North West Europe Campaign

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The North West Europe Campaign was the name given by the British Commonwealth armed forces to the two land campaigns they fought on the Western Front during World War II.

In Commonwealth military history, "North-West Europe" refers to land, sea and air campaigns and operations in, over or near Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom during World War II. It includes many more specific campaigns and/or battle honours.

The North-West Europe Campaign of 1940,[1] was part of the Battle of France, and was restricted to the Belgian and French Channel ports. During this campaign, the French Army was responsible for the rest of the Western Front from Luxembourg to Switzerland, much of which was defended by the Maginot Line. The first campaign ended for the British forces with the defeat of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and its evacuation from the beaches of Dunkirk.

Between 1940 and 1944, the Allied armies conducted coastal raids in German-Occupied Europe, the largest of which was the Dieppe raid of 1942.[2][3]

British Commonwealth air force units who served over Occupied Europe, between the fall of France and D-Day were awarded the battle honour "Fortress Europe 1940–1944."

The North-West Europe Campaign of 1944–1945,[4] was fought by the British Second Army and First Canadian Army as elements of the British 21st Army Group. The campaign started with the landings in Normandy and ended on 4 May 1945 with Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery taking the German military surrender of all German forces in the Netherlands, north west Germany and Denmark on Lüneburg Heath, (situated between the cities of Hamburg, Hanover and Bremen). As with the first campaign the British Commonwealth forces were on the northern flank of the Western Front. The Twelfth United States Army Group, was to their immediate south, further south still was the Sixth United States Army Group, (that was also known as the Southern Group of Armies as the French First Army was a constituent part)