1. 21 AGp Dir, M-510, 10 Jul, FUSA File, 21 AGp Dirs.
2. First U.S. Army, Report of Operations, I, 96ff.
3. Interv by author with Gen Collins, 30 Mar 56, Washington, D.C.
4. 30th Div G-3 Jnl File, 18 Jul; see also VIII Corps AAR, Jul. The only reference in writing found by the author that expresses the breakout idea before the actual operation got under way is in Brereton, Diaries, page 306. General Brereton recorded in his notes, dated 11 July (two days before First Army published the COBRA plan) that he had discussed with General Bradley and three corps commanders the matter of air support for COBRA. He added parenthetically that the COBRA attack was designed to break out of the Cotentin and complete the liberation of France, but he did not state whether this was his idea or General Bradley's. Since portions of the diary were written later than the dates ascribed to the entries, the diary is not a reliable contemporary document.
More suggestive is General Bradley's response to General Montgomery's suggestion that airborne troops be dropped in the Avranches area to aid COBRA. General Bradley said he thought that airborne troops might be more suitably used in future operations, perhaps in Brittany (FUSA Msg, 23 Jul, FUSA G-3 Jnl). Since General Bradley was not usually receptive to the idea of airborne operations (as evidenced by his behavior later in the campaign), his remark probably has little significance in connection with what he expected from COBRA.
5. Telecon, Macon and York, 0110, 18 Jul, 83d Div G-2, G-3 Jnl and File.
6. Min of Mtg, 1330, 21 Jul, 83d Div G-2, G-3 Jnl File. The following account has been taken from the 83d Div AAR, Jul, and G-2, G-3 Jnl andFile, 16-19 Jul; 331st Inf AAR, Jul; Sgt Jack M. Straus, We Saw It Through, 331st Combat Team (Munich, Germany: F. Bruckmann K.G., n.d.), p. 19; FUSA Sitreps 84, 85, and 86, 18 and 19 Jul; VIII Corps G-3 Per Rpt 34, 19 Jul.
7. Alligator was the nickname given to an unarmored, tracked landing vehicle, the LVT(1).
8. Telecon, Macon and Crabill, 1920, 17 Jul, 83d Div G-2, G-3 Jnl and File.
9. Telecon, Macon and York, 0110, 18 Jul, 83d Div G-2, G-3 Jnl and File; 83d Div G-3 Per Rpt 22, 18 Jul.
10. Hodgson, R-54.
11. This account has been taken from: 90th Div AAR, Jul; FUSA IG Ltr, Failure of Elements of the 358th Inf, 90th Div, to Resist a German Counterattack, 26 Jul; VIII Corps IG Ltr, Rpt of Investigation of 358th Inf Regt, 90th Inf Div, 11 Aug.
12. 357th Inf Jnl, entry 1210, 23 Jul.
13. Ltr, Eisenhower to Marshall, 5 Jul, Pogue Files; see Harrison, Cross-Channel Attack, p. 403; Robert R. Palmer, Bell I. Wiley, William R. Keast, The Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1948), p. 459, n. 19.
14. Ltr, Eisenhower to Marshall, 2 Aug, Pogue Files.
15. 12th AGp Immed Rpt 41, Misc Comment, 29 Aug.
16. 83d Div G-2, G-3 Jnl, entry 1209, 8 Jul.
17. XIX Corps Msg, 1800, 8 Jul, FUSA G-3 Jnl; Annex 1 to FUSA G-2 Per Rpt 48, 28 Jul; XIX and VII Corps AAR's, Jul.
18. Notes, XIX Corps AAR, Jul; VII Corps AAR, Jul.
19. CI 30 (4th Div). The soldier was Pvt. Eugene Hix of the 22d Infantry, who was posthumously awarded the DSC for destroying three tanks in three days with his rocket launcher.
20. See, for example, 356th Inf Jnl, 24 Jul.
21. 83d Div AAR, 23 Jul; Confirmation of Oral Instrs, 22 Jul, 83d Div G-2, G-3 Jnl and File.
