Battle Of Saint Sauveur Le Vicomte

The film "The Saving Of Private Ryan" was a work of fiction, based loosely of the Niland family. St Sauveur would have been the final battle shown in the film if it had been based on fact not fiction.

The main difference was that the Germans not the Americans held the town and the bridge was destroyed by the Germans and re-built under fire by the American Engineers.

St Sauveur was surrounded by the area flooded by the Germans, these low lying marshes flooded naturally in winter to give lush grazing pastures during the summer months.

Both the rivers Merderet and Douvre flow into the bay of the Seine and are controlled by sluice gates.

The Germans kept the gates closed and permanently flooded great tracts of land causing any traffic to be concentrated on the three north south roads.

This made the task of security much easier.

The film Saving Private Ryan, although a work of fiction, the final scenes showed a battle similar to the one fought here, the time frame was also correct for this to be the final battle in the film.

The Americans objective was to take St Sauveur on D-day, but because of strong German defences in the are they did not liberate the town until June 17th when members of the 82nd Airborne entered the town.

The German positions had been shelled earlier from "Le Mont" near to Rauville La Place just across the river to the east.

After its liberation which caused great damage to buildings in the town it became a major cross-roads for the attacks to the west Barneville and Port Bail, to the north Nehro and eventually Cherbourg, and later to the south to La Haye du Puits, Periers and the eventual Normandy breakout.

The castle at St Sauveur le Vicomte, built almost a thousand years ago, had seen fighting before in the "Hundred Years War" but managed to escape damage only to be shelled in the second world war.

Home Up St Sauver

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