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A beachhead is a temporary line created when a military unit reaches a landing beach by sea and begins to defend the area as other reinforcements arrive. Once a large enough unit is assembled, the invading force can begin advancing inland. The term is sometimes used interchangeably (both correctly and incorrectly) with bridgehead and lodgement . Beachheads were important in many military actions; examples include operations such as Operation Neptune during World War II, the Korean War (especially at Inchon), and the Vietnam War.
Although many references state that Operation Neptune refers to the naval operations in support of Operation Overlord , the most reliable references make it clear that Overlord referred to the establishment of a large-scale lodgement in Normandy, and that Neptune referred to the landing phase which created the beachhead; Neptune was therefore the first part of Overlord. According to the D-Day Museum:
The armed forces use codenames to refer to the planning and execution of specific military operations. Operation Overlord was the codename for the Allied invasion of north-west Europe. The assault phase of Operation Overlord was known as Operation Neptune. (...) Operation Neptune began on D-Day (6 June 1944) and ended on 30 June 1944. By this time, the Allies had established a firm foothold in Normandy. Operation Overlord also began on D-Day, and continued until Allied forces crossed the River Seine on 19 August 1944.
Once an amphibious assault starts, victory tends to go to the side which can reinforce the beachhead most quickly. Occasionally, the amphibious forces do not expand their beachheads quickly enough to create a lodgement area before the defenders can reinforce their positions; in these cases, the defending forces tend to be victorious. This is exemplified by the landing at Suvla Bay in the Gallipoli Campaign during World War I and the amphibious landing at Anzio (during Operation Shingle) as part of the Italian Campaign of World War II.
Omaha, commonly known as Omaha Beach, was the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, during World War II. "Omaha" refers to an 8-kilometer (5 mi) section of the coast of Normandy, France, facing the English Channel, from east of Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes to west of Vierville-sur-Mer on the right bank of the Douve River estuary. Landings here were necessary to link the British landings to the east at Gold with the American landing to the west at Utah, thus providing a continuous lodgement on the Normandy coast of the Bay of the Seine. Taking Omaha was to be the responsibility of United States Army troops, with sea transport, mine sweeping, and a naval bombardment force provided predominantly by the United States Navy and Coast Guard, with contributions from the British, Canadian and Free French navies.
Operation Fortitude was the code name for a World War II military deception employed by the Allied nations as part of an overall deception strategy during the build-up to the 1944 Normandy landings. Fortitude was divided into two sub-plans, North and South, with the aim of misleading the German High Command as to the location of the invasion.
Sword, commonly known as Sword Beach, was the code name given to one of the five main landing areas along the Normandy coast during the initial assault phase, Operation Neptune, of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of German-occupied France that commenced on 6 June 1944. Stretching 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Ouistreham to Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, the beach proved to be the easternmost landing site of the invasion after the abortion of an attack on a sixth beach, code-named Band. Taking Sword was to be the responsibility of the British Army with sea transport, mine sweeping, and a naval bombardment force provided by the British Royal Navy as well as elements from the Polish, Norwegian and other Allied navies.
Operation Bodyguard was the code name for a World War II deception strategy employed by the Allied states before the 1944 invasion of northwest Europe. Bodyguard set out an overall stratagem for misleading the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht as to the time and place of the invasion. Planning for Bodyguard was started in 1943 by the London Controlling Section, a department of the war cabinet. They produced a draft strategy, referred to as Plan Jael, which was presented to leaders at the Tehran Conference in late November and, despite scepticism due to the failure of earlier deception strategy, approved on 6 December 1943.
Operation Tonga was the codename given to the airborne operation undertaken by the British 6th Airborne Division between 5 June and 7 June 1944 as a part of Operation Overlord and the D-Day landings during World War II.
The Normandy landings were the landing operations and associated airborne operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of France and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front.
Graye-sur-Mer is a commune in the Calvados department (14) in the Normandy region, in northwestern France, 1.1 km from Courseulles-sur-Mer, and 3.4 km from Sainte-Croix-sur-Mer.
Amphibious warfare is a type of offensive military operation that today uses naval ships to project ground and air power onto a hostile or potentially hostile shore at a designated landing beach. Through history the operations were conducted using ship's boats as the primary method of delivering troops to shore. Since the Gallipoli Campaign, specialised watercraft were increasingly designed for landing troops, material and vehicles, including by landing craft and for insertion of commandos, by fast patrol boats, zodiacs and from mini-submersibles.
In military strategy, a bridgehead is the strategically important area of ground around the end of a bridge or other place of possible crossing over a body of water which at time of conflict is sought to be defended or taken over by the belligerent forces.
The Allied advance from Paris to the Rhine, also known as the Siegfried Line campaign, was a phase in the Western European campaign of World War II.
Operation Ironside was a Second World War military deception undertaken by the Allies in 1944. It formed part of Operation Bodyguard, a broad strategic deception plan instigated by the Allies throughout the year to help cover the June 1944 invasion of Normandy. Ironside supported the overall deception by suggesting to the Germans that the Allies would subsequently land along the Bay of Biscay. It complemented efforts to deceive the Germans into believing that the Allies would also land in southern France at this time. Bordeaux was an important port for the German war effort and had already been a target of commando raids two years earlier. Ironside intended to play on German fears of an invasion in the region, with the aim of tying down defensive forces following Operation Overlord in June 1944.
Operation Zeppelin was a major military deception operation run by the British during the Second World War. It formed part of Operation Bodyguard, the cover plan for the invasion of Normandy in 1944, and was intended to mislead German intelligence as to the Allied invasion plans in the Mediterranean theatre that year. The operation was planned by 'A' Force and implemented by means of visual deception and misinformation.
A landing operation is a military action during which a landing force, usually utilizing landing craft, is transferred to land with the purpose of power projection ashore. With the proliferation of aircraft, a landing may refer to amphibious forces, airborne forces, or a combination of both.
A lodgement is an enclave taken by and defended by force of arms against determined opposition made by increasing the size of a bridgehead, beachhead, or airhead into a substantial defended area, at least the rear parts of which are out of direct line of fire. An example is Operation Overlord, the establishment of a large-scale lodgement in Normandy during World War II.
Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe during World War II. The operation was launched on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy Landings (D-Day). A 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June, and more than two million Allied troops were in France by the end of August.
USS Samuel Chase (APA-26), launched as SS African Meteor, was an Arthur Middleton-class attack transport manned by the United States Coast Guard during World War II. She was named after Samuel Chase, a signatory to the Declaration of Independence.
The Royal Naval Commandos, also known as RN Beachhead Commandos, were a commando formation of the Royal Navy which served during the Second World War. The first units were raised in 1942 and by the end of the war, 22 company-sized units had been raised to carry out various tasks associated with establishing, maintaining and controlling beachheads during amphibious operations. The Beach Commando's principle duty was "the quick and safe turnaround of all boats on the beaches"
The 185th Infantry Brigade was an infantry brigade formation of the British Army raised during the Second World War that participated in the Normandy landings of 6 June 1944, fighting in the Normandy Campaign and the subsequent campaign in North-West Europe with the 3rd British Infantry Division.
186th Field Regiment was a unit of Britain's Royal Artillery (RA) during World War II. It was formed in Scotland and joined 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division remaining with that formation for its whole existence. It served in Home Forces for most of the war, undergoing training in mountain warfare and air-portable operations before eventually going into action at sea level in the Battle of the Scheldt. It then took part in the fighting in the Rhineland, and then the drive to Bremen. It was disbanded at the end of the war.
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