22. ETOUSA Engr Hist Rpt 10, Combat Engineering, Aug 45, pp. 30-33.
23. 79th Div G-4 Jnl, 5 Jul; XIX Corps G-4 (Rear Echelon) Jnl, 10 and 19 Jul; XIX Corps Ord Sec Jnl, 24 Jul; 30th Div G-3 Jnl, 1405, 19 Jul; Bradley, Soldier's Story, p. 342; Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, p. 269; First U.S. Army, Report of Operations, I, 122; V Corps Operations in the ETO, pp. 120-21; [Lt Col Glenn T. Pillsbury et al.], Employment of 2d Armored Division in Operation COBRA, 25 July-1 August 1944, a research report prepared by Committee 3, Officers' Advanced Course (Fort Knox, Ky., The Armored School, May, 1950) (hereafter cited as [Pillsbury], 2d Armd Div in Opn COBRA), p. 8; Guingand, Operation Victory, p. 395; Sylvan Diary, 14 and 17 Jul.
24. Telecon, Stephens and Kelly, 1225, 15 Jul, 30th Div G-3 Jnl and File; 30th Div Ltr of Instrs, 15 Jul.
25. [Pillsbury], 2d Armd Div in Opn COBRA, p. 19.
26. First U.S. Army, Report of Operations, I, 91; [Robert F. Futrell], Command of Observation Aviation: A Study in Control of Tactical Air Power, USAF Hist Study 24 (Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., Air University, 1952), passim.
27. FUSA and IX TAC Air Opns Summary for 18 Jul, 30th Div G-3 Jnl and File.
28. 1st Div G-3 Jnl, entry 1717, 7 Jul.
29. First U.S. Army, Report of Operations, I, 124; Ltr, Corlett to OCMH, 1956.
30. Brereton, Diaries, 21 Jul, p. 311; Bradley, Effect of Air Power, p. 41; Bradley, Soldier's Story, pp. 337-38; Leigh-Mallory, "Despatch," Fourth Supplement to the London Gazette of December 31, 1946, pp. 65-66. Artillery often marked ground targets for the aircraft. Interv by author with Gen Collins, 30 Mar 56, Washington, D.C.
31. 83d Div G-2, G-3 Jnl, 8 Jul; 1st Div G-3 Jnl, entries 1326, 5 Jul, 0008 and 0012, 6 Jul. Two American night fighter squadrons operated under British control, mainly against guided missiles. In September P-38's of one IX TAC fighter group operated by radar control against German night troop movements, but they were not very successful. [Joe Gray Taylor], Development of Night Air Opns, 1941-1952, USAF Hist Study 92 (Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., Air University, 1953), pp. 26-27, 116-17. See Leigh-Mallory, "Despatch," Fourth Supplement to the London Gazette of December 31, 1946, p. 89.
32. First U.S. Army, Report of Operations, I, 91.
33. Ruppenthal, Logistical Support, 1, 449, n. 58; 457, 464-65.
34. One of these corps and seven divisions (plus the 90th Division, which had been attached to the First Army since March) belonged to the Third Army.
35. FUSA Ltr, Attachment of Third U.S. Army Units, 17 Jul; TUSA Msg, 17 Jul; Forward Echelon, COMZ, ETOUSA Memo, 22 Jul. All in FUSA G-3 Jnl. TUSA AAR, I, 12; XV Corps G-3 Jnl and File, Jul (particularly Telecons 12, 20, and 21 Jul).
36. 12th AGp AAR, I, 40.
37. 12th AGp AAR, I, 6; ETOUSA GO 73, 14 Jul, quoted in 12th AGp AAR.
38. Stacey, The Canadian Army, pp. 187, 194.
39. 12th AGp AAR, I, 6.
40. See, for example, 9th Div Jnl, 1525, 17 Jul; 743d Tk Bn Rpt 14, 18 Jul, 30th Div G-3 Jnl and File; FUSA Daily Strength Rpt; First U.S. Army, Report of Operations, I, 99.
41. 314th Infantry Regiment, Through Combat, p. 23; 357th Inf Jnl, entry 1900, 15 Jul; 2d Div AAR, Jul, Observations of the Div Comdr; 79th Div G-4 Jnl, 14 and 18 Jul.
