In planning Operation Overlord, the invasion of France and the breaching of the Atlantic Wall, Allied planners had two primary choices for the target of their assault; the Normandy and Pas-de-Calais regions.

Located across a short stretch of the English Channel near Dover, England, the Pas-de-Calais region would provide the quickest route to France, as well as providing a more direct overland route to Germany itself. Believing that the Allies were more likely to invade at Pas-de-Calais, and having fallen victim to various subterfuge operations, the Germans placed significant forces in and around the region.

Normandy was chosen because of the German buildup at Pas-de-Calais, and because of the availability of ports such as Cherbourg, Le Havre and Brest.

The Normandy (Normandie) region is comprised of the Manche, Calvados, Orne, Eure, and Seine-Maritime departments.