Ypres is a Belgian municipality in the province of West Flanders. Though the Dutch Ieper is the official name, the city's French name Ypres is most used in English; the municipality comprises the city of Ypres and the villages of Boezinge, Dikkebus, Hollebeke, Sint-Jan, Voormezele and Zuidschote. Together, they are home to about 34,900 inhabitants. During the First World War, Ypres was the centre of the Battles of Ypres between German and Allied forces. Ypres is an ancient town, known to have been raided by the Romans in the first century BC, it is first mentioned by name in 1066 and is named after the river Ieperlee on the banks of which it was founded. During the Middle Ages, Ypres was a prosperous Flemish city with a population of 40,000 in 1200 AD, renowned for its linen trade with England, mentioned in the Canterbury Tales; as the third largest city in the County of Flanders Ypres played an important role in the history of the textile industry. Textiles from Ypres could be found in the markets of Novgorod in Kievan Rus' in the early 12th century.
In 1241, a major fire ruined much of the old city. The powerful city was involved in important treaties and battles, including the Battle of the Golden Spurs, the Battle at Mons-en-Pévèle, the Peace of Melun, the Battle of Cassel; the famous Cloth Hall was built in the thirteenth century. During this time cats the symbol of the devil and witchcraft, were thrown off Cloth Hall because of the belief that this would get rid of evil demons. Today, this act is commemorated with a triennial Cat Parade through town. During the Norwich Crusade, led by the English bishop Henry le Despenser, Ypres was besieged from May to August 1383, until French relief forces arrived. After the destruction of Thérouanne, Ypres became the seat of the new Diocese of Ypres in 1561, Saint Martin's Church was elevated to cathedral. On 25 March 1678 Ypres was conquered by the forces of Louis XIV of France, it remained French under the treaty of Nijmegen, Vauban constructed his typical fortifications that can still be seen today.
In 1697, after the Treaty of Ryswick, Ypres was returned to the Spanish Crown. During the War of the Spanish Succession, the Duke of Marlborough in 1709 intended to capture Ypres, at the time a major French fortress, but changed his mind owing to the long time and effort it had taken him to capture Tournai and apprehension of disease spreading in his army in the poorly drained land around Ypres. In 1713 it was handed over to the Habsburgs, became part of the Austrian Netherlands. In 1782 the Habsburg Austrian Emperor Joseph II ordered parts of the walls torn down; this destruction, only repaired, made it easier for the French to capture the city in the 1794 Siege of Ypres during the War of the First Coalition. In 1850 the Ypresian Age of the Eocene Epoch was named on the basis of geology in the region by Belgian geologist André Hubert Dumont. Ypres had long been fortified to keep out invaders. Parts of the early ramparts, dating from 1385, still survive near the Rijselpoort. Over time, the earthworks were replaced by a partial moat.
Ypres was further fortified in the 17th and 18th centuries while under the occupation of the Habsburgs and the French. Major works were completed at the end of the 17th century by the French military engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban. Ypres occupied a strategic position during the First World War because it stood in the path of Germany's planned sweep across the rest of Belgium and into France from the north; the neutrality of Belgium, established by the First Treaty of London, was guaranteed by Britain. The German army surrounded the city on three sides. To counterattack, British and allied forces made costly advances from the Ypres Salient into the German lines on the surrounding hills. In the First Battle of Ypres, the Allies captured the town from the Germans; the Germans had used tear gas at the Battle of Bolimov on 3 January 1915. Their use of poison gas for the first time on 22 April 1915 marked the beginning of the Second Battle of Ypres, which continued until 25 May 1915, they captured high ground east of the town.
