By Bruce L. Brager Operation Anvil, the invasion of southern France, was originally planned for June 1944, the same time as the Normandy invasion. Anvil was designed to tie up German troops, which might otherwise be sent to Normandy. Eventually, Allied commanders realized that landing craft shortages made simultaneous invasions impossible. American political and military leaders still supported a second invasion, seeing it as a way to protect the right flank of the advance from Normandy from possible attack by German forces in Italy. The two Allied spearheads would eventually link up to form an unbroken Allied front across France. The southern invasion would capture major French ports, particularly Marseilles, to help land supplies. From an important political perspective, the southern invasion would allow Charles DeGaulle’s Free French troops to play a greater role in liberating their homeland. The British, however, particularly Prime Minister Winston Churchill, opposed Anvil—whose code name had been formally changed to Operation Dragoon. Churchill favored an attack through the Balkans or expanded support for the war in Italy, and he was politically motivated. The Italian campaign had an overall British commander and any attack into the Balkans would have a British commander. An American general would command in southern France until the force linked up with the main force from Normandy under General Dwight D. Eisenhower, also an American. Few British soldiers would


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