History

Wars & Campaigns

Boer War
First World War

►►Western Front

►►►Trench Warfare: 1914-1916

►►Allied Offensive: 1916

►►►Allied Offensives: 1917

►►►German Offensive: 1918

►►►Advance to Victory: 1918

►►Siberia
Second World War
►►War Against Japan

►►Italian Campaign

►►►Sicily

►►►Southern Italy

►►►The Sangro and Moro

►►►Battles of the FSSF

►►►Cassino

►►►Liri Valley

►►►Advance to Florence

►►►Gothic Line

►►►Winter Lines
►►North-West Europe

►►►Normandy
►►►Southern France
►►►Channel Ports

►►►Scheldt
►►►Nijmegen Salient

►►►Rhineland

►►►Final Phase
Korean War
Cold War
Gulf War

Operations 

GAUNTLET Aug 1941

(Spitsbergen)

HUSKY Jul 1943

 (Sicily)

COTTAGE Aug 1943

 (Kiska)

TIMBERWOLF Oct 1943

(Italy)

OVERLORD Jun 1944

(Normandy)

MARKET-GARDEN Sep 44

(Arnhem)

BERLIN Nov 1944

(Nijmegen)

VERITABLE Feb 1945

(Rhineland)

Battle Honours

Boer War

►Paardeberg

18 Feb 00

First World War
Western Front
Trench Warfare: 1914-1916

Ypres, 1915

22 Apr-25 May 15

Gravenstafel

22-23 Apr 15

St. Julien

24 Apr-4 May 15

Frezenberg

8-13 May 15

Bellewaarde

24-25 May 15

Festubert, 1915

15-25 May 15

Mount Sorrel

2-13 Jun 16

Allied Offensive: 1916

►Somme, 1916

1 Jul-18 Nov 16

►Albert

.1-13 Jul 16

►Bazentin

.14-17 Jul 16

►Pozieres

.23 Jul-3 Sep 16

►Guillemont

.3-6 Sep 16

►Ginchy

.9 Sep 16

Flers-Courcelette

15-22 Sep 16

Thiepval

26-29 Sep 16

►Le Transloy

. 1-18 Oct 16

Ancre Heights

1 Oct-11 Nov 16

Ancre, 1916

13-18 Nov 16

Allied Offensives: 1917

►Arras 1917

8 Apr-4 May 17

Vimy, 1917

.9-14 Apr 17

Arleux

28-29 Apr 17

►Scarpe, 1917

.3-4 May17

►Hill 70

.15-25 Aug 17

►Messines, 1917

.7-14 Jun 17

►Ypres, 1917

..31 Jul-10 Nov 17

►Pilckem

31 Jul-2 Aug 17

►Langemarck, 1917

.16-18 Aug 17

►Menin Road

.20-25 Sep 17

►Polygon Wood

26 Sep-3 Oct 17

►Broodseinde

.4 Oct 17

►Poelcapelle

.9 Oct 17

►Passchendaele

.12 Oct 17

►Cambrai, 1917

20 Nov-3 Dec 17

German Offensive: 1918

►Somme, 1918

.21 Mar-5 Apr 18

►St. Quentin

.21-23 Mar 18

►Bapaume, 1918

.24-25 Mar 18

►Rosieres

.26-27 Mar 18

►Avre

.4 Apr 18

►Lys

.9-29 Apr 18

►Estaires

.9-11 Apr 18

►Messines, 1918

.10-11 Apr 18

►Bailleul

.13-15 Apr 18

►Kemmel

.17-19 Apr 18

Advance to Victory: 1918

Amiens

8-11 Aug 18

►Arras, 1918

.26 Aug-3 Sep 18

►Scarpe, 1918

26-30 Aug 18.