The first gas attack occurred against Canadian and French soldiers, including both metropolitan French soldiers as well as Senegalese and Algerian tirailleurs from French Africa. The gas used was chlorine. Mustard gas called Yperite from the name of this town, was used for the first time near Ypres, in the autumn of 1917. Of the battles, the largest, best-known, most costly in human suffering was the Third Battle of Ypres, in which the British, Canadian, ANZAC, French forces recaptured the Passchendaele Ridge east of the city at a terrible cost of lives. After months of fighting, this battle resulted in nearly half a million casualties to all sides, only a few miles of ground won by Allied forces. During the course of the war the town was all but obliterated by the artillery fire. English-speaking soldiers in that war referred to Ieper/Ypres by the deliberate mispronunciation Wipers. British soldiers published a wartime newspaper called the Wipers Times; the same style of deliberate mispronunciation was applied to other Flemish place names in the Ypres area for the benefit of British troops, such as Whyteshaete becoming White Sheet and Ploegsteert becomi
Battle of Verdun
The Battle of Verdun, fought from 21 February to 18 December 1916, the longest battle of the First World War was fought on the Western Front between the German and French armies. The battle took place on the hills north of Verdun-sur-Meuse in north-eastern France; the German 5th Army attacked the defences of the Fortified Region of Verdun and those of the French Second Army on the right bank of the Meuse. Inspired by the experience of the Second Battle of Champagne in 1915, the Germans planned to capture the Meuse Heights, an excellent defensive position with good observation for artillery-fire on Verdun; the Germans hoped that the French would commit their strategic reserve to recapture the position and suffer catastrophic losses in a battle of annihilation, at little cost to the Germans, dug in on tactically advantageous positions on the heights. Poor weather delayed the beginning of the attack until 21 February but the Germans captured Fort Douaumont in the first three days of the offensive.
The German advance slowed despite inflicting many French casualties. By 6 March, 20 1⁄2 French divisions were in the RFV and a more extensive defence in depth had been constructed. Pétain ordered that no withdrawals were to be made and that counter-attacks were to be conducted, despite the exposure of French infantry to German artillery-fire. By 29 March, French artillery on the west bank had begun a constant bombardment of German positions on the east bank, which caused many German infantry casualties. In March, the German offensive was extended to the left bank of the Meuse, to gain observation of the ground from which French artillery had been firing over the river; the Germans were able to advance at first but French reinforcements contained the attacks short of their objectives. In early May, the Germans changed tactics again and made local attacks and counter-attacks, which gave the French an opportunity to attack Fort Douaumont. Part of the fort was occupied until a German counter-attack ejected the French and took many prisoners.
The Germans tried alternating attacks either side in June captured Fort Vaux. The Germans continued towards the last geographical objectives of the original plan, at Fleury-devant-Douaumont and Fort Souville, driving a salient into the French defences. Fleury was captured and the Germans came within 4 km of the Verdun citadel. In July 1916, the German offensive was reduced to reinforce the Somme front and from 23 June to 17 August, Fleury changed hands sixteen times and an attack on Fort Souville failed; the German offensive was reduced further and deceptions to keep French reinforcements away from the Somme were tried. In August and December, French counter-offensives recaptured much of the ground lost on the east bank and recovered Fort Douaumont and Fort Vaux; the battle had lasted for the longest and one of the most costly in human history. In 2000, Hannes Heer and K. Naumann calculated 377,231 French and 337,000 German casualties, a total of 714,231, an average of 70,000 a month. In 2014, William Philpott wrote of 976,000 casualties in 1916 and 1,250,000 suffered around the city during the war.
After the German invasion of France had been halted at the First Battle of the Marne in September 1914, the war of movement ended at the Battle of the Yser and the First Battle of Ypres. The Germans built field fortifications to hold the ground captured in 1914 and the French began siege warfare to break through the German defences and recover the lost territory. In late 1914 and in 1915, offensives on the Western Front had failed to gain much ground and been costly in casualties. According to his memoirs written after the war, the Chief of the German General Staff, Erich von Falkenhayn, believed that although victory might no longer be achieved by a decisive battle, the French army could still be defeated if it suffered a sufficient number of casualties. Falkenhayn offered five corps from the strategic reserve for an offensive at Verdun at the beginning of February 1916 but only for an attack on the east bank of the Meuse. Falkenhayn considered it unlikely. After the war, the Kaiser and Colonel Tappen, the Operations Officer at Oberste Heeresleitung, wrote that Falkenhayn believed the last possibility was most likely.
