Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sleeve badge of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force

The Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force ( SHAEF for short , German "Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Forces ") was the headquarters of the Allied forces in Northwestern and Central Europe during the Second World War and received instructions from the Combined Chiefs of Staff . It was formed in London in December 1943 by renaming the COSSAC staff and dissolved around two months after the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht ( Liberation Day ).

SHAEF- Commander ( Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force ) was from the beginning of the later US President Dwight D. Eisenhower . After the liberation of France , SHAEF first had its headquarters in the Trianon Palace Hotel in Versailles and then in the Collège Moderne et Technique in Reims .


Southwick House near Portsmouth, seat of the Naval Forward Headquarters during Operation Overlord

Eisenhower became Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in January 1944, having previously been Head of the Allied Forces Headquarters (AFHQ) in the Mediterranean theater of war . The staff of the SHAEF took the ground plan of the plan developed by Lieutenant General Frederick E. Morgan , the head of COSSAC, for the landing in northern France (" Operation Overlord ") and shaped it into the final version, which was published on June 6, 1944 ( D-Day ) executed by Eisenhower and the Land Forces Commander for the initial part of the invasion, General Sir Bernard Montgomery .

The SHAEF remained in the United Kingdom until the end of Operation Overlord after the capture of Paris at the end of August (initially in St. James's Square in London, from March 1944 in Camp Griffiss in Bushy Park ). On September 1, 1944, it began operating in France (near Granville ), with Eisenhower taking command of the operations of the Montgomery Land Forces. At the time, these consisted of the British-Canadian 21st Army Group under Montgomery in the north and the American 12th Army Group under General Omar Bradley in the south. In the middle of the month, SHAEF moved into its new headquarters in the Trianon Palace Hotel in Versailles and at the same time took control of the French-American troops of the 6th Army Group under Jacob L. Devers that landed on the Côte d'Azur during Operation Dragoon AFHQ was assigned. Eisenhower himself chose an advanced headquarters in Gueux near Reims to be closer to the action. At this point in time the three Allied Army Groups had reached the German and Dutch borders and formed a united front:

  • in the north the British 21st Army Group and the two US units
  • 12th Army Group in the middle and
  • 6th Army Group in the south.

Subordinate formations and command structure

Organization and command structure of the SHAEF on June 6, 1944

SHAEF headquarters commanded the largest number of US formations ever committed to an operation, along with a considerable number of British, Free French and Canadian forces. It most recently had three army groups under its command, consisting of nine armies - five US, one British, one Canadian, one French and the 1st Allied Airborne Army . The SHAEF also commanded considerable naval forces during Operation Neptune , the landing phase of Overlord . Two tactical air fleets, the 9th American and the 2nd British , were subordinate to him until the end of the war, as well as the two Allied strategic bomber fleets stationed in England ( 8th US Air Force and RAF Bomber Command ) for the duration of Overlord .

After the end of the war

May 7, 1945: Signing of the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht in Reims

The SHAEF, which was last stationed in the IG-Farben building in Frankfurt , was dissolved on July 14, 1945 and, with regard to the American armed forces, was replaced at the same location by the US Forces European Theater (USFET) headquarters . Eisenhower became the first Supreme Allied Commander Europe with Montgomery as his deputy. The Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe , formed in 1951 by NATO , is in the tradition of the SHAEF.

See also


Web links

Commons : Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence