Underground at Saint-Lô
On 6th-7th June, a large part of the town had been destroyed by Allied bombing and between 500 and 600 people had been killed. To flee the bombing, many civilians took shelter in a large underground gallery which the Germans had dug into the rock under the town in 1943.
The work on the galleries was unfinished by 6th June but, the two vast caverns enabled the population to take cover and also to house patients from the local civilian hospital. The Germans, who had authorized the civilians to occupy the caves, also installed their wounded and some American prisoners. However, the conditions of hygiene were deplorable, with no water or electricity and, on 9th June, the Germans evacuated the site. The last occupants left in the afternoon to continue their exodus while the wounded were taken to the local stud farm.
Meanwhile, General Montgomery ordered General Bradley to advance to the south towards Saint-Lô.