By seizing or threatening to capture Verdun, the Germans anticipated that the French would send all their reserves, which would have to attack secure German defensive positions supported by a powerful artillery reserve. In the Gorlice–Tarnów Offensive, the German and Austro-Hungarian Armies attacked Russian defences frontally, after pulverising them with large amounts of heavy artillery. During the Second Battle of Champagne of 25 September – 6 November 1915, the French suffered "extraordinary casualties" from the German heavy artillery, which Falkenhayn considered offered a way out of the dilemma of material inferiority and the growing strength of the Allies. In the north, a British relief offensive would wear down British reserves, to no decisive effect but create the conditions for a German counter-offensive near Arras. Hints about Falkenhayn's thinking were picked up by Dutch military intelligence and passed on to the British in December; the German strategy was to create a favourable operational situation without a mass attack, costly and ineffective when it had been tried by the Franco-British, by relying on the power of heavy artiller
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U. S. history. As a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States; the loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery. Among the 34 U. S. states in February 1861, secessionist partisans in seven Southern slave states declared state secessions from the country and unveiled their defiant formation of a Confederate States of America in rebellion against the U. S. Constitutional government; the Confederacy grew to control over half the territory in eleven states, it claimed the additional states of Kentucky and Missouri by assertions from exiled native secessionists without territory or population.
These were given full representation in the Confederate Congress throughout the Civil War. The two remaining slave holding states of Delaware and Maryland were invited to join the Confederacy, but nothing substantial developed; the Confederate States was never diplomatically recognized by the government of the United States or by that of any foreign country. The states that remained loyal to the U. S. were known as the Union. The Union and the Confederacy raised volunteer and conscription armies that fought in the South over the course of four years. Intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 people dead, more than the number of U. S. military deaths in all other wars combined. The war ended when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. Confederate generals throughout the southern states followed suit. Much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed the transportation systems; the Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, four million black slaves were freed.
During the Reconstruction Era that followed the war, national unity was restored, the national government expanded its power, civil rights were granted to freed black slaves through amendments to the Constitution and federal legislation. In the 1860 presidential election, led by Abraham Lincoln, supported banning slavery in all the U. S. territories. The Southern states viewed this as a violation of their constitutional rights and as the first step in a grander Republican plan to abolish slavery; the three pro-Union candidates together received an overwhelming 82% majority of the votes cast nationally: Republican Lincoln's votes centered in the north, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas' votes were distributed nationally and Constitutional Unionist John Bell's votes centered in Tennessee and Virginia; the Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a plurality of the popular votes and a majority of the electoral votes nationally. He was the first Republican Party candidate to win the presidency.
However, before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies declared secession and formed the Confederacy. The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, with an average of 49 percent. Of those states whose legislatures resolved for secession, the first seven voted with split majorities for unionist candidates Douglas and Bell, or with sizable minorities for those unionists. Of these, only Texas held a referendum on secession. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession. Outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincoln's March 4, 1861, inaugural address declared that his administration would not initiate a civil war. Speaking directly to the "Southern States", he attempted to calm their fears of any threats to slavery, reaffirming, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists.
I believe I have no lawful right to do so, I have no inclination to do so." After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed and both sides prepared for war. The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on "King Cotton" that they would intervene, but none did, none recognized the new Confederate States of America. Hostilities began on April 1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter. While in the Western Theater the Union made significant permanent gains, in the Eastern Theater, the battle was inconclusive during 1861–1862. In September 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy much of its western armies, seized New Orleans; the successful 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lee's Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grant's command of all Union armies in 1864. Inflicting an ever-tightening naval blockade of Confederate ports, the Union marshaled the resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy from all directions, leading to the fall of Atlanta to William T. Sherman and his march to th
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
The Indian Army is the land-based branch and the largest component of Indian Armed Forces. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Army, it is commanded by the Chief of Army Staff, a four-star general. Two officers have been conferred with the rank of field marshal, a five-star rank, a ceremonial position of great honour; the Indian Army originated from the armies of the East India Company, which became the British Indian Army, the armies of the princely states, which became the national army after independence. The units and regiments of the Indian Army have diverse histories and have participated in a number of battles and campaigns across the world, earning a large number of battle and theatre honours before and after Independence; the primary mission of the Indian Army is to ensure national security and national unity, defending the nation from external aggression and internal threats, maintaining peace and security within its borders. It conducts humanitarian rescue operations during natural calamities and other disturbances, like Operation Surya Hope, can be requisitioned by the government to cope with internal threats.
