Lessons from the Normandy Invasion of World War II: Staff Development, Deception Operations, and Force Projection - Complexity of Planning, Sluggish Progress, Signals Intelligence and SHAEF Staff
Author: Progressive Management
Publisher: Progressive Management
Release Date: February 11, 2017
This excellent report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. The invasion of Normandy is widely used by military professionals and historians to draw examples of successes or failures from this complex operation. While the Normandy invasion ultimately led to the liberation of France and Europe from Nazi Germany, it was not achieved without a considerable amount of planning. Popular history has ignored some of the key aspects of this operation that illustrate the complexity of the planning in this undertaking.
The research conducted in support of this monograph includes the use of source documents concerning the planning and preparations for the invasion by the Allies. The source documents center on three operations: Operation Fortitude, the deception operation; Operation Neptune the amphibious assault; finally, Operation Crossbow, the air operation. The source documents range from the operation orders used by the invasion forces; the ULTRA signals intelligence used to decode intercepted German radio traffic and the transcripts between senior Allied commanders and their staffs. Enhancing the source documents is a variety of historical works written by both British and American authors covering the invasion from varying perspectives.
The research into the planning, preparations, and execution of the Normandy invasion revealed several constraints that the Allies placed upon themselves, and how those constraints led to an increased rate of operational friction. The operational friction became apparent in the sluggish progress through the Norman Bocage and the vicious fighting in the city of Caen. The Allied progress became so slow that it hindered the efforts of the Allied corps and divisions to achieve their key objectives for several weeks. Throughout most of the summer of 1944, the Allied objectives at the corps and division level became focused on the next hedgerow or road intersection, rather than the next city or port.
Although the invasion occurred more than seventy years ago, the three lessons gleaned from the monograph are relevant to the contemporary environment. Intelligence sharing and cooperation between coalition partners remains a sensitive issue for most military commanders. The ability to synchronize the transition between main and supporting efforts at the operational level of war is a difficult and tricky endeavor to achieve. Finally, the movement and deployment of a large number of men and equipment from geographically dispersed bases onto five objectives is a complex operation that can cause a loss in the operational tempo if the operation is not carefully synchronized.
1. Staff Development * The Evolution of COSSAC * The Problem with the Intelligence Staff at SHAEF * What the SHAEF Intelligence Staff Provided * Staff Development's Conclusion * 2. Deception Operations * Supporting the Normandy Invasion Through Deception * The Allies Main Effort in Deception Operations * The Impact of the Allied Deception Operations * Operational Deception's Conclusion * 3. Force Projection * How SHAEF Projected Ground Forces onto Continental Europe * Synchronizing the Invasion Force with the Deception Operation * Loss of Tempo and Speed for the Allied Ground Forces * Force Projection's Conclusion * 4. Conclusion * Recommendations