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Google Earth Plug-in: D-Day - Caen bombing on 6 June 1944

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During the Battle of Normandy in World War II, Caen saw intense and bitter combat between Allied and Axis forces. After the landing of the British I Corps at Sword Beach on June 6, 1944, progress of the Allied Forces stalled outside Caen. British and Canadian troops finally broke through on July 9, after an intense bombing campaign during Operation Charnwood that destroyed much of the city but that allowed the Allies to seize the western quarters of Caen, a month later than Montgomery's original plan. During the battle, many of the town's inhabitants sought refuge in the Abbaye aux Hommes (Men's Abbey), built by William the Conqueror some 800 years before. Post-WWII re-construction of the city that included the re-construction of complete districts of the city and the university campus took 14 years (1948-1962) and led to the current urbanization of Caen. Unfortunately, Caen lost many of its historic quarters and its historic university campus because of the war and, as such, doesn't have, as some would call it, the 'feel' of a traditional Normandy town such as Honfleur, Rouen, Cabourg, Deauville and Bayeux.

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