General George S.Patton’s Third Army attack encircled numerous German forces when it sped east and then hooked north towards Argentan and Falaise.
The 4th Infantry Division had been securing the northern shoulder of this offensive, but now received orders to backstop VII Corps as the corps reserve while Allied forces squeezed the entrapped Germans into an ever smaller “Falaise Pocket”.
The VII Corps attack progressed quickly, advancing to the outskirts of Briouze before being pinched out by advancing British forces as the pocket disappeared.
The Falaise Pocket proved yet another disaster for the Germans, who lost 50,000 prisoners in addition to the tens of thousands already killed or wounded in the fighting.
Perhaps equally damaging, the Germans who did escape lost most of their equipment in the pocket or the pursuit.