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Welcome to the official site of the 35th Infantry Division in Europe during World War IIUnitsGeneral Paul BaadeAwards and DecorationsCasualties
Welcome to the official site of the 35th Infantry Division in Europe during World War II


It was time for a breakout. Gen. Bradley’s plan, named “Cobra” called for a saturation aerial bombing of a small strip of the front line and an immediate offensive by massed infantry and armor. A five mile strip, one mile deep immediately West of St. Lo was selected, directly in front of the30th Division and 9th Division. The pulverizing attack was to land on three German units – Panzer Lehr, 5th Parachute, and 353rd Division. The 2nd and 3rd U.S. Armored Divisions and 4th Infantry were poised behind the American lines to exploit the attack by the 30th and 9th Divisions. The 35th Division, with ringside seats, were to give artillery support and prevent reinforcement of the shattered German front.

Once again bad weather delayed Cobra, causing one false start, and a thousand casualties on the attacking divisions when bombs fell short on American infantry who had withdrawn over 1,200 yards from the front lines to allow for just such a happening. One casualty was Gen. Leslie McNair, observing from a slit trench, who was blasted 60 feet out of his foxhole and identified later only by the three stars on his lapel. On July 25th, 2,430 planes flying twelve to a formation – B-17s, B-24s, and medium and fighter bombers dropped 4,150 tons of bombs, 110 lb., 260 lb., fragmentation, and 500 pound – wiping out whole units in a two mile corridor between St. Giles and Marigny. 30th Division units shattered by the bombs which had fallen on them, moved out on time with the exception of one battalion which was only a few minutes late. Over one thousand Germans had perished, but the survivors, dazed and disoriented, recovered and engaged and slowed the American infantry. The next day the American armor was released and against heavy resistance finally penetrated the German lines on July 27th, followed by the infantry on the 28th, slanting toward the southwest.

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Quick Facts

By Maj. Norman C. Carey, Company A-320th Inf. Regt.

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