42. Bradley, Effect of Air Power, p. 53; Ltr, Bradley to Leigh-Mallory, 23 Jul, OCMH Files.
43. Hitler Speech, 21 Jul, FUSA G-3 Jnl File, 23 Jul.
44. FUSA G-2 Est 11, 24 Jul; see Hodgson, R-57, for a detailed bibliographical account of the Putsch and also for the reaction in the west; see Wilmot, Struggle For Europe, pp. 366ff., for a good account of the revolt.
45. FUSA G-2 Est 11, 24 Jul.
46. Hitler and His Generals, App. B to 15 (S) Inf Div Intel Summary 30, n.d., reprinted in SHAEF Weekly Intel Summary 18, n.d., V Corps G-3 Jnl File.
47. FUSA G-2 Est 11, 24 Jul.
48. Hitler and His Generals, cited above, n. 46.
49. See XIX Corps G-2 Per Rpt 55, Annex 3, Study of the Morale of the German Troops on XIX Corps Front, 9 Aug.
50. See Constantine FitzGibbon, 20 July (New York: W.W. Norton &Co., 1956) and John Wheeler-Bennett, The Nemesis of Power (London: Macmillan & Co. Ltd., 1953) for accounts of the Putsch.
51. Hodgson, R-57; OB WEST, a Study in Command, I, 123ff; MS # B-272 (Blumentritt).
52. Wilhelm Ritter von Schramm, Der 20, Juli in Paris (Bad Woerishofen, Germany: 1953), p. 77; Speidel, Invasion 1944, pp. 113-17.
53. Ltr, Kluge to Hitler, 21 Jul, OB WEST la Nr. 5895/44 and 5896/44 g.Kdos. Chefs, and enclosure, Betrachtungen zur Lage, signed Rommel, 15 Jul, AGp B Lagebeurteilungen und Wochenmeldungen.
54. Der Westen (Schramm), pp. 68-69; Speidel, Invasion 1944, pp. 115-16; Gestapo Rpt to Bormann, 30 Jul, EAP 105/22, 275-76; Hodgson, R-54 and R-57.
55. FUSA G-3 Conf Notes, 12 Jul, FUSA G-3 Misc File; Garth, Battle for Normandy, pp. 156, 171.
56. FUSA G-3 Conf Notes, 12 Jul; FUSA Outline Plan, Opn COBRA, 13 Jul; Bradley, Soldier's Story, p. 318.
57. VII Corps Tactical Study of the Terrain, 28 Jun.
58. FUSA Outline Plan COBRA, 13 Jul, with artillery and tank destroyer fire support plans, overlays, and amendments; FUSA Msg, 2055, 14 Jul, and IX TAC Msg, 17 Jul (Amendment 1 to IX TAC Order 84). Both in FUSA G-3 Jnl. Annex 2 (Overlay) to VIII Corps FO 8, 15 Jul; VII Corps Opns Memos 38 and 44, 15 and 20 Jul.
Bombardment on 17 July rendered eight bridges around the COBRA battlefield unserviceable and damaged five; seven bridges escaped damage. Collins Msg, 1230, 23 Jul, 30th Div G-3 Jnl and File.
For the British-American boundary changes that permitted the movement of the 2d Armored and 1st Division from the V Corps to the VII Corps sector, see FUSA Msgs, 14 and 17 Jul, and V Corps Msg, 23 Jul, FUSA G-3 Jnl; 21 AGp Dir, M-510, 10 Jul; Bradley, Soldier's Story, pp. 326-28.
59. FUSA Outline Plan COBRA, 13 Jul; Corlett to OCMH, 19 Jan 54. Plans at the beginning of July had envisioned the eventual displacement of the XIX Corps west of the Vire. These plans had projected an easy capture of St. Lô, and the displacement was to have occurred south of that city. Map Overlay to accompany V Corps FO 9, 1 Jul, in V Corps Operations in the ETO, p. 103.
60. First U.S. Army, Report of Operations, I, 98; VII Corps G-3 Ltr, Info Relative to Opn COBRA, 29 Oct 45, and Ltr, Gen Collins to Maj Kenneth W. Hechler, 13 Nov 45, both cited on p. 27 of Hechler's VII Corps in Operation COBRA, a preliminary MS, Hist Div, USAFET, OCMH Files. The Hechler manuscript has been used extensively in the chapters dealing with the breakthrough.
