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Where and When?

That the invasion would be launched from Britain seemed obvious, once a plan to attack from the Mediterranean had been dropped, but where exactly should the invasion force land? It had to be somewhere with a suitable shoreline, within easy reach of fighter cover from British airfields and adjacent to ports that could be used to maintain supplies.

The area between Calais and Boulogne was favoured because the sea route was shortest, but the planners also looked at the Belgian coastline and the bay of the river Seine, in the west. This last was finally accepted in June 1943.

The question of when the invasion should take place was subject to all sorts of considerations but a tentative date of May 1944 had been agreed in May 1943, subject to the proviso that, if the situation on the Continent changed dramatically before then, a force of some sort must be available to intervene.

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