Operation Epsom was a Second World War British offensive that took
place between 26–30 June 1944, during the Battle of Normandy. The
offensive was intended to outflank and seize the German occupied city
of Caen, which was a major Allied objective in the early stages of the
invasion of northwest Europe. Epsom was launched early on the 26 June,
with units of the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division advancing behind a
rolling artillery barrage. Additional bomber support had been expected,
but poor weather led to this being cancelled; air cover would be
sporadic for much of the operation. Supported by the tanks of the 31st
Tank Brigade, the 15th Scottish made steady progress, and by the end of
the first day had largely overrun the German outpost line. In heavy
fighting over the following two days, a foothold was secured across the
River Odon, and efforts were made to expand this by capturing strategic
points around the salient and moving up the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry
Division. However, in response to powerful German counterattacks, by 30
June some of the British positions across the river were withdrawn,
bringing the operation to a close. Although the Germans had managed to
contain the offensive, to do so they had been obliged to commit all
their available strength, including two panzer divisions newly arrived
in Normandy and earmarked for a planned offensive against British and
American positions around Bayeux.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Seven Years' War: Austria defeated Prussia at the Battle of Domstadtl,
forcing Frederick the Great to leave Moravia.
Seven months after the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of
Species, several prominent British scientists and philosophers
participated in an evolution debate at the Oxford University Museum in
London's Tower Bridge , a combined bascule and suspension bridge over
the River Thames, opened.
The scientific journal Annalen der Physik published Albert Einstein's
article "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies", the third of his
Annus Mirabilis Papers, introducing the theory of special relativity.
Adolf Hitler violently purged members of the Sturmabteilung, its leader
Ernst Röhm, and other political rivals on the Night of the Long Knives,
executing at least eighty-five people.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
A tip, originally of metal and often decorative, on a ribbon or cord
that makes lacing two parts of a garment or garments together easier
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Life is a jest, and all things show it,
I thought so once, and now I know it.
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