Essay on Operation Overlord

This essay has a total of 1290 words and 9 pages.

Operation Overlord

Operation Overlord was the code name used for the Allied attack on German-occupied
Northern France in the summer of 1944. The organization responsible for planning this task
was SHAEF, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, and the officer in command
of Overlord was Major General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Command of ground forces was given to
General Bernard Montgomery, while naval forces would be commanded by Admiral Bertram
Ramsay. Air forces were under the control of Air Chief Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallary, and
supply and logistics the task of Lt. General John Lee.

Operation Bolero

The extensive buildup of troops and supplies required to support Overlord began in April
of 1942. Known as Operation Bolero, this effort eventually saw the movement of over 1.5
million military personnel to England, as well as the materials required to house, clothe
and feed them. The total number of soldiers participating in all aspects of the invasion
numbered 2.8 million.

Operation Bodyguard

The overall effort to deceive the Germans was known as Operation Bodyguard, and consisted
of ten smaller operations including Operation Fortitude North, Operation Fortitude South,
Operation Graffham and Operation Royal Flush. Operation Fortitude was specifically
designed to provide deception for Operation Overlord. Among the many tools used by
Fortitude were double agents, fake radio traffic and inflatable vehicles and craft
designed to convince the Germans that the buildup of forces were intended to strike at
Norway and/or the Pas-de-Calais region of France.

Operation Neptune

The seaborne aspects of Operation Overlord were known as Operation Neptune, and involved
the embarkation of the troops, their transport across the English Channel, and their
landings at Normandy. The Neptune forces were also responsible for providing covering
gunfire during the landings and for continued supply operations following the landings.

Air Superiority

By early June of 1944 the Allies had achieved air superiority over the skies of France,
and had reduced the Luftwaffe to an almost token force. The Allied control of the air
would play a key role in limiting the Germans ability to maneuver their forces once the
Overlord landings began. With complete control of the skies, Allied planes could easily
identify and destroy German forces moving during daylight.

American Order of Battle

The U.S. First Army forces chosen for Operation Overlord were as follows:

Utah Beach (VII Corps)

* 4th Infantry Division
* 82nd Airborne Division
* 101st Airborne Division


* 4th Cavalry Squadron
* 24th Cavalry Squadron

Pointe du Hoc

* 2nd Ranger Battalion

Omaha Beach (V Corps)

* 1st Infantry Division
* 29th Infantry Division
* 2nd Ranger Battalion
* 5th Ranger Batallion

British/Canadian Order of Battle

The British Second Army forces chosen for Operation Overlord were as follows:

Gold Beach (XXX Corps)

* British 50th Infantry Division

Juno Beach (I Corps)

* Canadian 3rd Infantry Division

Sword Beach (I Corps)

* British 3rd Infantry Division
* British 6th Airborne Division


Needing full moonlight for the paratrooper operations and a rising tide to assist the
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