During that time the Allies were exiting Normandy through Saint Lo. In august, when the Allies were in Paris, Hitler was setting his trap, and setting in position his scarce resources to ensure proper backup. The Germans did not count for the success of this operation, with provisions of resources captured from the Allies.
During this culminant attack Hitler guarantied his commanding officers that they would receive a strong support from battle planes. The attack to the airplanes, that was daily terrorizing German cities, would motivate the most reluctant officers of Luftwaffe to support the operation.
The German officers were prepared for a prolonged operation of air defense der Grosse Schlag (the big blow) the air officers planned a force composed by 3.700 air planes, prepared, trained and planned exclusively for defense.
Hitler did not realize that the air force prepared only for air-to-air combat would not be very effective when directed to the support of land combat. With this failure in the base of Hitler's plans, his commanding officers prepared an improper force structure. They structured the air force isolated from the ground force they were supposed to backup.
The insufficient fuel was used in air training for air-to-air combat, not for ground attack. They planned tactics for intercepting bombers, not to backup ground operations. The anticipated munitions were for air combat, not to attack ground objectives. The air bases were located east of Rin for security reasons and were consolidated to facilitate the centralized control and the opportune concentration of forces.
The advanced expansion and the dispersion of the camps required for to support ground operations were not considered in the plan.
At the beginning of august, the Germans could dispose of their reserves destined to the Calais zone, due to their certainty that there would be no disembarking in that area. The German forces were won and the German high command ordered that those reserves from the north would help a quick retire towards the Seine. However this would not happen, due to Hitler's idea of using them for a counterattack in the city of Mortain.
The attack was repelled by the Allies, alerted by ULTRA. The original Allied Army plan was based on encirclement towards the valley of Loire, but General Bradley understood that many of the German forces in Normandy would not be capable of maneuvering and agreed with Montgomery to lead it northward, to surround the German forces.
The Third Army was formed under Patton's command, while General Hodges took command of the U.S. First Army. Together they made the 12th group. It was the largest group of American soldiers.
The German defense, as well as the distraction produced by Patton towards the Seine by Mantes would cause that the circle would not close until August 21, trapping about 50,000 German troops.
The liberation of Paris followed short after. The French resistance in Paris stood against the Germans on august 19 and the second French division together with the American 14th division that pressed beyond Normandy received the surrender of the German forces and freed Paris on august 25.
As any other war operation, the importance of this battle was that it was part of a carefully planned strategy to surround the enemy lines and cleverly defeat them by trapping their troops and restraining their defensive movements. In order to understand the Battle of Normandy, the entire picture must be seen, including the events that preceded it and those that took place after that operation and towards the end of the war, in order to place its importance in the overall development of World War II.
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