The Battle of the Bulge began on this day in 1944

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European Theater of Operations

Common clues: WWII arena; DDE's command; Ike's WWII domain; DDE bailiwick; WWII theater; 1944 initials; '40s arena; Ike's domain; Zone for DDE

Crossword puzzle frequency: 4 times a year

Video: WW2 – Eisenhower and Churchill: The Partnership That Saved the World

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

The European Theater of Operations, or ETO, was the term used by the United States in World War II to refer to all US military activity in Europe which fell under the administrative command of "European Theater of Operations, United States Army" (ETOUSA). From February 1944 the operational command was the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) which as an Allied command also had operational control of British and all other allied land forces and tactical air forces in the European theatre.

The term European Theater of Operations should not be confused with the European Theatre of World War II which is often defined to include the years before the US entered the war, the Italian campaign, the European Strategic Bombing Campaign, the European Eastern Front, all of the European Western Front in 1944 and 1945, as well and other actions which did not involve the use of American forces.

Because Dwight Eisenhower held positions in the ETO and the North African Theater of Operations (NATO) here is a brief explanation of that theatre. Operation Torch, the landings in North Africa, were referred to as occurring in the North African Theater of Operations and then later (December 10, 1944), when the theater was redefined to include Italy, as the Mediterranean Theater of Operations or MTO. US forces in that theatre were initially under the administrative command of NATOUSA which was redesignated MTOUSA. They were under the operational command of Allied (Expeditionary) Forces Headquarters AFHQ.

Albert Coady Wedemeyer was chief author of the Victory Program, published 3 months before the U.S. entered the war in 1941, and it advocated the defeat of the German armies on the European continent. When the U.S. entered the war, after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the U.S. declared war on both Germany and Japan, a modified version of his plan was adopted by President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Under the German first policy, the plan was expanded to include the blue print for the Normandy landings.

Until SHEAF was operational ETOUSA liaised closely with the British in the planning and organizing of Operation Overlord.

  • Normandy Campaign June 6, 1944 - July 24, 1944

  • Northern France Campaign July 25, 1944 - September 14, 1944

  • Southern France Campaign

  • Rhineland Campaign

    • Lorraine Campaign (unofficial) September 1, 1944 - December 18, 1944

  • Ardennes-Alsace Campaign December 16, 1944 - January 25, 1945 ("Battle of the Bulge")

  • Central Europe Campaign March 22, 1945 - May 11, 1945

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "European Theater of Operations".