- 3 -

"This, compared with the build-up of Second Army - with V United States Corps on the RIGHT - would show that we consistently outnumber the enemy in tanks by approximately 200 and run about level with him in the number of divisions

" This comparison alone portrays an important picture but does not take into account the Allied Air Forces.


"An outside estimate gives the Germans between 1,000 and 1,200 aircraft of all types available for the Western Front during the early days.

On D Day 850 — 450 Long Range Bombers 300 Fighter types 100 Miscellaneous

Rising by D plus 4 to 1310 - 600 Long Range Bombers 550 Fighter types 160 Miscellaneous

"General Eisenhower controls over 10,000 aircraft available for air support.

"Until 83 Group is established in FRANCE the whole of the air effort will be controlled and directed from ENGLAND, the two tactical air forces, 2 Tactical Air Force and IX United States Army Air Force, being controlled by Air Marshal Coningham and operating under Air Chief Marshal Leigh-Mallory. Bomber Command and VIII United States Army Air Force will be retained under the direct command of General Eisenhower, who will sub-allot to Air Chief Marshal Leigh-Mallory as much of their effort as he considers desirable - certainly they will be available in full strength to assist operations.

"Prior to D day the air effort will be directed mainly against rail communications (including bridges),airfields, coastal batteries, and the "military targets" in the PAS DE CALAIS

"On D minus 3, D minus 2 and D minus 1, some 30 per cent of the effort will be put on the CALAIS beaches to fit in with the cover plan. On D minus 1, enemy headquarters, communications and known locations of reserve formations which affect Second Army will be attacked. There are two plans for D minus 1; one if it is known that the enemy expect us in the assault area and one if the cover plan is still confusing him.

(The air plan for the assault is incorporated in the Joint Fire Plan referred to in Chapter II).

“Considering the comparison in the build-up of tanks and the extraordinary difference in air power it is evident that the odds are in our favour.


"Apart from the airborne forces working with the First United States Army there are available for operations with Second Army two airborne divisions - 1 and 6.


"6 Airborne Division will take part in the initial assault under the command of 1 Corps. This operation has been fully planned and is designed to secure a strong footing on the ground between R ORNE and R DIVES.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: Extracts from Second Army History, 1944 Apr

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