Civil Affairs and its more robust sibling, Military Government, were militaryorganisations designed to ensure that basic civil order and welfare weremaintained in those allied and enemy states encountered on operations duringthe Second World War. In so doing, they enabled formation commanders tofocus on defeating enemy forces without being distracted by possible civilianproblems. Using the battle of Normandy as a case study, this research assessesthe utility of Civil Affairs in supporting military needs during operations. Thiscontrasts with previous studies that concentrate on aspects of social anddiplomatic history. If the need for Civil Affairs was generally axiomatic, there was much debate as tothe extent and method of delivery required. Civil Affairs quickly recognised thatin dealing with direct problems such as?disorganisation, disease and unrest? itwas necessary for seemingly indirect aspects of civilian life to be maintained. Various forms of bureaucratic friction resulted and several Civil Affairsapproaches were used, before the model for the North West Europe campaignwas agreed. Nevertheless, the organisation employed in Normandy wasarguably the most extensive and best prepared of the war. However, it also hadto deal with many different civilian problems and in trying militarycircumstances. Consequently, the battle is fertile ground for the examination ofthe extent and nature of the organisation?s operational utility. Using primary and secondary sources, this paper argues that Civil Affairs wasmilitarily both useful and necessary. Furthermore, it was able to provide widerdiplomatic and political benefits as well as serving core military needs. Theresearch concludes by acknowledging that whilst mistakes were made, thevarious improvements made to Civil Affairs in preparation for, together with thelessons learnt during, Normandy stood the organisation in good stead for thesignificantly larger problems encountered later in the war.