Combined Chiefs of Staff Directive for Operation OVERLORD
- You are hereby designated as Supreme Allied Commander of the forces placed
under your order for operations for liberation of Europe from Germans. Your title
will be Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force.
- Task. You will enter the continent of Europe and, in conjunction with
the other United Nations, undertake operations aimed at the heart of Germany and
the destruction of her armed forces. The date for entering the Continent is the month
of May, 1944. After adequate Channel ports have been secured, exploitation will be
directed towards securing an area that will facilitate both ground and air operations
against the enemy.
- Notwithstanding the target date above you will be prepared at any time to take
immediate advantage of favorable circumstances, such as withdrawal by the enemy
on your front, to effect a reentry into the Continent with such forces as you have available
at the time; a general plan for this operation when approved will be furnished for your
- Command. You are responsible to the Combined Chiefs of Staff and will
exercise command generally in accordance with the diagram at Appendix
[See below] Direct communication with the United States and
British Chiefs of Staff is authorized in the interest of facilitating your operations and
for arranging necessary logistic support.
- Logistics. In the United Kingdom the responsibility for logistics organization,
concentration, movement, and supply of forces to meet the requirements of your plan
will rest with British Service Ministries so far as British Forces are concerned. So far
as United States Forces are concerned, this responsibility will rest with the United States
War and Navy Departments. You will be responsible for the coordination of logistical
arrangements on the continent. You will also be responsible for coordinating the
requirements of British and United States forces under your command.
- Coordination of operations of other Forces and Agencies. In preparation
for your assault on enemy occupied Europe, Sea and Air Forces, agencies of sabotage,
subversion, and propaganda, acting under a variety of authorities, are now in action.
You may recommend any variation in these activities which may seem to you desirable.
- Relationship to United Nations Forces in other areas. Responsibility will
rest with the Combined Chiefs of Staff for supplying information relating to operations
of the Forces of the U.S.S.R. for your guidance in timing your operations. It is understood
that the Soviet Forces will launch an offensive at about the same time as OVERLORD
with the object of preventing the German forces from transferring from the Eastern to
the Western front. The Allied Commander in Chief, Mediterranean Theater, will conduct
operations designed to assist your operation, including the launching of an attack against
the south of France at about the same time as OVERLORD. The scope and timing of
his operations will be decided by the Combined Chiefs of Staff. You will establish contact
with him and submit to the Combined Chiefs of Staff your views and recommendations
regarding operations from the Mediterranean in support of your attack from the United
Kingdom. The Combined Chiefs of Staff will place under your command the forces
operating in Southern France as soon as your are in a position to assume such command.
You will submit timely recommendations compatible with this regard.
- Relationship with Allied Governments--the re-establishment of Civil Governments
and Liberated Allied Territories and the administration of enemy territories.
Further instructions will be issued to you on these subjects at a later date.
Appendix -- Chain of Command