Brittany American Cemetery

Overview

Brittany American Cemetery in France covers 28 acres of rolling farm country near the eastern edge of Brittany and contains the remains of 4,405 of our war dead, most of whom lost their lives in the Normandy and Brittany Campaigns of 1944. Along the retaining wall of the memorial terrace are inscribed the names of 500 of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.

The gray granite memorial, containing the chapel as well as two large operations' maps with narratives, and flags of our military services, overlooks the burial area. Stained glass and sculpture embellish the structure. The cemetery is located on the site of the temporary American St. James Cemetery, established on August 4, 1944 by the U.S. Third Army. It marks the point where the American forces made their breakthrough from the hedgerow country of Normandy into the plains of Brittany during the offensive around Avranches, France.

Dedicated
1956
Location
France
Burials
4,405
Missing in Action
500
Acres
28.00

Cemetery Information

Visiting Hours

The cemetery is open daily to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except December 25 and January 1. It is open on host country holidays. When the cemetery is open to the public, a staff member is on duty in the visitor building to answer questions and escort relatives to grave and memorial sites.

Contact Us

Brittany American Cemetery
Bel Orient
50240
Montjoie Saint Martin
France
tel Phone: +33 (0)2 33 89 24 90

History

After weeks of intensive offensive operations against German forces following the D-Day landings in Normandy, U.S. forces captured St. Lô on July 18. General Omar Bradley, commander of First U.S. Army, planned Operation COBRA to break out of Normandy and into Brittany.

July 25: Operation COBRA began. Concentrated “carpet bombing” by U.S. and British airmen west of St. Lô opened a gap in German defenses.

July 28: Coutances fell to U.S. troops on July 28, and Avranches on July 30.

August 1-7: Third U.S. Army was activated. Its VIII Corps drove westward into the Brittany peninsula. The rest of Third Army struck southward toward the Loire River, reinforcing First Army’s advance toward the Seine River.

August 7: German counterattack near Mortain threatened the advance. Valiant fighting by U.S. soldiers and prompt reinforcements stopped the counterattack.

August 8-16: First and Third Armies continued advancing eastward. They also strove to link with British and Canadian forces near Falaise and Argentan. By August 16 the numerous enclosed German forces began a very disorderly withdrawal through the “Falaise Gap.”

August 19: The remnants of German forces withdrew. The gap closed when U.S., British, and Canadian forces linked up.

August 21: Free French resistance forces begin insurrection within Paris.

August 25: U.S. 4th Infantry Division and French 2d Armored Division lead the entry into Paris.

COBRA succeeded. Allied forces broke out of German lines in Normandy, liberated most of Brittany, reached the Seine, and liberated Paris before moving east toward Germany

News and Events

Due to commemorations taking place at Brittany American Cemetery on June 6th 2019, please note that the road in front of the cemetery will...
During Memorial Day weekend 2019, ABMC sites throughout the world will pay tribute to the men and women honored overseas.
The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) and the National WWII Museum in New Orleans are partnering together to help tell the story...
In World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, millions of Americans served far from home. In the various conflicts, service members...

Brittany American Cemetery

Brittany American Cemetary

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