Images of War, The Americans on D-Day & In Normandy, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives

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

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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

ISBN: 1-52674-396-5

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.