WWII Journal: Paul Farnum, 5 August, 1944

The western end of German lines in Normandy have collapsed. Allied armor columns have broken into Brittany. The 79th and 90th Divisions control a narrow passage barely 15 miles wide at Avranches at the base of the Cotentin peninsula. Paul Farnum and the rest of the 313th Regiment were motorized a few days ago. Yesterday, the 79th Division captured Fougeres and the 313th was ordered into a defensive position south of town. Today, 5 August, 1944, the 313th was ordered to spearhead the attack on Laval. The Germans are beginning to recover from the shock of Operation Cobra, however. But while some of Hitler’s generals would prefer an orderly withdrawal to the Seine, Hitler sees the opportunity to cut off the 79th Division and the Allied units with a counter attack driving from Mortain back to Avranches.

Today 5 August, 1944, the 313th has been ordered to leave its defensive position south of Fougeres and spearhead the attack on Laval. Source: Martin Blumenson, U.S. Army in WWII European Theater of Operations: Breakout and Pursuit, (Washington, DC: Center for Military History, U.S. Army, 1961), Map 12.

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