►Drocourt-Queant

.2-3 Sep 18

►Hindenburg Line

.12 Sep-9 Oct 18

►Canal du Nord

.27 Sep-2 Oct 18

►St. Quentin Canal .29 Sep-2 Oct 18
►Epehy

3-5 Oct 18

►Cambrai, 1918

.8-9 Oct 18

►Valenciennes

.1-2 Nov 18

►Sambre

.4 Nov 18

►Pursuit to Mons .28 Sep-11Nov

Second World War

War Against Japan

South-East Asia

Hong Kong

 8-25 Dec 41

Italian Campaign

Battle of Sicily

Landing in Sicily 

   9-12 Jul 43

Grammichele 

15 Jul 43

Piazza Armerina

16-17 Jul 43

Valguarnera

17-19 Jul 43

Assoro 

  20-22 Jul 43

Leonforte

 21-22 Jul 43

Agira

24-28 Jul 43

Adrano 

29 Jul-7 Aug 43

Catenanuova

29-30 Jul 43

Regalbuto

29 Jul-3 Aug 43

Centuripe

  31 Jul-3 Aug 43

Troina Valley

 2-6 Aug 43

Pursuit to Messina

 2-17 Aug 43

 Southern Italy

Landing at Reggio

 3 Sep 43

Potenza 19-20 Sep 43
Motta Montecorvino 1-3 Oct 43
Termoli 3-6 Oct 43
Monte San Marco 6-7 Oct 43
Gambatesa 7-8 Oct 43
Campobasso 11-14 Oct 43
Baranello 17-18 Oct 43
Colle d'Anchise 22-24 Oct 43
Torella 24-27 Oct 43

The Sangro and Moro

The Sangro

19 Nov-3 Dec 43

Castel di Sangro

.23-24 Nov 43

The Moro

5-7 Dec 43

San Leonardo

8-9 Dec 43

The Gully

..10-19 Dec 43

Casa Berardi

 ..14-15 Dec 43

Ortona

20-28 Dec 43

San Nicola-San

.31 Dec 43

Tommaso

.
Point 59/ 29 Dec 43-

Torre Mucchia

4 Jan 44

Battles of the FSSF
Monte Camino

.5 Nov-9 Dec 43

Monte la Difensa-

2-8 Dec 43

 Monte la Remetanea

.
Hill 720

25 Dec 43

Monte Majo

3-8 Jan 44.

Radicosa

4 Jan 44

Monte Vischiataro

8 Jan 44

Anzio

22 Jan-22 May 44

Rome

.22 May-4 Jun 44

Advance

.22 May-22 Jun 44

to the Tiber

.
►Monte Arrestino

25 May 44

►Rocca Massima

27 May 44

►Colle Ferro

2 Jun 44

Cassino
►Cassino II

11-18 May 44

►Gustav Line

11-18 May 44

►Sant' Angelo in

13 May 44

Teodice

.
►Pignataro

14-15 May 44

Liri Valley
Liri Valley

18-30 May 44

►Hitler Line

18-24 May 44

►Aquino

18-24 May 44

►Melfa Crossing

24-25 May 44

►Ceprano

26-27 May 44

►Torrice Crossroads

30 May 44

Advance to Florence
Advance

17 Jul-10 Aug 44

to Florence

.
Trasimene Line

20-30 Jun 44

Sanfatucchio

20-21 Jun 44

Arezzo

4-17 Jul 44

Cerrone

25 - 31 Aug 44

Gothic Line
►Gothic Line

25 Aug-22 Sep 44

►Monteciccardo

27-28 Aug 44

►Montecchio

30-31 Aug 44

►Point 204 (Pozzo Alto)

31 Aug 44

►Monte Luro

1 Sep 44

►Borgo Santa Maria

1 Sep 44

►Tomba di Pesaro

1-2 Sep 44

►Coriano

3-15 Sep 44

►Lamone Crossing

2-13 Sep 44

Winter Lines
►Rimini Line

14-21 Sep 44

►San Martino-

14-18 Sep 44

San Lorenzo

.
►San Fortunato

18-20 Sep 44

►Casale

23-25 Sep 44

►Sant' Angelo

11-15 Sep 44

 in Salute

.
►Bulgaria Village

13-14 Sep 44

►Cesena

15-20 Sep 44

►Pisciatello

16-19 Sep 44

►Savio Bridgehead

20-23 Sep 44

►Monte La Pieve

13-19 Oct 44

►Monte Spaduro

19-24 Oct 44

►Monte San Bartolo

11-14 Nov 44

►Capture of Ravenna

3-4 Dec 44

►Naviglio Canal

12-15 Dec 44

►Fosso Vecchio

16-18 Dec 44

►Fosso Munio

19-21 Dec 44

►Conventello-

2-6 Jan 45

Comacchio

.
►Granarolo

3-5 Jan 44

Northwest Europe
Dieppe

19 Aug 42

Battle of Normandy
Normandy Landing

6 Jun 44

Authie

7 Jun 44

Putot-en-Bessin

8 Jun 44

Bretteville

8-9 Jun 44

       -l'Orgueilleuse .
Le Mesnil-Patry

11 Jun 44

Carpiquet

4-5 Jul 44

Caen

4-18 Jul 44

The Orne (Buron)

