New PDF release: The Lorraine Campaign

By H. M. Cole

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The beach areas were congested. An insufficient number of transport vehicles, coupled with the long haul from the beaches to the front lines, made it impossible to move supplies forward in the quantities required for the daily maintenance of the armies. The stalemate in Normany and the hand-to-mouth supply in August had prevented the stocking of supplies between the Normandy coast and the army dumps. None of the Allied armies had been able to build up large operational reserves. The railroads west of the Seine had been crippled by Allied air bombardment in the weeks before D Day and could not be rebuilt overnight.

Like the XII Corps the XX Corps contained one armored division, the 7th, and two infantry divisions, the 5th and 90th. Maj. Gen. Lindsay McD. Silvester’s 7th Armored Division, an AUS formation, first saw combat during the pursuit across France but as yet had taken part in no major fighting. Although not a graduate of West Point, General Silvester had been commissioned as a Regular Army officer in 1911. His combat record as an infantry officer in World War I was outstanding: he had fought in all of the major American engagements, been wounded, and awarded the DSC.

We must advance on a front sufficiently broad to threaten an advance by more than one of the “gaps” into Germany. By so doing we should be able to keep the Germans guessing as to the direction of our main thrust, cause them to extend their forces, and lay the German forces open to defeat in detail. In the weeks that followed the invasion, strategy bowed to tactics as the Allied armies fought to break out of Normandy and to secure the lodgment area between the Seine and the Loire. The beginning of the pursuit across northern France introduced logistical complications of a complexity which had not been anticipated in the strategic planning of the pre-D-Day period.

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The Lorraine Campaign by H. M. Cole


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