"The town of Argentan is an unassuming little town on the Orne River. However, like most unassuming French towns it was thrust into the limelight in the bitter months of 1944. Heavily bombed by allied planes during the intial D-Day landings, the towns fame came during the push by the American 3rd army to cut of the Germans in the Falaise Pocket from the south. While the Candian/British forces attacked from the north in Operation Totalise and Tractable, and the Poles fought to hold Hill 262, the first American units began their push into Argentan.
The American 80th Division led the attack and soon ran into serious German opposition. German machine guns and 88mm guns were used to good effect but were unable to halt the American advance. Many American tanks were lost during the fighting, including four out of five tanks in a single squadron, knocked out by a single 88mm gun as they tried to advance through a gate in a column formation. The last tank survived by chance as it got stuck and so didn't expose itself to the Germans.
By the 20th of August the town was liberated and the American forces would soon link up with their British counterparts. Around them they saw the abandoned vehicles and wreckage of the retreating and soon to be annihilated German 7th army."