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JACOBL. DEVERS ships and landing craft of his own Eighth Fleet. Wilson’s air commander was Lt. Gen. Ira C. Eaker. S. Army Air Forces, NATOUSA, and as such was administratively responsible to General Devers at NATOUSA headquarters. Eaker’s principal assistant for operations was Air Marshal Sir John C. Slessor, who was also the administrative commander of all British air formations in the theater. Eaker’s MAAF consisted of three major commands: the Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force (MATAF), under Maj.

Paget, who succeeded Wilson in command of a reduced British Middle East Theater, was under Wilson’s control for certain operational matters. Paget’s area included Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. S. Army, and n o longer had any responsibilities in southern France. S. S. Army (ETOUSA). 4Alexander had commanded the British 18th Army Group in North Africa from 18 February to 15 May 1943. On Sicily and in Italy his headquarters was known as 15th Army Group from 10 July 1943 to 15 May 1944; as Allied Forces in Italy from 11 to 18 January 1944; as Allied Central Mediterranean Force from 18 January to 9 March 1944; and as Allied Armies in Italy (AAI) from 9 March to 12 December 1944.

The BCS, studying Wilson’s proposals, hinted at the possibility of a small-scale landing in southern France by the end of June, and Churchill suggested a descent on France’s Atlantic coastline along the shores of the Bay of Biscay. Encouraged, the JCS renewed their offer of amphibious lift from Pacific allocations, but made it clear that they still favored a southern France invasion. In response the BCS suggested a number of alternative landing sites, including southern France, the Bay of Biscay, the Gulf of Genoa in northwestern Italy, or the west coast of Italy between Rome and Genoa.

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D-Day Tank Warfare


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