It is a major component of national power alongside the Indian Air Force. The army has been involved in four wars with neighbouring one with China. Other major operations undertaken by the army include: Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot and Operation Cactus. Apart from conflicts, the army has conducted large peace time exercises like Operation Brasstacks and Exercise Shoorveer, it has been an active participant in numerous United Nations peacekeeping missions including those in: Cyprus, Congo, Cambodia, Namibia, El Salvador, Mozambique, South Sudan and Somalia; the Indian Army has a regimental system, but is operationally and geographically divided into seven commands, with the basic field formation being a division. It comprises more than 80 % of the country's active defence personnel, it is the 2nd largest standing army in the world, with 1,237,117 active troops and 960,000 reserve troops. The army has embarked on an infantry modernisation program known as Futuristic Infantry Soldier As a System, is upgrading and acquiring new assets for its armoured and aviation branches.
A Military Department was created within the Government of the East India Company at Kolkata in the year 1776. Its main function was to sift and record orders relating to the Army that were issued by various Departments of the East India Company for the territories under its control. With the Charter Act of 1833, the Secretariat of the Government of the East India Company was reorganised into four Departments, including a Military Department; the army in the Presidencies of Bengal and Madras functioned as respective Presidency Armies until 1 April 1895 when they were unified into a single Indian Army. For administrative convenience, it was divided into four commands at that point, namely Punjab, Bengal and Bombay; the British Indian Army was a critical force for the primacy of the British Empire both in India and across the world. Besides maintaining the internal security of the British Raj, the Army fought in many other theatres: the Anglo-Burmese Wars and Second Anglo-Sikh Wars, First and Third Anglo-Afghan Wars and Second Opium Wars in China and the Boxer Rebellion in China.
In the 20th century, the Indian Army was a crucial adjunct to the British forces in both world wars. 1.3 million Indian soldiers served in World War I with the Allies, in which 74,187 Indian troops were killed or missing in action. In 1915 there was a mutiny by Indian soldiers in Singapore; the United Kingdom made promises of self-governance to the Indian National Congress in return for its support but reneged on them after the war, following which the Indian Independence movement gained strength. The "Indianisation" of the British Indian Army began with the formation of the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College at Dehradun in March 1912 with the purpose of providing education to the scions of aristocratic and well-to-do Indian families, to prepare selected Indian boys for admission into the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Indian officers were given a King's commission after passing out and were posted to one of the eight units selected for Indianisation; because of the slow pace of Indianisation, with just 69 officers being commissioned between 1918 and 1932, political pressure was applied leading to the formation of the Indian Military Academy in 1932 and greater numbers of officers of Indian origin being commissioned.
In World War II Indian soldiers fought alongside the Allies. In 1939, British officials had no plan for expansion and training of Indian forces, which comprised about 130,000 men, their mission was internal security and defence against a possible Soviet threat through Afghanistan. As the war progressed, the size and role of the Indian Army expanded and troops were sent to battlefronts as soon as possible; the most serious problem was lack of equipment. Indian units served in Burma, where in 1944–45, five Indian divisions were engaged along with one British and three African divisions. Larger numbers operated in the Middle East; some 87,000 Indian soldiers died in the war. By the end of the war it had become the largest volunteer army in history, rising to over 2.5 million men in August 1945. In the African and Middle-Eastern Campaigns, captured Indian troops were given a choice to join the German Army to "liberate" India from Great
Battle of the Bulge
The Battle of the Bulge known as the Ardennes Counteroffensive, took place from 16 December 1944 to 25 January 1945, was the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II. It was launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in eastern Belgium, northeast France, Luxembourg, towards the end of the war in Europe; the offensive was intended to stop Allied use of the Belgian port of Antwerp and to split the Allied lines, allowing the Germans to encircle and destroy four Allied armies and force the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis powers' favor. The Germans achieved a total surprise attack on the morning of 16 December 1944, due to a combination of Allied overconfidence, preoccupation with Allied offensive plans, poor aerial reconnaissance. American forces bore the brunt of the attack and incurred their highest casualties of any operation during the war; the battle severely depleted Germany's armored forces, they were unable to replace them.
