[Includes 11 tables, 9 charts, 15 maps and 65 illustrations]
This Volume tells the story of the Supreme Headquarters of that Allied Expeditionary Force which seized a foothold on the German-held shores of Western Europe in 1944 and which, by the following year, had completed the liberation of all Western Europe.
This is a history of coalition warfare. It is focused upon the agency in which the decisions of governments were translated into orders, and upon the decisions of General Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force. The narrative describes the plans and recounts the events, controversial or otherwise, leading up to the creation of the Supreme Command and the choice of a Supreme Commander for the cross-Channel attack. It follows the history of this great command to the surrender of Germany. It is the history not only of the decisions that led to victory, but of the discussions, debates, conferences and compromises that proceeded decisions. Controversy was inevitable in an undertaking that required the subordination of national interests to the common good. The author does not gloss over the conflicts that arose between allied nations or individuals. The picture that emerges from these pages is one of discussion and argument, but nevertheless one of teamwork. Differences of opinion and the discussion incident thereto are often the price of sound decisions.
The history of the battles fought by the American armies of the Grand Alliance as they drove from the Normandy beaches into the heart of Germany is given detailed exposition in other volumes of this series, some of which already have been presented to the public. The present volume deals with the command exercised by the Supreme Allied Commander, the decisions made by the Supreme Commander and his staff, and the operations conducted under the aegis of the Supreme Headquarters.