Report by the Supreme Commander to the Combined Chiefs of Staff on the Operations in Europe of the Allied Expeditionary Force, 6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945

Report by the Supreme Commander to the Combined Chiefs of Staff on the Operations in Europe of the Allied Expeditionary Force, 6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945

Report by the Supreme Commander to the Combined Chiefs of Staff on the Operations in Europe of the Allied Expeditionary Force, 6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945

Report by the Supreme Commander to the Combined Chiefs of Staff on the Operations in Europe of the Allied Expeditionary Force, 6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945

Excerpt

The broad strategy behind our main fort against the German war machine included as a highly desirable preliminary the successful conclusion of operations in North Africa and their extension across Sicily to the Italian mainland. With these accomplished, with the Mediterranean "flank" freed for Allied shipping, and with the necessary special equipment built or in sight, we were at last in a position to prepare for the final cross-Channel assault which had been agreed upon since April 1942 as our main operation against Germany. It was correctly believed that only on the historic battlefields of France and the Low Countries could Germany's armies in the west be decisively engaged and defeated.

America and England--the Western Allies--could not be sufficiently strong to undertake the assault against France until June 1944, but the broad tactical plans for the operation were completed and approved by the Combined Chiefs of Staff in August 1943, prior to my assumption of command of the European Theater in February 1944.

As part of our basic strategy, and in accordance with the task given to the Strategic Air Force under the Casablanca Directive in January 1943, the bombing of Germany, begun early in the war by the British Bomber Command, was intensified in May 1943 and continued with mounting strength to the end of the campaign. Neither the contemplated invasion of Europe nor the direct attack on the German industrial and economic system would be feasible until we had achieved over the German Air Force. This struggle for air supremacy, which had been going on throughout the war, was given added impetus by a new directive (known as POINTBLANK) in January 1943 which aimed at subjugating the enemy air force by the spring of 1944. In the event, German air might was thoroughly dominated by D-day and were free to apply the immense strength of the Allied air forces in the manner we wished and to launch the invasion confident that our plans Could not be seriously upset by the German air force. In addition, air bombardment had disrupted the German communications system, immeasurably aiding our ground forces by impeding enemy movements.

Our main strategy in the conduct of the ground campaign was to land amphibious and airborne forces on the Normandy coast between Le Havre and the Cotentin Peninsula and, with the successful establishment of a beachhead with . . .

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