8-9 Jul 44

Bourguébus Ridge

18-23 Jul 44

Faubourg-de-

18-19 Jul 44

       Vaucelles .
St. André-sur-Orne

19-23 Jul 44

Maltôt

22-23 Jul 44

Verrières Ridge-Tilly--

25 Jul 44

         la-Campagne .
Falaise

7-22 Aug 44

►Falaise Road

7-9 Aug 44

►Quesnay Road

10-11 Aug 44

Clair Tizon

11-13 Aug 44

►The Laison

14-17 Aug 44

►Chambois

18-22 Aug 44

►St. Lambert-sur-

19-22 Aug 44

       Dives

.

Dives Crossing

17-20 Aug 44

Forêt de la Londe

27-29 Aug 44

The Seine, 1944

25-28 Aug 44

Southern France
Southern France

15-28 Aug 44

Channel Ports
Dunkirk, 1944

8-15 Sep 44

Le Havre

1-12 Sep 44

Moerbrugge

8-10 Sep 44

Moerkerke

13-14 Sep 44

Boulogne, 1944

17-22 Sep 44

Calais, 1944

25 Sep-1 Oct 44

Wyneghem

21-22 Sep 44

Antwerp-Turnhout

   24-29 Sep 44

Canal

.

The Scheldt

The Scheldt

1 Oct-8 Nov 44

Leopold Canal

6-16 Oct-44

►Woensdrecht

1-27 Oct 44

Savojaards Platt

9-10 Oct 44

Breskens Pocket

11 Oct -3 Nov 44

►The Lower Maas

20 Oct -7 Nov 44

►South Beveland

 24-31 Oct 44

Walcheren

31 Oct -4 Nov 44

Causeway

.

Nijmegen Salient
Ardennes

Dec 44-Jan 45

Kapelsche Veer

31 Dec 44-

.

21Jan 45

The Roer

16-31 Jan 45

Rhineland
The Rhineland

8 Feb-10 Mar 45

►The Reichswald

8-13 Feb 45

►Waal Flats

8-15 Feb 45

►Moyland Wood

14-21 Feb 45

►Goch-Calcar Road

19-21 Feb 45

►The Hochwald

26 Feb-

.

4 Mar 45

►Veen

6-10 Mar 45

►Xanten

8-9 Mar 45

Final Phase
The Rhine

23 Mar-1 Apr 45

►Emmerich-Hoch

28 Mar-1 Apr 45

Elten

.
►Twente Canal

2-4 Apr 45

Zutphen

6-8 Apr 45

Deventer

8-11 Apr 45

Arnhem, 1945

12-14 Apr 45

Apeldoorn

11-17 Apr 45

Groningen

13-16 Apr 45

Friesoythe

14 Apr 45

►Ijselmeer

15-18 Apr 45

Küsten Canal

17-24 Apr 45

Wagenborgen

21-23 Apr 45

Delfzijl Pocket

23 Apr-2 May 45

Leer

28-29 Apr 45

Bad Zwischenahn

23 Apr-4 May 45

Oldenburg

27 Apr-5 May 45

Korean War
Kapyong

21-25 Apr 51

Domestic Missions

FLQ Crisis

International Missions

ICCS            Vietnam 1973

MFO                 Sinai 1986-

Peacekeeping

UNMOGIP

India 1948-1979

UNTSO

 Israel 1948-    ....

UNEF

Egypt 1956-1967

UNOGIL

Lebanon 1958    ....

ONUC

 Congo 1960-1964

UNYOM

Yemen 1963-1964

UNTEA

W. N. Guinea 1963-1964

UNIFCYP

 Cyprus 1964-    ....

DOMREP

D. Republic 1965-1966

UNIPOM

Kashmir 1965-1966

UNEFME

Egypt 1973-1979

UNDOF

Golan 1974-    ....

UNIFIL

 Lebanon 1978    ....

