Category: Advance on Germany

Breakthrough

To penetrate the German defenses and make a limited exploitation to the town of Coutances, General Bradley on July 13 drew an outline plan called Cobra. This plan projected a heavy attack on a narrow front just west of St.-Lo, the ground effort to be propelled forward by a mighty air attack. Bradley concentrated 6 […]

Breakout into Brittany

Middleton’s 8th Corps, now under the Third Army, turned west from Avranches and entered Brittany. One armored division drove to Rennes and then to Lorient, another armored division drove to Brest, and an infantry division moved to St.-Malo. The entrance of American troops into Brittany chased the Germans into these port cities, as well as […]

Breakout to the East

When the Third Army became operational on August 1, General Patton took control not only of the 8th Corps operations in Brittany but also of Maj. Gen. (later Gen.) Wade H. Haislip’s 15th Corps, which turned southeastward toward Mayenne. Taking Mayenne on August 4, capturing Laval on August 5, and seizing Le Mans on August […]

Liberation of Paris

The climactic incident in the Normandy campaign was the liberation of Paris, which occurred almost by accident. In order to avoid a battle that would damage the French capital and inflict casualties on its inhabitants, General Eisenhower intended originally to bypass Paris. Hitler for his part wished to retain the city for the prestige involved, […]

Plans for the Allied Invasion of France

Even though military resources in Britain were meager after the withdrawal from France in 1940, British forces soon began to plan a return to the Continent. In September 1941, the British Chiefs of Staff charged Adm. Lord Louis Mountbatten (later 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma), who headed the Combined Operations Headquarters, with investigating the technical […]

Developing Alliance

Immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the German declaration of war against the United States, as American and British military leaders met in Washington in a series of conferences known as Arcadia (December 1941-January 1942), they reaffirmed the ABC-1 decision to remain on the strategic defensive in the Pacific while defeating Germany […]

Plans Developed

When the CCS met at Casablanca in January 1943, it was a time of optimism. The Germans had been decisively defeated in North Africa, though the campaign would continue until May. The Russians had taken the offensive after stopping the Germans at Stalingrad (now Volgograd), and Japanese expansion in the Pacific had definitely been checked. […]

Final Plans

After studying the Overlord concept, Generals Eisenhower and Montgomery concluded that the initial assault needed to be strengthened and yet made on a broadened front. This required additional landing craft, troops, and vehicles, and this in turn led to debate over whether the diversionary invasion on the Mediterranean coast of France, an operation code named […]

French Resistance

Contributing toward the disruption of the railroads and highways in France were the efforts of the French resistance, a movement that had sprung up spontaneously after the surrender of France in 1940. As early as that year a headquarters established by Gen. Charles de Gaulle in London formed a special staff which was charged with […]

German Forces

On the German side, Adolf Hitler exercised direct control over military operations. He was the supreme commander in chief of the armed forces (Wehrmacht). His staff was the High Command of the Armed Forces (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht or OKW ), headed by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel. Under OKW, in theory, were the Air Force High […]

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