat, Goodwood, Cobra and Totalise brought the Normandy campaign to a successful end, but Epsom –the first domino to fall –matters the most, argues Tobias Clark

A Churchill heavy tank of the 7th Royal Tank Regiment, 31st Tank Brigade, pushes through the bocage in support of the 8th Royal Scots

Operation Overlord delivered the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Twenty days later and having consolidated the beachheads, the next step was to pin, engage and destroy the Germans in northwest France.

At the end of June, the US First Army was at the western end of the bridgehead, besieging the port city of Cherbourg, while British Second Army was at the east end threatening the strategically vital industrial city of Caen. The two armies were situated like a pair of boxing gloves poised for a left or right hook.

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