On July 25, the Allies launched a massive attack at St. Lo to break out southward from the invasion bridgehead. The AAF and RAF committed their forces based in England to support the ground offensive, both on the front lines and in rear areas. Fighter-bombers and tanks operated as a team, with the airplanes forging ahead, bombing and strafing any German defenses that might delay the advance of a tank. Few Luftwaffe planes appeared to protect German ground forces, and Allied air power completely demoralized enemy troops who were attempting to escape encirclement by rapidly moving tank columns. Many were successful in evading capture, but thousands were cut off and forced to surrender.
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