During the war, the occupied naval base in Brest hosted one of the U-boot bases. It had the status of ʺFestungʺ, ʺfortressʺ, because of its formidable defensive system. In 1944, when the landing plans were set up, Brest became a major objective for the Allies who hoped to take it as soon as possible in order to use the harbour to meet their enormous logistical requirements.
General Patton, a legendary figure, made a crazy bet: he wanted to capture the city and the harbour with the 6th Armoured Division. The assets he counted on were speed and surprise. His armour was to travel deep inland avoiding contact with the Germans as far as possible.
Another mechanized cavalry unit, Task Force A, was to follow. It advanced further North, its main mission was to preserve the railway infrastructure on the Paris to Brest line.