61. FUSA Outline Plan COBRA, 13 Jul; see also Annex 2 (Overlay) to VIII Corps FO 8, 15 Jul.
62. VII Corps FO 6 (rev), 20 Jul; FUSA G-3 Conf Notes, 12 Jul; Ltr, Collins to Hechler, 9 Dec 45, quoted in Hechler, VII Corps in Opn COBRA, p. 27.
63. Annex 1 (Overlay) to VII Corps FO 6 (rev), 20 Jul.
64. FUSA Msg to VIII Corps, 24 Jul, FUSA G-3 Jnl.
65. VIII Corps had 108, XIX Corps 100, V Corps 98. Draft MS, Arty in Opn COBRA, App. C to Gen Bd Rpts, ML-2229.
66. Ibid. VIII Corps received about 42,000 rounds, XIX Corps 31,000, and V Corps 27,000, for 105-mm. howitzers, 155-mm. howitzers and guns, 4.5-inch guns, 8-inch howitzers and guns, 240-mm. howitzers, and 90-mm. guns.
67. Each armored division received two self-propelled battalions, the 9th Division received two towed battalions, and the 30th Division received one towed battalion. The 30th also received the 92d Chemical Battalion, less one company. VII Corps Opns Memo 45, 22 Jul.
68. VII Corps Letters, Primary Target List--Operation COBRA--Artillery and Air, and Secondary Target List . . . , both dated 20 July, list 42 primary targets and 75 secondary targets.
69. FUSA G-3 Conf, 12 Jul; Garth, Battle for Normandy, p. 165.
70. FUSA G-3 Conf, 12 Jul; Ltrs, Leigh-Mallory to Bradley, 19 Jul, and Bradley to Leigh-Mallory, 23 Jul, OCMH Files; Bradley, Soldier's Story, p. 341.
71. Eighth AF Draft Ltr, Summary of Plng and Execution of Missions 24 and 25 Jul 44, n.d., Rpts of Bombing Errors Made on 25 Jul, 8 Aug 44, USAF Hist Sec Files.
72. Some commanders, notably General Eddy of the 9th Division, later protested any withdrawal to General Bradley, for they were reluctant to give up terrain acquired with much difficulty. Bradley Soldier's Story, pp. 340-41.
73. Ltr, Leigh-Mallory to Bradley, 19 Jul; Eighth AF, Spec Rpt on Opns 24 and 25 Jul, USAF Hist Sec Files.
74. Eighth AF, Tactical Mission Rpts, Operations 492 and 494, 24 and 25 July, USAF Hist Sec Files, give a most straightforward account of the air operation.
75. VII Corps Opns Memo 45, 22 Jul.
76. AEAF Opn COBRA, 20 Jul, AEAF/TS.13165/Air, USAF Hist Sec Files, set the planning in motion; IX TAC Opns Order 88 and 89, 19 and 20 Jul, and Annex 4 to VII Corps FO 6, 20 Jul, are the basic planning documents. See also Leigh-Mallory, "Despatch," Fourth Supplement to the London Gazette of December 31, 1946, p. 65; Bradley, Soldier's Story, p. 341; AAF III, pp. 231-32.
77. VII Corps Opns Memo 45, 22 Jul; Annex 3 to 30th Div FO 13, Air Support Plan, 22 Jul.
78. Sketch showing prebombardment withdrawal, n.d., 9th Div G-3 Jnl and File; VII Corps Opns Memo 43, 20 Jul; Bradley, Effect of Air Power, p. 104.
79. Misc Notes, n.d., 30th Div G-3 Jnl and File; Overlay, Amendment 1 to Incl 1, Annex 3 to 30th Div FO 13, 22 Jul; VII Corps Opns Memo 43, 20 Jul.
80. IX TAC Opns Order 90, 20 Jul, IX TAC Opns COBRA, USAF Hist Sec Files.
81. 21 Weather Squadron Msg, 23 Jul, 30th Div G-3 Jnl and File.