Normandy Campaign History

The campaign in North West Europe opened with the landings by Allied Forces in Normandy on 6th June 1944. Airborne landings were made by one British and two American divisions, with seaborne landings being made by two British, one Canadian and elements of three American divisions.

Order of Battle and Command Structure (Land Forces Only)

The British and Canadian forces, together with Polish, Belgian and Dutch formations, all served under the 21 Army Group, which commanded all the British, Canadian and other European formations that participated in the campaign in North West Europe. In addition, there were some American formations under command at different times.

Apart from the initial landings, 21 Army Group comprised two Armies, 2nd Army and the 1st Canadian Army. There were four Corps of the British Army within 2nd Army and one from the Canadian Army deployed in the campaign:

I Corps – D Day

3rd Infantry Division – D Day.

51st (Highland) Infantry Division: D-Day.

3rd Canadian Infantry Division: D-Day.

4th Armoured Brigade: D+ 1.

27th Armoured Brigade: D-Day.

2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade: D-Day.

Other units under I Corps Command on D-Day

6th Airborne Division.

79th Armoured Division.

1st Special Service Brigade.

4th Special Service Brigade.

VIII Corps: activated on 15th June 1944

Guards Armoured Division.

11th Armoured Division.

15th (Scottish) Infantry Division.

6th Guards Tank Brigade.

31st Tank Brigade.

XII Corps: activated in June 1944

43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division.

53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division.

59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division.

34th Tank Brigade.

XXX Corps: D-Day

50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division: D-Day.

7th Armoured Division: D + 4.

49th (West Riding) Infantry Division: D + 6.

8th Armoured Brigade: D-Day.

33rd Armoured Brigade: D + 7.

56th Infantry Brigade.

II Canadian Corps: activated on 12th July 1944

4th Canadian Armoured Division.

2nd Canadian Infantry Division.

1st Polish Armoured Division.