By Michael D. Hull August 1944 saw a rosy mood of optimism and self-deception sweep through the Allied high command in France as a result of the sudden, dramatic end to the campaign in Normandy. There were some short-sighted souls who perceived that the European war was virtually over, with the German Army retreating in apparent disarray after suffering nearly 450,000 casualties. But the premature celebrants at SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) were overlooking the fact

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