The D-Day miracle that you’ve never heard of

Once German lines were breached by Operation Cobra, launched on July 25, however, there was no stopping Patton’s army. He was so anxious to ensure his troops left the Cotentin peninsula on the only narrow road in Allied hands that for a couple of hours he acted as traffic policeman, waving through the armoured cars and trucks of his own army. His troops rapidly reached Le Mans, some 135 miles from Cherbourg, but then encountered a problem. 

The Third Army had outrun its supply lines and the railway, which was crucial to keep supplies flowing, had been destroyed by a combination of Allied bombing and sabotage by the Résistance. 

The coverage of wars is dominated by big guns and large bangs but most of the action takes place far behind the lines.  And the soldiers keeping open the vital supply lines to the front are often left out of the story. They faced many of the same dangers as those further forward and yet few chroniclers of war give them much of a mention. Patton, though, understood their importance. He knew that he could not continue to advance without ammunition and, even more importantly, fuel. 

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