By M. Blumenson
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Additional resources for Breakout and Pursuit
A major impediment to this course of action was the terrain. (Map J) The ground that was to serve as the battlefield in July was of a diversified nature. 15 On the Allied left was the Caen-Falaise plain, gently rolling open country of cultivated fields and pastures, dry and firm ground suitable for largescale armored operations and airfield construction. Facing the Allied center between the Orne and Vire Rivers were the northern fringes of a sprawling mass of broken ground-small hills, low ridges, and narrow valleys-gradually rising in height toward the south.
16 "No matter how undesirable this may be," Rundstedt informed OKW, "it may become necessary to commit all the new forces presently moving up-in an effort to stop and smash ... the British attack expected to start shortly southeast from 17 Jun; Der Westen (Schramm); Hans Speidel, Invasion I944 (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, (95 0 ), pp. 92-99. 15 Ltrs, Rommel to Rundstedt, and Speidel to OQu West, 21 Jun, A Gp B Ia Operationsbefehle; see above, Ch. 1. l°OB WEST KTB, 2,5 Jun, Anlage 306. The best evidence of the changing attitude is found in OB WEST KTB, 26 Jun.
Except in designated fortress cities, the three military services were independent branches, expected to co-operate but not functionally organized to insure complete co-ordination of effort. The result, perhaps not so surprisingly, redounded to Hitler's personal advantage. In western Europe, Navy Group West was the field command of the OKM, and the Third Air Fleet was the field command under OKL. The ground force field command under the 0 KW was Dberbefehlshaber West (DB WEST) and within the limits of the German command system it functioned as the theater headquarters.
Breakout and Pursuit by M. Blumenson