UNGOMAP

Afghanistan 1988-90

UNIIMOG

Iran-Iraq 1988-1991

UNTAG

Namibia 1989-1990

ONUCA

C. America 1989-1992

UNIKOM

Kuwait 1991    ....

MINURSO

W. Sahara 1991    ....

ONUSAL

El Salvador 1991    ....

UNAMIC

Cambodia 1991-1992

UNAVEM II

Angola 1991-1997

UNPROFOR

Yugosla. 1992-1995

UNTAC

Cambodia 1992-1993

UNOSOM

Somalia 1992-1993

ONUMOZ

Mozambiq. 1993-1994

UNOMUR

 Rwanda 1993    ....

UNAMIR

Rwanda 1993-1996

UNMIH

Haiti 1993-1996

UNMIBH

Bosnia/Herz.1993-1996

UNMOP

Prevlaka 1996-2001

UNSMIH

Haiti 1996-1997

MINUGUA

Guatemala 1994-1997

UNTMIH

Haiti 1997    ....

MIPONUH

 Haiti 1997    ....

MINURCA

C.Afr.Rep. 1998-1999

INTERFET

E. Timor 1999-2000

UNAMSIL

Sie. Leone 1999-2005

UNTAET

E. Timor 1999-2000

Exercises

 

Operation OVERLORD

(Note: this article describes the planning of Operation OVERLORD. A discussion of the various battles in Normandy can found in separate articles of this website)

Operation OVERLORD was the Allied plan to invade North-West Europe during the Second World War.

Situation

German forces had occupied France since the summer of 1940; utilizing large numbers of forced labourers, massive concrete fortifications were emplaced at key points along the entire French coastline; with garrisons in Denmark and Norway, the German positions became known as the "Atlantic Wall." The costly raid at Dieppe in August 1942 is widely credited as cautioning Allied planners to ensure detailed planning, sophisticated tactical solutions to overcoming beach defences, and overwhelming firepower all featured into the plan.

Operation OVERLORD was the code name for the invasion; the stated plan was to establish a beachhead and reach the line of the Seine River by D+90 (ie 90 days after the day of the invasion). The battle would open with a combined airborne and seaborne assault on five designated beaches.


The Atlantic Wall featured formidable obstacles to Allied invasion, including weapons of all types and sizes sited in strong concrete and steel fortifications.

The Normandy invasion began when the first pathfinders landed on Norman soil on the night of 5-6 Jun, leading the way for three divisions of airborne troops (including with them the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, fighting with the 6th British Airborne Division.) Early on the morning of 6 Jun 1944, six divisions came ashore, including the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division supported by the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade.

Allied Preparations

While a cross-channel attack had been discussed since 1942, and several alternate plans drawn up, Allied strategy revolved around landings in North Africa in late 1942, Sicily in Jul 1943, and various operations in Italy in 1943 and into 1944, when the Allies finally felt ready to commit to landing in France.

Planning began in earnest in Mar 1943 by British Lieutenant General Sir Frederick E. Morgan (who was appointed COSSAC - Chief of Staff, Supreme Allied Commander), whose plan was developed further beginning in Jan 1944 by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), under the command of the Supreme Allied Commander, US General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was named to this post on 24 Dec 1943. Operational command of the armies going ashore would go to General Sir Bernard Law Montgomery, who had advised the Canadians in the UK on matters of training, had been involved in some preliminary planning of the Dieppe Raid, and who had commanded the 8th British Army (to whom the 1st Canadian Division, 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade belonged) in Sicily and later southern Italy.

The Normandy invasion would mark the first operation in which formations passed from control of the First Canadian Army to the Second British Army and vice versa. For the assault, 3rd Canadian Division would be under operational control of I British Corps. Canadian higher headquarters would come ashore after the beachhead had been expanded. Once 2nd British Army had established a firm foothold, First Canadian Army would breakout and advance from a secure bridgehead. During Exercise SPARTAN in Mar 1943, the First Canadian Army trained to do exactly that, with three Canadian divisions and three British divisions under command.

