Department of Military Art and Engineering
United States Military Academy
West Point, New York
Foreword i Preliminary Developments 1 Introduction 1 Allied Strategic Considerations 4 The Combined and Joint Chiefs of Staff 5 Major Allied Decisions, 1942 and 1943 8 The Battle of the Atlantic 13 Early Operations 14 The Allied Defensive 17 The Allied Offensive 23 The Development of Strategic Air Power 25 The Royal Air Force 26 The United States Air Force in Europe 28 The Combined Bomber Offensive 32 Early Developments in the United Kingdom 36 Organization of the European Theater 36 The Logistical Build-up 37 British Amphibious Raids 40 Plans and Preparations for the Invasion 41 The Allied High Command 42 Allied Plans 45 The OVERLORD Plan 46 Factors Influencing the Plan 47 Major Changes in OVERLORD 51 The Allied Air Offensive 53 The Opposing Air Forces 53 Air Superiority 58 The Pre-Invasion Air Assault 62 Enemy Forces and Plan of Defense 64 The High Command 65 The Field Forces 67 The Atlantic Wall 69 Defensive Plans and Considerations 71 Final Allied Preparations 77 The Invasion Force 77 Mounting Procedures 82 Subversive Activities 84 Deceptive Measures 85 Selection of the Time 86 The Normandy Campaign 88 The Invasion 90 VII Corps Landings 91 D-Day on OMAHA Beach 95 Other D-Day Operations 101 Operations, 7-12 June 104 The Capture of Cherbourg 109 Expanding the Beachhead 114 Comments 118 The Campaign in Northern France 125 Introduction 125 The St. Lô Breakthrough 128 The Breakout 133 The German Mortain Counterattack 138 The Close Encirclement 140 The Exploitation 142 The Deep Encirclement and the Battle of the Falaise Pocket 142 The Advance to the Seine 145 The Pursuit to the West Wall 148 Strategic Considerations on Securing the Lodgement Area 148 Operations, 26 August-3 September 150 Operations, 4-14 September 153 Comments 156 The Campaign in Southern France 162 Plans and Preparations 162 The Invasion Force 163 Enemy Forces 166 The Assault Plan 166 Seventh Army Operations 168 The Landings 168 The Exploitation 170 The Pursuit 174 Operations Against the West Wall 176 Introduction 176 Logistical Considerations 176 The West Wall 180 The Allied Situation 182 21st Army Group Operations 184 The Airborne Invasion of Holland 185 The Battle of the Schelde Estuary 190 12th Army Group Operations 192 The Aachen Offensive 193 Forcing the Line of the Moselle 194 The Capture of Metz and the Saar Campaign 198 The Drive to the Roer 200 6th Army Group Operations 202 Static Warfare in the Vosges Mountains 202 Forcing the Belfort and Saverne Gaps 203 Appendices No. Page 1. Directive to the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force 207 2. Important Dates in the War in Western Europe (6 June-15 December 1944) 209 3. Major Conferences and Military Decisions, 1941-1945 211 4. The Normandy Campaign--Allied Order of Battle, 12 June 1944 215 5. Abbreviated German Order of Battle, Western Front, 6 June 1944 219 6. The Campaign in Northern France--Allied Order of Battle, 1 August 1944 221 7. Operations Against the West Wall--Allied Order of Battle, 15 September 1944 225 8a. VII Corps D-Day Operations--UTAH Beach, 6 June 1944 Map 8b. V Corps D-Day Operations--OMAHA Beach, 6 June 1944 Map 8c. British Assault Plan--Normandy Landings Chart 9. American Casualties and Enemy Prisoners of War--Western Europe, June 1944-April 1945 Chart List of Maps No. 1 Limited of Axis Expansion (September 1939-August 1942)
Allied Gains (November 1942-June 1944)
Battle of the Atlantic (September 1939-May 1943)
2 The Combined Bomber Offensive
OVERLORD, High Command and Plan
German Dispositions, D-Day, 6 June 1944
3 The Allied Invasion Force and German Dispositions, 6 June 1944 4 The Invasion (Operations, 6-12 June 1944) 5 The Capture of Cherbourg (Operations, 13-30 June 1944) 6 Expanding the Beachhead (Operations, 1-24 July 1944) 7 Allied Gains in Europe (June-December 1944) 8 The St. Lô Breakthrough (Operations, 25-31 July 1944) 9 The Breakout (Operations, 1-13 August 1944) 10 The Exploitation (Operations, 14-25 August 1944) 11 The Pursuit to the West Wall (OPerations, 26 August-14 September 1944) 12 The Campaign in Southern France (Operations, 15-28 August 1944) 13 21st Army Group Operations (15 September-15 December 1944) 14a 6th and 12th Army Group Operations (15 September-7 November 1944) 14b 6th and 12th Army Group Operations (8 November-15 December 1944)
This short account of the Allied operations in western Europe has been prepared for use in the instruction of cadets at the United States Military Academy. It is based for the most part on material furnished by the Historical Division, Department of the Army. In acknowledging this indebtedness, however, it is not desired to place on the Historical Division the responsibility for any factual errors or for the conclusion drawn.
Grateful acknowledgement is made of permission to quote copyrighted material from the publications listed below:
Samuel E. Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1947).
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1948).
Henry L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War (New York: Harper & Bros., 1948).
Winston S. Churchill, The Gathering Storm (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1947).
The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Normandy to the Baltic (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1948).
Milton Shulman, Defeat in the West (New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1948).
George S. Patton, Jr., War As I Knew It (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1947).
Sir Francis de Guingand, Operation Victory (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1947).
It is regretted that space limitations have not permitted a more detailed account of the important part played by the British, Canadian, and French troops in the operations.
Transcribed and formatted by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation