Caen, France

  • Location: Northern France, Calvados Department
  • Latitude: 49° 10' 60N
  • Longitude: 0° 22' 0W
  • Founded: 1432
  • WW2 Liberation Date: July 9, 1944

The French city of Caen was the original D-Day objective of the 2nd British Army led by General Bernard Montgomery. The city was considered important because of its location, rail system, and its use by the Germans as a communications center.

On July 7th, a month after the Allied landings at Normandy, General Montgomery, who had been unable to breach the city's defenses, ordered a massive bombing raid. The aerial attack caused the deaths of approximately 5,000 French citizens and heavily damaged the city, but did not significantly weaken the German defenders.

In spite of their previous failures, Montgomery's forces were able to capture sections of Caen a few days later after facing fierce German resistance. The entire city was under Allied control by July 19th.


General Montgomery's failure to take Caen is mentioned in dialogue between captains Miller and Hamill.