Battle of Chambois
|Battle of Chambois|
|Part of Operation Overlord, World War II|
US and Polish officers after the junction of the US and Polish forces at Chambois.
|Commanders and leaders|
George S. Patton|
Stanisław Władysław Maczek
Paul Hausser (WIA)
90th Infantry Division|
116th Panzer Division|
|Casualties and losses|
|unknown||all killed, wounded, or captured|
The Battle of Chambois was a battle during World War II in August 1944. During the battle, the German 7th Army and several other battered units withdrew to the city, where they were entrapped in a 6-mile (9.7 km) gap by the forces of the Americans, Canadians and the Polish Armoured Division in the west. They faced a battle of annihilation, as the Allied troops closed in and forced the Germans to surrender. The Germans in the battle were killed, wounded or captured by Allied forces and this battle was the first when the Falaise Pocket was closed.
After the failure of Operation Lüttich, the Germans were forced to retreat to the city of Chambois. On August 17, the 1st Canadian Army had captured the city of Falaise, so the Germans were entrapped within the city of Chambois by Polish, American, and Canadian armed forces. Walther Model, the commander of Army Group B (the leading German army in France), ordered for the 7th and 5th Panzer armies to withdraw to the Dives River and take up a new defensive position to try and fight off the Americans. However, the rapid advance of the Allies was confusing for him, and the Canadians defeated the Wehrmacht forces at the river and were able to encircle Chambois. The Americans also closed up on the Germans, forming a gap where German troops began to pour into. On August 19, the pocket was closed by the Allied forces, who made their offensive against the city. Most of the Germans were killed or captured in the first attack, but the other Germans under the command of Paul Hausser, the commander of the 7th Army, were able to make a counter-attack and re-open the pocket. The Americans, Polish, and Canadians began hammering the troops from the air, succeeding in demoralizing most of them. On the evening of the 20th, the Americans made their attack against the Germans entrapped there. The 116th Panzer Division and the 7th Army were encircled, still and a repeat of the first attack came. The Americans closed in for the kill, and repelled every German counter-attack. Since that day, not a single German formation has been able to break through in the Chambois region. However, the Germans still had several narrow corridors to the west of the city, which they opened as a result of counter-attacks simultaneously with the Battle of Chambois. Later, by the end of August 21, these corridors were also closed by Canadian and Polish units.
The 7th Army and her tank counterparts were forced to capitulate, and the German army was eliminated, either killed or captured. General Hausser was a casualty, staying with his army until he was shot in the jaw during the battle. This marked the end of the Falaise Gap, as the last German resistance had been beaten.