A ridge 1.6 miles (2.6 km) to the east of the town was the final objective; it was believed that the appearance of British armour in Panzerlehr's rear, occupying high ground and cutting important lines of communication, would compel the Panzer-Lehr-Division to withdraw or surrender and thus keep operations fluid.
After returning to the North Sea on 23 October, König Albert served as the flagship for a force of heavy ships, including Kaiserin, Nassau, Rheinland, and the battlecruiser Derfflinger, supporting a mine-sweeping operation in the German Bight.
Chester Wilmot states that the operation was intended to draw the I SS Panzer Corps and the newly arrived II SS Panzer Corps into battle around Caen and Hart notes that Montgomery wanted to keep the operational and strategic initiative to prevent German armoured forces either being redeployed to face the Americans or being relieved and passed into reserve.
For the attack on Pearl Harbor, Kaga carried a total of 18 Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters, 27 Nakajima B5N torpedo bombers and 27 Aichi D3A dive bombers, plus three crated aircraft of each type for the operation.
German commanders immediately protested that such an operation was impossible given their remaining resources but these objections were overruled and the counter-offensive, codenamed Operation Lüttich, commenced on 7 August around Mortain.