German personnel and Luftwaffe aircraft sustained heavy losses. The Germans had attacked a weakly defended section of the Allied line, taking advantage of overcast weather conditions that grounded the Allies' overwhelmingly superior air forces. Fierce resistance on the northern shoulder of the offensive, around Elsenborn Ridge, in the south, around Bastogne, blocked German access to key roads to the northwest and west that they counted on for success. Columns of armor and infantry that were supposed to advance along parallel routes found themselves on the same roads. This, terrain that favored the defenders, threw the German advance behind schedule and allowed the Allies to reinforce the thinly placed troops; the furthest west the offensive reached was the village of Foy-Nôtre-Dame, south east of Dinant, being stopped by the British 21st Army Group on 24 December 1944. Improved weather conditions permitted air attacks on German forces and supply lines, which sealed the failure of the offensive.
In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left depleted of men and equipment, as survivors retreated to the defenses of the Siegfried Line. The Germans' initial attack involved 410,000 men; these were reinforced a couple of weeks bringing the offensive's total strength to around 450,000 troops, 1,500 tanks and assault guns. Between 63,222 and 98,000 of these men were killed, wounded in action, or captured. For the Americans, out of a peak of 610,000 troops, 89,000 became casualties out of which some 19,000 were killed; the "Bulge" was the largest and bloodiest single battle fought by the United States in World War II and the second deadliest battle in American history. After the breakout from Normandy at the end of July 1944 and the Allied landings in southern France on 15 August 1944, the Allies advanced toward Germany more than anticipated; the Allies were faced with several military logistics issues: troops were fatigued by weeks of continuous combat supply lines were stretched thin supplies were dangerously depleted.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower and his staff chose to hold the Ardennes region, occupied by the U. S. First Army; the Allies chose to defend the Ardennes with as few troops as possible due to the favorable terrain and limited Allied operational objectives in the area. They had intelligence that the Wehrmacht was using the area across the German border as a rest-and-refit area for its troops; the speed of the Allied advance coupled with an initial lack of deep-water ports presented the Allies with enormous supply problems. Over-the-beach supply operations using the Normandy landing areas, direct landing ships on the beaches, were unable to meet operational needs; the only deep-water port the Allies had captured was Cherbourg on the northern shore of the Cotentin peninsula and west of the original invasion beaches, but the Germans had wrecked, mined, the harbor before it could be taken. It took many months to rebuild its cargo-handling capability; the Allies captured the port of Antwerp intact in the first days of September, but it was not operational until 28 November.
The estuary of the Schelde river, that controlled access to the port, had to be cleared of both German troops and naval mines. These limitations led to differences between General Eisenhower and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, commander of the Anglo-Canadian 21st Army Group, over whether Montgomery or Lieutenant General Omar Bradley, commanding the U. S. 12th Army Group, in the south would get priority access to supplies. German forces remained in control of several major ports on the English Channel coast until the end of the war in May 1945; the Allies' efforts to destroy the French railway system prior to D-Day, were successful. This destruction hampered the German response to the invasion, but it proved hampering to the Allies, it took time to repair bridges. A trucking system nicknamed the Red Ball Express brought supplies to front-line troops, but used up five times as much fuel, to reach the front line near the Belgian border, as it delivered. By early October, the Allies had suspended major offensives to improve their supply lines and supply availability at the front.
Montgomery and Bradley both pressed for priority delivery of supplies to their respective armies so they could continue their individual lines of advance and maintain