The short operating range of Allied fighters from UK airfields, as well as the geography of the French coast, limited the choice of landing area to either the Pas de Calais or the Normandy beaches. The need for a large port facility resulted in the innovative idea of bringing one across to Normandy rather than attempting to capture one. The artificial harbours, codenamed MULBERRY, were just one of the many logistical successes; others included PLUTO (Pipe Line Under the Ocean) through which vital supplies of gasoline were pumped into the bridgehead from England. Other technical innovations would be used directly on the beach, particularly the "funny" tanks; armoured vehicles adapted for special purposes. The Canadians made great use of the Duplex Drive (DD) tanks; regular Shermans fitted with collapsible canvas screens and propellers to allow them to swim to shore and provide immediate close support. Other vehicles were equipped to assist in the passage of obstacles and demolition of strongpoints and were used by Royal Engineers units of the British Army.

Allied intentions were masked through successful and complex deception plans and intelligence/counter-intelligence operations. Security was extremely tight and Allied soldiers entered the "sausage machine" several days in advance of the landings; these were sealed camps in which the soldiers waterproofed vehicles, received final briefings, and were cut off from contact with the outside world as a security precaution.

Objectives

  • Establish a firm lodgement with all five assault divisions linked up by D+1 (one day after D-Day).

  • Create a firm beachhead including the cities of Caen (to be captured on D-Day) and Cherbourg (with its permanent port facilities)

  • Liberate Brittany, the Atlantic ports, and advance on a line from Le Havre to Le Mans to Tours by D+40.

  • Reach the line of the Seine by D+90.

Allied Invasion Plan

The invasion of Normandy was the largest amphibious assault in history; as such, it is quite possible the most complex military plan ever devised, and in fact there was not one single plan, but many, covering different phases of the assault. Multiple headquarters in the chain of command had varying responsibilities; the chain of command as far as the Canadians were concerned was:

  • SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force) - under command of the Supreme Commander, US General Dwight D. Eisenhower

  • 21st Army Group - under command of British General Bernard Law Montgomery, appointed overall Allied ground commander

  • 2nd British Army - Canadian soldiers in the assault phase were subordinated to the British until enough room in the bridgehead allowed for Canadian headquarters (First Canadian Army and II Canadian Corps) to become operational

  • I British Corps

 

Early Planning

US and British strategic planners had debated the timing and location of the "Second Front" (so-called as any invasion of the West was considered a secondary campaign to the Eastern Front, where the majority of the German Army was engaged against the forces of the Soviet Union) since early 1942. In Mar 1943, British Lieutenant General F.E. Morgan, appointed as Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander (COSSAC), was tasked with drafting three plans;

  • "an elaborate camouflage and deception scheme" to fool the Germans into thinking the landings might take place in the summer of 1943

  • prepare for an early invasion should it appear the German military was on the verge of collapse due to the Combined Bomber Offensive and/or combat in Italy and the Eastern Front

  • "a full scale assault against the Continent in 1944 as early as possible"

 


Lieutenant General Morgan, COSSAC.

During 1943, the plan for OVERLORD was developed and a detailed "Initial Joint Plan" emerged on 1 Feb 1944. Operation NEPTUNE would be the assault phase, in which the goal was "to secure a lodgement on the Continent from which further offensive operations can be developed." OVERLORD was itself was part of a larger strategic plan "designed to bring about the total defeat of Germany by means of heavy and concentrated assaults upon German-occupied Europe from the United Kingdom, the Mediterranean, and (the Soviet Union)." Normandy was selected as the target for several reasons;

  • suitability and number of beaches for military landings

  • shelter from prevailing westerly winds

  • within range of friendly aircraft operating from the United Kingdom

  • suitability for maintenance of a large invading force

On the western (right) flank, the 1st US Army would capture bridgeheads on the eastern shore of the Cotentin Peninsula; on the east (left), the 2nd British Army would secure a bridgehead encompassing Port-en-Bessin, Bayeux, the communications centre of Caen, and Cabourg.

The US 1st Army was tasked to capture the port at Cherbourg as fast as possible after the intial landings, then develop operations in the direction of St. Lo, in line with the British 2nd Army to their left. The British 2nd Army was simultaneously tasked with protecting the US flank as they captured Cherbourg, and in advancing on a line south of the St.Lo - Caen line, building a bridgehead south-east of Caen and securing airfields for Allied use.

