World War II, the European front was a raging battle between the allied forces and Nazi Germany. The battle for the liberation of France began on D-Day plus 49, 1944. The allied forces had not made progress into France as foreseen. Instead, one and a half million allied forces were stalled from just beyond the landing beaches and out into the English Channel. The stall occurred just north of St.-Lo where the Nazi's had dug into thick hedgerows and refused to budge.
On 21 July, ground commanders of the allied forces in France and allied air commanders from Great Britain met to discuss the plan to break through the Nazi resistance and move into France. This massive planned assault was to be called Cobra. The plan had a large deception ploy, which was the creation of an imaginary army in England. This massive, fictitious army was to be led by General George Patton. The preparations for the high-risk plan began the following day. All units would pull back, to reduce the risk of being struck by shorts. A short is when allied bombs are released early, striking allied positions. Sherman tanks were to be fitted with "tusk like" angle iron. The tusks purpose was to dig into the hedgerows, reducing exposure of the weak belly. Air commanders were to instruct all pilots to attack on a path parallel to the allied ground troops. This would put aircraft over hostile territory for a longer time but would reduce the amount of shorts falling on allied forces. Through the planning phase of operation Cobra, many positive ideas surfaced. The idea of the fictitious army was one of the most daring schemes the Army had ever tried. The plan was very high-risk because everything hinged Germans believing the fictitious army existed. It proved to be to their advantage to take these risks. I believe that in this point of time in the war, the risks were worth taking.
The kickoff to operation Cobra started on 24 July at exactly 1200.