Operation Caliph

'Caliph' was an Allied unrealised plan to take the port of Bordeaux on the Gironde estuary of German-occupied south-western France using amphibious forces diverted from the Mediterranean theatre at the same time as or shortly after 'Overlord' (June/July 1944).

The rationale for such an undertaking was that it would open another front against the German forces, prevent the movement of German reserves in the central part of France either to the north against 'Overlord' or to the south against 'Anvil' (later 'Dragoon' ), and facilitate the support and supply of the local resistance forces and possibly a regional insurrection that might thus have been stimulated against the Germans.

Although the scheme, which had been mooted by Prime Minister Winston Churchill as early as February 1944, gathered a certain degree of approval, some of it from the US Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, more mature reflection suggested that it would require an amphibious assault capability (including as many as seven aircraft carriers for the provision of tactical air support) which would be better used elsewhere, and also need an airborne component that could not be provided.