The Initial Joint Plan recognized the necessity of building up forces in the bridgehead faster than the Germans could build opposition forces - another reason why capturing the port at Cherbourg was seen as a priority. By the end of D-Day, the plan called for two British, 1 Canadian and two US divisions to be ashore with 1/3 of a British and 1/3 of an American division offshore to follow up. By D+3 it was anticipated 7 divisions would be ashore, and by D+6 9 and 2/3 divisions (in addition to 5 British and Canadian armoured brigades/US equivalents). By D+20, some 24 divisions were scheduled to be ashore.

Timing

Original plans for the invasion had focused on a narrow landing zone from Grandcamp to Courseulles; extra beaches were added between Courseulles and the Orne estuary, as well as on the Cotentin Peninsula itself. The original target date of May 1944 had thus to be postponed to Jun 1944 to allow for production and procurement of additional landing craft.

The specific day of the assault was dependent on several factors:

  • a full moon was required to provide light for the Airborne forces, who would be jumping at night so as to secure objectives before the seaborne landings commenced

  • beach obstacles would be less effective if the waters were at half tide

  • naval forces wished to operate at first light, bombarding German defences before H-Hour and thus requiring daylight to pinpoint targets - this meant that for the seaborne forces to be operating at dawn, half tide would have to be at that time

The first day in June in which all these factors were met was 5 Jun 1944, with the 6th and 7th also possibilities in the event of poor weather preventing either the airborne or seaborne forces from operating).

Naval Plans

Getting the forces to Normandy was a complex issue for the naval services; an outline was drafted by 15 Feb 1944, a detailed Naval Plan on 28 Feb, and a provisional set of detailed Naval Orders was issued on 2 Apr 1944. By 15 Apr, the forces called for by the planning were confirmed as participating - no less then six battleships, two monitors, 22 cruisers, 93 destroyers, 15 sloops, 26 escort destroyers, 27 frigates, 71 corvettes, and large numbers of smaller ships including all the landing craft that would take men, tanks and equipment to shore. All in all, this would be, as is often pointed out, the largest armada of naval vessels in the world's history. According to the Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War:

An Admiralty computation is that the total number of ships and vessels of all types finally involved in all phases of the operation (assault, follow-up, build-up, and administration) was 7,016.

By way of comparison, the famous Spanish Armada of 1588 consisted of only 122 ships.

Order of Battle for Assault Phase

Naval1
  • Western Naval Task Force - Comprising two Assault and one Follow-Up

Forces, working with 1st US Army.

    • Assault Force "U" - operating from Tor Bay, Brixham, Dartmouth, and Salcome - to assault Utah Beach.

    • Assault Force "O" - operating from Weymouth, Portland, and Poole - to assault Omaha Beach.

    • Follow Up Force "B" - operating from Plymouth, Falmouth, Helford River, and Fowey - to follow up in the US area.

  • Eastern Naval Task Force - Comprising three Assault and one Follow-Up

Forces, working with 2nd British Army.

    • Assault Force "G" - operating from Southampton, the Solent, and Spithead - to assault Gold Beach.

    • Assault Force "J" - operating from Southampton, the Solent, and Spithead - to assault Juno Beach.

    • Assault Force "S" - operating from Portsmouth, Spithead, Newhaven and Shoreham - to assault Sword Beach.

    • Follow Up Force "L" - operating from the Nore (Thames Estuary) and Harwich - to follow up in the British area.

Land
  • 1st US Army

    • VII US Corps

      • 4th US Infantry Division

      • 82d US Airborne Division

      • 101st US Airborne Division

    • V US Corps

      • 1st US Infantry Division

      • 29th US Infantry Division

      • Four Ranger Battalions

  • 2nd British Army

    • I Corps

      • 3rd Canadian Infantry Division (2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade attached)

      • 3rd British Division

      • 1st Special Service Brigade

      • 4th S.S. Brigade

      • 6th Airborne Division (including 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion)

    • XXX Corps

      • 50th British Division

    • Army Troops

      • 1 Assault Brigade R.E.

      • 30 Armoured Brigade (Flail)

Air
  • Strategic Air Forces - under direction of General Eisenhower.

    • 2nd British Tactical Air Force

    • 9th US Tactical Air Force

The land forces deployed as follows, roughly east to west:

  • British 6th Airborne Division, comprising 8th and 9th Parachute Battalions of 3rd Parachute Brigade and the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, delivered by parachute and glider to the east of the River Orne to protect the left flank of the invasion.

