D Day Dakotas 6th June 1944

From a leading aviation author, an excellent account of the contribution made by the iconic DC-3/Dakota/C-47 to the success of D-Day. This versatile transport aircraft was one of a handful of truly iconic aircraft to serve in WWII – Most Highly Recommended

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NAME: D Day Dakotas 6th June 1944
FILE: R2945
AUTHOR: Martin W Bowman
PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 335
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: World War Two, World War 2, World War II, WWII, Second World War, 
military aviation, transport aircraft, C-47, Dakota, D-Day, Operation Overlord, 
vertical insertion, paratroopers, freight, supplies drops, aviation icon

ISBN: 1-52674-615-8

IMAGE: B2945.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y26eka7u
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: From a leading aviation author, an excellent account of the 
contribution made by the iconic DC-3/Dakota/C-47 to the success of D-Day. This 
versatile transport aircraft was one of a handful of truly iconic aircraft to serve 
in WWII  –   Most Highly Recommended

If a single vehicle deployed during D-Day could claim to have been key to the 
success of this huge, complex and very risky operation, it is probably the Dakota. All 
of the amphibious landings of WWII saw high casualty rates and some came very 
close to being thrown back into the sea. The Normandy shores offered an equally 
risky prospect but by D-Day, the Allies had learned a great deal about landing troops 
onto a fortified beach where the defender held a considerable advantage. On the 
shore line, the troops had to fight ashore in the face of heavy fire from prepared 
positions but they were completely exposed with little opportunity to avoid the fire. 
To mitigate the risk, 'swimming' tanks were developed to provide some cover and 
heavy direct fire on enemy positions. Once ashore, the troops faced enormous risk in 
taking the bunkers and trenches to free the beaches for reinforcements and supplies 
to be landed at lower risk.

Once the enemy could see the armada of landing craft approaching, they could call 
for their own heavy reinforcements. If these arrived before the assault troops could 
clear the initial defences, it was highly likely that the ensuing bloodbath would see 
the invaders killed or captured and their reinforcements prevented from even landing. 
To increase their chances of success, the Allies employed some co-ordinated support. 
Heavy bombardment by naval guns and aircraft kept enemy heads down and inflicted 
damage on the defences. Two prefabricated harbours were towed across the Channel 
and placed in position to provide a much faster and easier path for the vital supplies 
and reinforcements needed for the next stages of the battle. Equally important was 
the laying of an underwater fuel pipeline, PLUTO, to provide the volume of fuel 
needed for all of the fighting and transport vehicles employed.

What made the significant difference beyond and, some might argue, above, was 
the fleet of transport aircraft and gliders that had taken airborne troops inland to 
seize and hold key bridges and transport links. These troops denied access to the 
defences for German reinforcements and co-ordinated with the French Resistance 
volunteers who were busy blowing rail track, tunnels and communications lines. 
They also ensured that when the break-out from the beaches began, the Allied 
armour and troops had bridges they could cross as they concluded the Battle of 
Normandy. Critical to this operation was the highly versatile Douglas DC-3/C-47 
Dakota. Further paradrops were carried out on or near the beaches to enable the 
landed troops and vehicles get off the beaches and through the coastal defences. In 
the case of the Americas bogged down on Omaha Beach attempting to survive and 
advance, a large paradrop was critical to them

The author has provided his usual highly readable text, very ably supported by a 
fine selection of images contained in photo-plate sections. The narrative combines 
extensive historical notes with personal accounts of those who fought. The Dakotas' 
contribution to victory is well told. This amazing aircraft not only survived its 
punishing tasks of WWII, but many are still flying and not only as historic war birds. 
Even more than seven decades on some have continued to haul freight and 
passengers for a living. The military C-47 has been flown in some of the more 
remote regions as cargo carriers and some, like those operated in Kenya by Sunbird 
Airlines, carried tourists between game reserves and towns. However, the many 
triumphs of this incredible aircraft will always be remembered for how they 
contributed to the success of D-Day and the liberation of Europe.