The very popular Images of War series continues to expand with each book achieving a high standard but this is one that particularly stands out. The US force assembled for Operation Overlord was a significant number of ships, men and equipment with this new volume providing an outstanding selection of contemporary and modern images in photographic and map form. – Much Recommended
NAME: Images of War, The Americans on D-Day & In Normandy, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives FILE: R2786 AUTHOR: Brooke S Blades PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 252 PRICE: £15.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: US Army, Special Forces, Rangers, amphibious landings, D-Day, 1944, invasion of Europe, Liberation of Europe, WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, European Theatre, Normandie, intelligence, Atlantic Wall, D-Day preparations, airborne forces, gliders, paratroops, Omaha Beach
IMAGE: B2786.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ydajljhu LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The very popular Images of War series continues to expand with each book achieving a high standard but this is one that particularly stands out. The US force assembled for Operation Overlord was a significant number of ships, men and equipment with this new volume providing an outstanding selection of contemporary and modern images in photographic and map form. - Much Recommended The US was involved as a supplier of munitions and equipment from the beginning of WWII, continuing to supply Britain after the evacuation of the BEF from France. It then became progressively more involved at sea in escorting convoys to Britain. However, it took the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour to bring the US fully into the war and agree to making victory in Europe the first priority. By the beginning of 1944, a vast army had been transported to Britain to follow the North African landing with landings on the French coast. It was a mammoth operation with a number of beaches being allocated to each of the principal Allies and with artificial harbours being towed across to be assembled at the beachheads, with an undersea pipeline being brought ashore to supply the fuel needed for the host of vehicles. Before the harbour could become operational and the fuel start flowing, the first waves of assault troops had to come ashore and drive the Germans back from their prepared defences. The British and Canadians were ashore first and establishing their control of the German defences before heading inland to their next objectives. The Americans had a much tougher time at Omaha Beach and also inland where their glider and parachute troops were dropping to seize and hold key positions ready for the beach landers to pass through and onto the next objectives. This book provides an excellent graphic view of the American efforts. Over the years, historians have argued over what might have been and who let who down. The reality was that all beaches were tough nuts to crack and it was touch and go for the first twenty four hours. The British and Canadians were fully familiar with all of their specialist equipment and made initially very good progress until they came up against the 21st Panzers with SS Panzer elements and the Hitler Jungen that were reinforced with a number of other units including Luftwaffe heavy anti-aircraft batteries used in the anti-armour role. After facing complete disaster on the Omaha Beach, considerable bravery of individuals began to turn the tide. Once through the first defences, the US troops began to make good speed, prompting the Germans to move the 21st Panzers and their supporting elements West in an attempt to cut off the American spearhead and taking some pressure off the British and Canadian armour. As in all battles, there were many surprises on both sides, much confusion, reverses, triumphs but inevitably the Allied air superiority dealt with any remaining German strong points and attempts to counter attack. Much of the Allied intelligence was very good but there were deficiencies including the false information about the Pointe Du Hoc batteries assigned to the US Army Rangers. The basic situation was that there was much bravery and the Allies won through to begin the drive to Berlin. The set backs were part of the joys of war. US paratroops were dropped away from their intended drop zones and suffered casualties that might have been avoided had the troops landed as planned. Glider troops suffered crashes that took out some important personnel and equipment but the main area of controversy was in the Omaha sector. This will probably long be debated, but the British had built a family of special equipment that worked extremely well for them. The Mulberry Harbours were an outstanding success and ensured that the advancing troops were adequately supplied during the next critical stage from first landings as the troops broke out to advance through Normandy. The swimming tanks were launched as planned and almost all swam ashore to provide the essential close firepower in support of the infantry. Even the viscous storm that swept in and serious damaged the artificial harbours was unable to defeat the technology and repairs rapidly got the supply volumes back to target levels. The US were unlucky initially and some of that was a result of not deploying British supplied special equipment. Swimming tanks were launched too early for Omaha Beach and most of them foundered before they could even reach shore, mostly with the loss of their crews, leaving the first wave troops exposed and pinned down in the surf to the point where some senior commanders urged their evacuation. The Rangers suffered heavy casualties assaulting Pointe Du Hoc only to find that the intelligence was wrong and the bunkers were yet to receive their guns. Had that been known, the Rangers could have been reassigned to the Omaha Beach and might have helped get the situation turned around faster. However, the courage and persistence of all the Allied troops was exemplary and the achievement of all set objectives meant success. The author has supported the usual fine selection of images with well-researched text in introduction, explanation and in captioning. Another very successful addition to a fine series of books on military history.