  • 1 Special Service Brigade comprising No.3, No.4, No.6 and British No. 45 (Royal Marine) Commandos landed by sea at Ouistreham in Queen Red sector (leftmost), augemented by 1 Troop and 8 Troop (both French) of No.10 (Inter-Allied) Commando.

  • British 3rd Infantry Division and the 27th Armoured Brigade on Sword Beach, from Ouistreham to Lion-sur-Mer.

  • No.41 (Royal Marine) Commando, landed on the far right of Sword Beach.

  • 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade and No.48 (Royal Marine) Commando on Juno Beach, from Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer to La Rivière-Saint-Sauveur.

  • No.46 (Royal Marine) Commando at Juno Beach to scale cliffs on the left side of the Orne River estuary and destroy a battery. (Actually landed on D+1).

  • British 50th Division and 8th Armoured Brigade on Gold Beach, from La Rivière to Arromanches.

  • No.47 (Royal Marine) Commando on the right flank of Gold beach.

  • US 1st Infantry Division and US 29th Infantry Division on Omaha Beach, from Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes to Vierville-sur-Mer.

  • 2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions at Pointe du Hoc. (The 5th actually diverted to Omaha Beach).

  • US 4th Infantry Division on Utah Beach, near Pouppeville and La Madeleine.

  • US 101st Airborne Division delivered by parachute near Vierville to support Utah Beach landings.

  • US 82nd Airborne Division delivered by parachute near Sainte-Mère-Église, to protect the right flank of the invasion.

German Defences

The Normandy defenses were under the command of the German LXXXIV Korps, itself part of the German 7th Army. Dispositions in the Allied landing area were as follows, roughly from east to west.

  • German 21st Panzer Division: a veteran armoured division, rearming in the Caen region and partially equipped with French-made light tanks. This formed part of the mobile reserve.

    • 22nd Panzer Regiment

    • 200th Sturmgeschütz Battalion

    • 125th Panzergrenadier Regiment

    • 192nd Panzergrenadier Regiment

  • German 716th Static Infantry Division: a coastal defence division with subunits in the Omaha, Gold, Sword and Juno landing areas.

    • 441 Ost Battalion

    • 726th Grenadier Regiment

    • 736th Grenadier Regiment.

  • German 352nd Infantry Division: a regular infantry division, defending the city of St. Lo and the beaches in the Omaha sector.

    • 914th Grenadier Regiment

    • 915th Grenadier Regiment

    • 916th Grenadier Regiment

  • German 6th Fallschirmjäger Regiment: a parachute regiment of the 2nd Parachute Division, tasked with defending the city of Carentan.

  • German 91st Air Landing Division: an air transportable division in name located on the Cotentin Peninsula, including US airborne landing zones.

    • 1057th Infantry Regiment

    • 1058th Infantry Regiment

  • German 709th Static Infantry Division: Coastal defence division tasked with defending the Cherbourg Coast of the Cotentin Peninsula, including the Utah Beach sector.

    • 729th Grenadier Regiment

    • 739th Grenadier Regiment

    • 919th Grenadier Regiment]

  • German 243rd Static Infantry Division: a coastal defence division protecting the western coast of the Cotentin Peninsula.

    • 920th Grenadier Regiment

    • 921st Grenadier Regiment

    • 922nd Grenadier Regiment

  • German 30th Fast Infantry Brigade

Canadian Army Involvement

Planning

Canadian staff officers were employed at all levels in the chain of command, from SHAEF through 21st Army Group down to First Canadian Army.

A detailed discussion of Allied, and Canadian, planning can be found in Stopping the Panzers (Marc Milner, University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 2014 - ISBN 978-0-7006-2003-6).

Force Composition

After the dispatch of 1st Canadian Infantry Division to the Mediterranean in 1943 and the rebuilding of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division after Dieppe, largely from scratch, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division was selected for the assault role on the Canadian beach, code named JUNO. They would be supported by the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade.

In addition, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion formed part of the British 6th Airborne Division, which would play an instrumental role in securing and then protecting the left flank of the beachhead.

Execution

After a postponement due to weather, the invasion of Europe went forward on 6 June 1944, popularly known ever since as D-Day. A detailed discussion of the campaign starts in the article on the Battle of Normandy.


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