ITHE I INVASION 111 By Capt Bernard Acworth 36 HOURS' ago, as I write, the
strategical plans and preparations of four years were translated
into action. 4,000 ships and thousands of small craft carried Allied armies back to Western Europe. Thousands of tons of high explosives and glassed naval guns and bombers crashed on French soil. The sky was dense with aircraft ; gliders and 'transport planes dropped, it is reported, four divisions of troops into the battle arena. The Allied assault took almost exactly the form anticipated, but the enemy's reaction did not. So far as can be gathered at present the first waves of invasion were almost completely unopposed, as during the past week our bomber flights and fighter escorts met no resistance. What does this non-resistance pore be, as Mr. Churchill suggests, tthenaIdtt?may our
first stroke ha been the tactical surprise on the grand scale. s On the other hand it may be, as for some weeks I have suggested and anticipated, that Hitler's plan is to make the desert which our bombers have created in Northern France an arena for the final battle between AngloSaxons arid Teutons.
If such is Hitler's plan, we must expect to see determined German resistance to Allied possession of any major port, and little, if any, to the landing of troops and equipment until those landed have reached the maximum proportion with which the enemy believes he can deal effectively. Then, and not till then, should we expect to see a full scale attack on our sea communications and on our ports in England. But as I have so often said before, day to day events Will he the be.st interpreters of German plans and of our own. The ht I can do In these first hours of the great adventure is to suggest the following points upon which I think we should tlx OUT attention, and in the following order of importance:
(a) The inevitable struggle for one or more major ports. The possession of ports is vital.
(b) The barometer. The weather is almost as influential in the early stages as General Eisenhower himself.
(c) Opposition, or otherwise, to the beach landing.
(d) New landings. This landing may be a fake, albiet on the grand scale. (e) Reaction of the French to the invasion.
Events on the Russian front,
Though this is, perhaps, the most important factor of all, I put it last because, like the barometer, we can. not control it. We have faith hi a great Russian offensive, but our invasion adventure must be capable of ultimate justification, not by faith but by Anglo-American works. By next week many of these points will have been elucidated by events.