Operation Span (deception plan)

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During World War II, Operation Span was an Allied military deception operation in support of the landings in southern France in 1944.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Military deception attempts to mislead enemy forces during warfare

Military deception refers to attempts to mislead enemy forces during warfare. This is usually achieved by creating or amplifying an artificial fog of war via psychological operations, information warfare, visual deception and other methods. As a form of strategic use of information (disinformation), it overlaps with psychological warfare. To the degree that any enemy that falls for the deception will lose confidence when it is revealed, he may hesitate when confronted with the truth.

Operation Dragoon Allied invasion of southern France on 15 August 1944

Operation Dragoon was the code name for the Allied invasion of Southern France on 15 August 1944. The operation was initially planned to be executed in conjunction with Operation Overlord, the Allied landing in the Normandy, but the lack of available resources led to a cancellation of the second landing. By July 1944 the landing was reconsidered, as the clogged-up ports in Normandy did not have the capacity to adequately supply the Allied forces. Concurrently, the French High Command pushed for a revival of the operation that would include large numbers of French troops. As a result, the operation was finally approved in July to be executed in August.

After the Dragoon landings, landing craft and other amphibious vessels were used to approach likely landing areas elsewhere in southern France coast and along the Italian coast. This tied down German troops and prevented their deployment against the beachhead. [1]

Landing craft small and medium seagoing vessel used to convey a landing force

Landing craft are small and medium seagoing watercraft such as boats, and barges, used to convey a landing force from the sea to the shore during an amphibious assault. The term excludes landing ships, which are larger. Production of landing craft peaked during World War II, with a significant number of different designs produced in large quantities by the United Kingdom and United States.

Beachhead

A beachhead is a temporary line created when a military unit reaches a landing beach by sea and begins to defend the area while other reinforcements help out until a unit large enough to begin advancing has arrived. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with bridgehead and lodgement. Beachheads were very important in operations such as Operation Neptune during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, among many other examples.

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Operation Torch 1942 Allied landing operations in French North Africa during World War II

Operation Torch was an Anglo–American invasion of French North Africa during the Second World War. It was aimed at reducing pressure on Allied forces in Egypt, and enabling an invasion of Southern Europe. It also provided the ‘second front’ which the Soviet Union had been requesting since it was invaded by the Germans in 1941. The region was dominated by the Vichy French, officially in collaboration with Germany, but with mixed loyalties, and reports indicated that they might support the Allied initiative. The American General Dwight D. Eisenhower, commanding the operation, planned a three-pronged attack, aimed at Casablanca (Western), Oran (Center) and Algiers (Eastern), in advance of a rapid move on Tunis.

Military Assistance Command, Vietnam

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Western Front (World War II) military theatre of World War II encompassing Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany

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Pointe du Hoc point of attack during Operation Overlord in World War II

La Pointe du Hoc is a promontory with a 100 ft (30 m) cliff overlooking the English Channel on the north-western coast of Normandy in the Calvados department, France. During World War II it was the highest point between the American sector landings at Utah Beach to the west and Omaha Beach to the east. The German army fortified the area with concrete casemates and gun pits. On D-Day, the United States Army Ranger Assault Group attacked and captured Pointe du Hoc after scaling the cliffs.

Operation Varsity airborne forces operation launched by Allied troops toward the end of World War II

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Operation Nordwind conflict

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Glider Badge

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The 47th Infantry Regiment is an infantry regiment of the United States Army. Constituted in 1917 at Camp Syracuse, New York, the regiment fought in The Great War, and was later inactivated in 1921. Reactivated in 1940, the regiment fought during World War II in North Africa, Sicily, and Western Europe, then was inactivated in 1946. During the Cold War, the regiment saw multiple activations and inactivations, with service both in the Regular Army and the Army Reserve; it fought in Vietnam. Ultimately it was reactivated as a training regiment, and as of 1999, it has been assigned to Fort Benning.

Operation Terminal was an Allied operation during World War II. Part of Operation Torch it involved a direct landing of infantry into the Vichy French port of Algiers with the intention of capturing the port facilities before they could be destroyed.

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References

  1. Jeffrey J. Clarke and Robert Ross Smith, Riviera to the Rhine (1993). CMH Pub 7-10, cloth, GPO S/N 008-029-00213-2; CMH Pub 7-10-1, paper, GPO S/N 008-029-00229-9. "A history of combat operations by Sixth Army Group from its landing in southern France to its crossing of the Rhine."