Operation Transfigure

This was an Allied unrealised plan to use Lieutenant General Lewis H. Brereton’s Allied 1st Airborne Army in a major operation against the road network in the French region of Orléans and Paris with the object of cutting the German lines of retreat across the Seine river (16/17 August 1944).

‘Transfigure’ would have involved Major General R. E. Urquhart’s British 1st Airborne Division, Major General E. Hakewill-Smith’s British 52nd Division, Major General Maxwell D. Taylor’s US 101st Airborne Division, and Generał brygady Stanisław Sosabowski’s Polish 1st Parachute Brigade in a major landing in the area of Rambouillet St Arnoult to close the gap between Orléans and Paris.

This was one of 16 such operations considered but not implemented by the Allied 1st Airborne Army, which had been created on 20 June 1944 to control Major General Matthew B. Ridgway’s US XVIII Airborne Corps (Major General James M. Gavin’s 82nd Airborne Division and Taylor’s 101st Airborne Division), Lieutenant General F. A. M. Browning’s British I Airborne Corps (Urquhart’s 1st Airborne Division, Major General R. N. Gale’s 6th Airborne Division, Sosabowski’s Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade, and Brigadier the Lord Lovat’s British 1st Special Service Brigade), and Hakewill-Smith’s British 52nd Division.