Why did the Allies embark on an attack with so many disadvantages? Making extensive use of primary sources, Adrian Lewis traces the development of the doctrine behind the plan for the invasion of Normandy to explain why the battles for the beaches were fought as they were.
Although blame for the Omaha Beach disaster has traditionally been placed on tactical leaders at the battle site, Lewis argues that the real responsibility lay at the higher levels of operations and strategy planning. Ignoring lessons learned in the Mediterranean and Pacific theaters, British and American military leaders employed a hybrid doctrine of amphibious warfare at Normandy, one that failed to maximize the advantages of either British or U.S. doctrine. Had Allied forces at the other landing sites faced German forces of the quality and quantity of those at Omaha Beach, Lewis says, they too would have suffered heavy casualties and faced the prospect of defeat.
!--copy for pb reprint:BR"The fullest study of the planning for the cross-channel invasion we have. . . . No future student of Omaha Beach . . . will be able to ignore this book."--iNaval History/iBRBR"This clearly written, carefully argued and well-researched account offers a still-valid lesson in the importance of communication up and down the chain of command, and on bravery."--iPublishers Weekly/iBRBR"A major contribution to our understanding of the assault on Omaha Beach."--iJournal of Military History/iBRBRTracing the development of the doctrine behind the plan for the invasion of Normandy, Adrian Lewis reveals why the battles for the beaches were fought as they were. He examines the decisions made at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels as well as the personalities of and relationships between key decision makers to explain how the plan for swift victory at Omaha Beach went terribly wrong and turned into the bloodiest of the Allied invasions.BR--
A brief, yet complete history of the Allied campaign for the liberation of Europe from the Normandy invasion to the surrender of Germany, this study describes not only what happened, but "why" it happened. While an enormous amount has been written about this campaign, most of it focuses upon a single army or an individual battle. This book stresses a true inter-Allied and all arms approach with a balance of both strategy and tactics; accounts of effort by land, sea, air forces; as well as the strong influence of logistics. Levine deals extensively with the German side, particularly morale issues, and he includes the role played by Canadian forces--a topic usually neglected in American accounts.
Rapid changes in warfare rendered the character of the battles of 1944-1945 quite different from battles earlier in the war, and Levine finds that old-fashioned fortifications often had an unexpected and formidable impact on the fighting. Logistics played a central role in the struggle, and supply problems would continuously plague the U.S. Army during this campaign. Levine considers whether the war could have been won in 1944, and he discusses the lost opportunities on both sides. Casting new light on some familiar subjects and recounting many neglected issues, this book places the campaign within the larger context of European events in both the east and the Mediterranean.
Newly in print for the first time in years, this is the classic story of the invasion of Normandy, and a book that endures as a masterpiece of living history. A compelling tale of courage and heroism, glow and tragedy, The Longest Day painstakingly recreates the fateful hours that preceded and followed the massive invasion of Normandy to retell the story of an epic battle that would turn the tide against world fascism and free Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany.
For this new edition of The Longest Day, the original photographs used in the first 1959 edition have been reassembled and painstakingly reproduced, and the text has been freshly reset. Here is a book that is a must for any follower of history, as well as for anyone who wants to better understand how free nations prevailed at a time when darkness enshrouded the earth.
On 6 June 1944, Allied forces stormed the beaches at Normandy. The invasion followed several years of argument and planning by Allied leaders, who remained committed to a return to the European continent after the Germans had forced the Allies to evacuate at Dunkirk in May 1940. Before the spring of 1944, however, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other British leaders remained unconvinced that the invasion was feasible. At the Teheran Conference in November 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill promised Josef Stalin that Allied troops would launch Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy, in the spring. Because of their continuing concerns about Overlord, the British convinced the Americans to implement a cover plan to help ensure the invasion's success. The London Controlling Section (LCS) devised an elaborate two-part plan called Operation Fortitude that SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force) helped to fine tune and that both British and American forces implemented
Historians analyzing the Normandy invasion frequently devote some discussion to Operation Fortitude. Although they admit that Fortitude North did not accomplish all that the Allied deception planners had hoped, many historians heap praise on Fortitude South, using phrases such as, unquestionably the greatest deception in military history. Many of these historians assume that the deception plan played a crucial role in the June 1944 assault. A reexamination of the sources suggests, however, that other factors contributed as much, if not more, to the Allied victory in Normandy and that Allied forces could have succeeded without the elaborate deception created by the LCS. Moreover, the persistent tendency to exaggerate the operational effect of Fortitude on the German military performance at Normandy continues to draw attention away from other, technical-military reasons for the German failures there.
'Operation Neptune' was the codename for the naval component of the invasion of France in June 1944. The complete invasion codename was 'Operation Overlord', and 'Neptune' was therefore phase one of a much bigger plan. Nevertheless, the task of safely landing 160,000 men with all of the supporting equipment was an operation on an unprecedented scale. The operation, planned by a team under Lieutenant-General Frederick Morgan, was the largest amphibious invasion in world history and was executed by land, sea, and air elements under direct British command with over 160,000 troops landing on 6 June 1944. Of these, 73,000 were American troops, 61,715 British and 21,400 Canadian. To achieve the successful landings, 195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5,000 ships were involved. The invasion required the transport of soldiers and material from England by troop-laden aircraft and ships, the assault landings, air support, naval interdiction of the English Channel and naval fire-support. The landings took place along a 50-mile stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. The planning required for such a mammoth undertaking was vast, and all to be maintained under the strictest secrecy. The fact that the Germans were caught by surprise is incredible, and a great debt of gratitude is owed to the men and women who worked so hard to bring off the greatest sea-borne invasion in history. This book, written only one year after the invasion by a senior British naval officer who was closely involved, provides the detail behind the conception, planning and successful execution of 'Neptune'.