Brest was surrounded and eventually stormed by the U.S. VIII Corps. The fight proved extremely difficult, as the German garrison was well entrenched and partially made up of elite Fallschirmjäger (paratroopers) forces.
The German paratroopers lived up to their reputation, as the Allies had experienced previously in battles such as Monte Cassino. Whilst some less capable units surrendered quite easily, the Fallschirmjäger defended their ground under considerable odds, heavy shelling, air strikes and American assaults. The attackers had heavy losses for every small advance they made into the city.
As per their military doctrine, the Americans tried to use their superior artillery firepower and air superiority to overcome the defenders, instead of fighting them hand-to-hand. The Germans, had stocked a considerable amount of ammunition for the defense of the city and had weapons of all calibers (from light flak to naval guns) dug in fortifications and in pillboxes. Elements of the specialised British 79th Armoured division came in to attack the heavily fortified Fort Montbarey. Flame throwing Crocodile tanks along with US infantry took three days to overcome the fort.
Eventually the old city of Brest was razed to the ground during the battle, with only some old medieval stone-built fortifications left standing.
General Ramcke surrendered the city on 19 September 1944 to the Americans after rendering the port facilities useless. These would not be repaired in time to help the war effort as it was hoped. By this time, Paris had already been liberated by the Allied Armies, and Operation Market-Garden was already under way in the Netherlands.
The costly capture of Brest resulted in the decision to only surround the remaining German-occupied ports in France with the exception of those that could be captured from the march, instead of storming them in a set-piece battle. The exception was Le Havre, which was taken by the British 2nd Army on 12 September 1944. Some of these Breton ports surrendered only by 9 May 1945, one day after Victory in Europe Day.
Read more about this topic: Battle For Brest
Other articles related to "the battle, battle":
... By noon the battle was over ... The believers had lost fourteen men on the field of battle ... Ali first distinguished himself as a warrior in 624, at the Battle of Badr ...
... The Battle of Waterloo commenced with a diversionary attack on Hougoumont by a division of French soldiers ...
... the camp of the Ray militia and formed a battle line in three columns, led by David W ... Patten decided to charge the militia position, shouting the Mormon battle cry of "God and Liberty!" The Missourians were without swords and so broke their lines ...
... The Battle of the Hornburg is also a key part of Peter Jackson's film adaptation, The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers ... In the context of the film, it is referred to as the Battle of Helm's Deep, and like Bakshi, Jackson identifies "Helm's Deep" with the fortress itself ... to the fortress, which is defended by around 300 Rohirrim (before the battle, Legolas states their strength to be "three hundred against ten thousand", but he may have meant at that time, as more ...
Famous quotes containing the word battle:
“The thundering line of battle stands,
And in the air Death moans and sings:
But Day shall clasp him with strong hands,
And Night shall fold him in soft wings.”
—Julian Grenfell (18881915)
“Up from the South at break of day,
Bringing to Winchester fresh dismay,
The affrighted air with a shudder bore,
Like a herald in haste, to the chieftains door,
The terrible grumble, and rumble, and roar,
Telling the battle was on once more,
And Sheridan twenty miles away.”
—Thomas Buchanan Read (18221872)