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What route did Germans use to escape the Falaise Pocket?

Originally published under Ask Mr. History. Published Online: March 12, 2013 
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Hello Mr History,

Thank you kindly for your help.

When the last German soldiers escaped from the devastated Falaise Pocket in August 1944, they wanted to meet up with their own soldiers to fight another day. Which direction would they have gone toward the Seine? (Was it east or west?) Was there a small railway track they followed? I seem to remember my father telling us something like it. He ended up being captured by partisans but was not shot, unlike 12 of his comrades.

The temporary prisoner of war camp was an ex-sugar refinery. What would the name of the village have been?

Thousands upon thousands of German soldiers had surrendered that day.

Thank you,

Helga Ruiterman

? ? ?

Dear Ms Ruiterman,

I don't know how many Germans followed railways and how many pursued other routes, but the general direction of withdrawal by scattered remnants of the German Fifteenth and Seventh armies was east-northeast, with their escape route roughly dictated by elements of the Canadian Second Army closing in on Thun from the north and those of the U.S. Third Army coming up from the south, with elements of the Polish 1st Armored Division and the U.S. 90th Infantry Division meeting in the town of Chambois in mid-August. Some 4,000 Germans captured in the course of the running fight were held near a sugar refinery in the town of Mons.

Sincerely,

 

Jon Guttman
Research Director
Weider History Group
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