The London Gazette, December 31st 1946 - Supplement

92 SUPPLEMENT to the LONDON GAZETTE, 2 JANUARY, 1947 SH AEF Command Post, moved to the Ports­mouth area. The operations staff at AEAh had still perforce, to remain at Stanmore and Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force Main together with AEAF planners, who formed part of the combined planning staff of Supreme Headquarters, continued to work at Bushy Park. Later, a further echelon of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force Main, i.e., Forward SHAEF, which in­cluded the operations staff and planners of Supreme Headquarters with its AEAF com­plement moved also to the Portsmouth area. This arrangement obviously simplified the co­ordination of Army and Naval operations and plans at the Commanders-in-Chief level, but my own difficulties were proportionally aggra­vated as a result of these moves of Main Head­quarters. 546. Only when the various Headquarters were setup at Julouville in Normandy, did the co-ordination of operations and planning become smooth and easy, although the value derived from all the principals being so closely related geographically was unfortunately to some extent negatived by lack of adequate communications between Main Headquarters and Operational Commands. 547. In my view one of the major lessons learned from "Overlord ”is that the staffs of the Supreme Commander and of the Air, Naval and Land Commanders-in-Chief if created, should be located very close together during both the planning and the execution stages, and this principle should beheld to be inviolate in order to achieve this the Services must be prepared to make sacrifices. 548. The communication aspect is all im­portant and particularly must communication facilities be adequate for the conduct of air operations which will almost invariably have lo commence weeks and possibly months before those of Land and possibly Naval operations. The latter factor is, I suggest, one which must have the fullest possible consideration when determining the location of the Headquarters of the Commanders-in-Chief. Even at the lower Staff levels it is essential for sound planning and development of operations that the staffs of the three Services should be within easy transporta­tion distance of each other, and I will go so far as to recommend within walking distance of each other. .549. Finally, on the more tactical plane, it is essential to have in the field an operational co-ordinating organisation, similar to A .E.A .F. Advanced Headquarters (which was fully mobile), which can keep in touch atone end and at the same time with army headquarters and headquarters of air formations in the for­ward areas and with the main operational air headquarters in rear. Particularly is this re­quired for the planning of operations in which heavy bombers are used in a tactical role. Only in this way can the bomber forces involved be adjusted smoothly to such alterations in the plan as maybe dictated, often at very short notice, by changes in weather and/or in the ground situation. PRINTED AND PUBLISHED B Y HIS M AJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE To be purchased directly from H.M. STATIONERY OFFICE at the following addresses: York House, Kingsway, London, W .C.2 13a Castle Street, Edinburgh 239-41 King Street, Manchester 2 1 St. Andrew’s Crescent, Cardiff 80 Chichester Street, Belfast or through any bookseller I 947 Price Sixpence net S.O. Code No. 65'37S38
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