6. The initial plan for Operation OVERLORD provided for an assault on the NORMANDY coast from immediately NORTH of the CARENTAN estuary to the River ORNE with the object of securing as a base for further operations a lodgement area which included airfield sites and the port of CHERBOURG. See sketch map at this image.

appendix A lodgement area

7. The operation was a combined BRITISH, CANADIAN and UNITED STATES undertaking by all Services of the three nations. The Naval forces involved were under command of the Allied Naval Commander Expeditionary Force (ANCXF). HQ Allied Expeditionary Air Force (AEAF) commanded all Air Forces taking part in the operation while all the land forces participating were initially placed under command of HQ. 21 Army Group.

8. The Naval Forces operating in the assault were divided into two separate task forces:

  • Eastern Task Force in support of the BRITISH Forces.
  • Western Task Force in support of the AMERICAN Forces.

Their tasks were as follows :—

  • Provision of protection from enemy naval forces.
  • Clearance of enemy mines and minefields.
  • Bombarding enemy defences.
  • Supporting the assault by fire as necessary.

9. The RAF and US Air Forces were responsible for:

  • The strategic bombing of enemy lines of communication before and during the assault.
  • In conjunction with ADGB the air defence of the bases and troop concentrations in the UK and protection of coastal convoys, warships and shipping.
  • The tactical bombing of enemy troop concentrations, reinforcements, strong points and other targets in the vicinity of the assault.
  • Establishing complete air superiority and thus protecting the ground forces.

10. The general plan for the Army’s part in the operation was:

  • To carry out airborne landings on the night D—1/D with the object of protecting the flanks of the area in which the assault was to take place.
  • To assault on the NORMANDY coast between VARREVILLE and OUISTREHAM on a five divisional front from landing ships and landing craft with two BRITISH, one CANADIAN and two UNITED STATES divisions.
  • To land the follow-up divisions, one BRITISH and one UNITED STATES on the second tide on D-day and on D+1.
  • There after to build up our forces in divisions as follows :—

                      BRITISH       AMERICAN

By D+ 4 to . .         61/3             81/3

By D+12 to . .        9                  9

By D+20 to . .       15                9

By D+35 to . .        15               15

  • The initial objectives were the towns of CAEN, BAYEUX, ISIGNY, CARENTAN, and airfields in the vicinity. 
  • Second Army was to protect the left flank of UNITED STATES First Army, while the latter captured CHERBOURG, ANGERS, NANTES and the BRITTANY ports.

The Order of Battle of 21 Army Group for the assault is shown at this image  not yet ready” 





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