Newspaper cuttings - the battle for Le Havre



Newspaper cuttings - the battle for Le Havre


Description of battles for Le Havre and generally in northern France. Mentions surrender leaflet drops along channel coast. Canadians entre Zeebrugge, Americans in Brittany. Other war news from the continent and map of battle area.




Four piece newspaper cutting


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Beginning at 8 a.m., the R.A.F. pounding went on until 7 p.m. Wave after wave of planes went over in the late afternoon. Then the British artillery round the town went into action.

Visibility was perfect and the defences negligible. One air target was a coastal battery only 100 yards from the beach. It had to be pin-pointed – and it was.

The centre of the town is in flames, all civilians have left and the fortifications are softened "in preparation for the coming British assault on land," according to the German News Agency.

The enemy claimed that fire from shore batteries forced a formation of British warships to turn away.

About 4,000,000 surrender leaflets and safe conduct passes were dropped by 9th Air Force Marauders on German positions along the Channel coast last night.

They fell on isolated points of German resistance at Le Havre, Boulogne and Calais and areas in Holland. The bombers met no German aircraft, and all returned safely.

While the Havre battle reached its climax, the Canadian Army entered, without opposition, another good port – Zeebrugge, scene of the famous St. George's Day raid of the last war.

All along the coastal pocket our forces closed rapidly yesterday. The Canadians are slicing the Germans up into isolated units. They are on the outskirts of Blankenberghe, and are reported in Bruges.

To the south one column cut the main road from Calais to Gravelines and another reached the coast at Wissant, four miles east of Cap Gris Nez.

The Germans have flooded large areas behind Calais, Boulogne and Dunkirk.

The bitter fight for another great port is reaching its final stage. Brest is slipping from the German grasp.

American troops have captured Lochrist, at the tip of the Brittany Peninsula, near the besieged fortress.

As the Allied armies closed in on the German frontiers along the whole length of the Siegfried Line they met with stiffening opposition, but an American column drove within seven miles of the frontier town of Aachen and two others crossed into Luxemburg.

An unconfirmed report from U.S. Third Army H.Q. says that American tanks have entered the city of Luxemburg. It is 10 miles from the border at the nearest point.

Another U.S. front-line message says that the battle of the Siegfried Line began in earnest when the first shells fell yesterday on the German town of Bildchen, just across the Belgium frontier near Aachen.

A German News Agency message said: "A major Allied operation on a 60-mile front has been launched between Verviers (16 miles south-west of Aachen) and Arlon (18 miles north-west of Luxemburg).

"The Americans are using tanks on a massed scale in this operation and they have succeeded in making some gains of ground."

German troops jumped out of their escape trains in Holland and Germany yesterday, and ran for the ditches as Air-Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham's Second T.A.F. switched their all-out effort on to the transport lines carrying them east away from the advancing Allied forces.

By mid-afternoon at least ten trains had been destroyed.

Germany attempts to reinforce the Belfort Gap have met with staggering blows from the air force.

In the last three days Allied planes have destroyed 60 loaded trains and wrecked 60 more locomotives.

Troops moving up by road were constantly harassed and a tank column was knocked out.

Marauders and Havocs of the U.S. Ninth Air Force yesterday opened their first round of the "battle of the German frontier" by bombing immediately ahead of General George Patton's southern wing to remove barriers in the path of the American Third Army's advance toward Nancy.

The Americans here captured their first Maginot line fort at the point of the bayonet.




“Newspaper cuttings - the battle for Le Havre,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 24, 2024,

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