The battle of the Falaise Pocket
, fought during the Second World War
from 12–21 August 1944, was the decisive engagement of the Battle of Normandy
. Taking its name from the pocket
around the town of Falaise
within which Army Group B
, consisting of the German Seventh
and Fifth Panzer
Armies became encircled by the advancing Western Allies
, the battle is also referred to as the Falaise Gap
after the corridor which the Germans sought to maintain to allow their escape. The battle resulted in the destruction of the bulk of Germany's forces west of the River Seine
and opened the way to Paris and the German border.
By the evening of 21 August, the pocket was closed for the last time, with around 50,000 Germans trapped inside. Although it is estimated that significant numbers managed to escape, German losses in both men and materiel were huge, and the Allies had achieved a decisive victory. Two days later Paris was liberated, and by 30 August the last German remnants had retreated across the Seine, effectively ending Operation Overlord.
Thierry Daniel Henry
is a French footballer
who plays as a striker
for New York Red Bulls
in Major League Soccer
. Henry was born in Les Ulis
, Essonne (a suburb of Paris) where he played for an array of local sides as a youngster. He was spotted by AS Monaco
in 1990 and signed instantly, making his professional debut in 1994. Good form led to an international call-up in 1998, after which he signed for the Serie A
defending champions Juventus
. He had a disappointing season playing on the wing
, before joining Arsenal for £
11 million in 1999.
Henry emerged as Arsenal's top goal-scorer for almost every season of his tenure there. Under long-time mentor and coach Arsène Wenger, Henry became a prolific striker and Arsenal's all-time leading scorer with 228 goals in all competitions. The Frenchman won two league titles and three FA Cups with the Gunners; he was nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year twice, was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year twice, and the FWA Footballer of the Year three times. Henry spent his final two seasons with Arsenal as club captain, leading them to the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final.
In June 2007, after eight years with Arsenal, he transferred to Barcelona for a fee of €24 million. His first honours with the Catalan club came in 2009 when they won the La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble. In 2010, he joined the New York Red Bulls of the Major League Soccer, and won the Eastern Conference title with them in 2010.
Henry enjoyed similar success with the French national team, having won the 1998 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2000 and 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup. Henry retired from international football after the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Off the pitch, Henry is an active spokesperson against racism in football, partially due to his own experiences.