ALLIED PREPARATIONS

For many long months, the discussions as to the right strategy to adopt in order to reconquer Europe divided the British and Americans. The former were keen on carrying out peripheral operations in the Mediterranean, and it was their opinion that initially held sway ‑ hence the series of landings in North Africa (November 1942), Sicily (1943) and subsequently Southern Italy (September 1943).

The Americans, who were in favour of a more direct attack against Germany, argued for an offensive across the Channel. In exchange for their concessions over Italy, they obtained the agreement of their allies in early 1943. Lieutenant-General Morgan was appointed Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander (COSSAC) and given the task of planning the operation.

A decision now had to be taken about the date of the landing, and there were plenty of material problems to solve, too. The Allies also had to keep the Germans in the dark about their exact plans.