Operation Axehead (i)

This was an Allied unrealised plan for the seizure of the ports of Le Havre and Rouen in northern France, and also the establishment of an air-head on the eastern bank of the Seine river (spring/summer 1944).

'Axehead' (i) was based on the use of Major General R. E. Urquhart’s British 1st Airborne Division, one Canadian infantry division and a substantial force of Sherman DD amphibious tanks supported by specialised engineer services to facilitate the crossings of the Dives, Touques, Risle and Seine rivers after a breakout from the lodgement to be secured in the forthcoming ‘Overlord’.

The plan was abandoned in mid-August 1944 as irrelevant at a time when the Allies were making so rapid an advance eastward across northern France.