Wikipedia:Today's featured article/July 8, 2013

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Troops of I Corps pick their way through the rubble of Caen

Operation Charnwood was a Second World War Anglo-Canadian offensive to capture the German-occupied French city of Caen that took place from 8 to 9 July 1944, during the Battle of Normandy. It was also hoped to forestall the transfer of German armoured units to the American sector of the front. Preceded by a controversial bombing raid that destroyed much of Caen's historic Old City, Charnwood began with three infantry divisions attacking German positions supported by artillery and tanks. British I Corps made gradual progress against the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend and 16th Luftwaffe Field Division. By the end of the first day, the 3rd Canadian and British 3rd and 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Divisions had reached Caen's outskirts. Entering the city the following morning, the Allies encountered resistance from German units withdrawing across the Orne river. Carpiquet airfield was captured, and by evening the Allies had reached the Orne's north bank. The operation was then halted as the bridges south were defended or impassable and German reserves were positioned to oppose their crossing. Despite I Corps' losses, Charnwood was a tactical success. Operationally, it achieved mixed results. (Full article...)

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