Liberation of Calais


The city was in ruin due to Operation Fortitude.

As the closest point to the English coast, the German High Command was convinced the Landings would start near Calais. Operation Fortitude - involving the spreading of false information – and frequent Allied Forces bombing in the area seemed to confirm their hunch.

The city of Calais was fortified, and became the command post for German forces in Flanders and the Pas-de-Calais area.

Throughout the Normandy landings, aerial bombing continued in Calais, as a diversion and to maintain the possibility of landing in Pas-de-Calais, as well as destroying German communication lines.

The city was liberated between 25 September and 1 October 1944, by the Canadian 3rd Infantry Brigade. Practically 75% of the city was in ruins.

Ruins of Calais in 1944, Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-383-0337-11 / Böcker / CC-BY-SA [CC-BY-SA-3.0-de (], via Wikimedia Commons

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