Operation Axehead (i)

'Axehead' (i) 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.