Cross-Channel Invasion WW2
Hitler had long been aware that the Anglo-American allies would eventually mount a cross-Channel invasion, but, as long as they dissipated their forces in the Mediterranean and as long as the campaign in the east demanded the commitment of all available German forces, he downplayed the threat. By November 1943, however, he accepted that it could be ignored no longer, and in his Directive Number 51 he announced that France would be reinforced. To oversee defensive preparations, Hitler appointed Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, former commander of the Afrika Korps, as inspector of coastal defenses and then as commander of Army Group B, occupying the threatened Channel coast. As army group commander, Rommel officially reported to the longer-serving Commander in Chief West Gerd von Rundstedt, though the entire structure was locked into a rigid chain of command that deferred many operational decisions to the Führer himself.
In January 1944 the Allies appointed an invasion commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and placed him within a flexible, fully binational Anglo-American chain of command. Bernard Law Montgomery, Rommel’s desert opponent in North Africa, was nominated, under Eisenhower, as commander of the ground invasion forces. Walter Bedell Smith, an American, continued as Eisenhower’s chief of staff, but his other principal subordinates were British: Air Chief Marshal Arthur Tedder as his deputy, Admiral Bertram Ramsay as naval commander, and Air Chief Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory as head of the expeditionary air forces. A Free French delegate, Marie-Pierre Koenig, served as liaison between SHAEF and the president of the French Committee of National Liberation, Charles de Gaulle.
Credit to : army_of_europe