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--
'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'.