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The U.S. Navy in Operation Overlord Under the Command of Rear Admiral Alan G. Kirk

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This study examines the mission, preparation, and actions of the U.S. Navys Western Naval Task Force during Operation Overlord under Rear Admiral Alan G. Kirk. Most previous interpretations of the Navys role in the cross- Channel assault on 6 June 1944 do not adequately cover the actions of Admiral Kirk and his immediate subordinates during the training for and execution of Overlord. Most accounts deal with actions taken close inshore by the men actually hitting the beaches, whereas little has been written concerning the American flag officers in Overlord. Planning for a cross-Channel invasion began in 1941 when Churchill initiated planning for Operation Sledgehammer to be launched in 1942. Once the United States entered the war, the Joint Chiefs made every effort to execute Sledgehammer, and later backed Roundup in 1943, yet the British maneuvered the United States into conducting campaigns in the Mediterranean which precluded a cross-Channel assault until the summer of 1944. At the Casablanca Conference in January 1943, Churchill and Roosevelt agreed to formalize the planning for Overlord and established the Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander or COSSAC. Throughout 1943, COSSAC laid the framework for a three-division assault across the Channel, yet when Eisenhower became Supreme Commander in December 1944, he soon expanded the invasion front to five divisions. With this expansion and after much debate, the Allies eventually had to delay a planned invasion in the Mediterranean, codenamed Operation Anvil. Operation Overlord, COSSAC, Admiral Alan G. Kirk, U.S. Navy

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  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Naval Surface Warfare

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