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North West Europe 1944 - 1947

The campaign in North West Europe covers the period from the landings of Allied forces in Normandy on 6 June 1944 through to the surrender of German Forces in the West on 8 May 1945. The campaign took place in the countries of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemborg and Germany.

At the beginning of the campaign, all the troops employed on D-Day were under command of the British 21 Army Group, yet by the end of the campaign, the majority of the forces deployed were American with both the U.S. 12 Army Group and U.S. 6 Army Group in operation.

The campaign in North West Europe from a British perspective can be broken down into seven phases, namely:

  • Initial landings;
  • Normandy operations;
  • The breakout and drive across the River Seine and through Belgium;
  • Operation Market Garden;
  • The clearing of the Schedlt and operations in The Netherlands;
  • Operation ‘Veritable’ – the Reichswald offensive;
  • Operation ‘Plunder’ – the crossing of the River Rhine and final offensive.

A chronology of events is included as is a synopsis of the main British formations that participated in the campaign.  These were the:

  • 21 Army Group;
  • 2 Army;
  • I Corps;
  • VIII Corps;
  • XII Corps;
  • XXX Corps.

Further information on each of the units and formations can be found in the sections as below:

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