The Forgotten Dead, The true story of Exercise Tiger, the disastrous rehearsal for D-Day

This book is a fitting memorial to a terrible tragedy. The loss of almost 1,000 Allied soldiers training for D-Day has generated controversy and this book demonstrates thorough research into the tragic event in a review that lifts the story from relative obscurity – Strongly Recommended.


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NAME: The Forgotten Dead, The true story of Exercise Tiger, the 
disastrous rehearsal for D-Day
FILE: R2692
AUTHOR: Ken Small
PUBLISHER: Osprey Publishing
BINDING: soft back
PAGES:  250
PRICE: £9.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Exercise Tiger, Operation Overlord, WWII, World War II, 
World War Two, World War 2, Second World war, training exercise, 
dress rehearsal, amphibious landings, US Forces, S-Boote, E-Boats, 
Utah Beach, Normandy, D-Day

ISBN: 978-1-447-25115-6

IMAGE: B2692.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/yaaftd9t
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: This book is a fitting memorial to a terrible tragedy. 
The loss of almost 1,000 Allied soldiers training for D-Day has 
generated controversy and this book demonstrates thorough research 
into the tragic event in a review that lifts the story from 
relative obscurity  – Strongly Recommended.
There is a useful photo-plate section in support of a very readable 
text. This is an updated edition of a work first published 1988.

One of the necessary costs of any rehearsal for a major military 
engagement is real casualties. The cost is painful for those lost or 
injured and for their friends, comrades and families, but the 
rehearsal will also have saved lives in the actual  military action. 
This was true of Exercise Tiger, which was a rehearsal for the US 
Forces who would be landing on Utah Beach on D-Day when the Germans 
almost succeeded in throwing them back into the sea. The great 
victory that was the Normandy landings has almost concealed the 
enormous risk taken to liberate Europe from German domination and 
oppression. Any force landing on a beach that is defended will always 
be at a disadvantage. This was certainly the potential for the D-Day 
landings. The Allies had to throw enough troops into the beachheads to 
cancel the advantage the Germans held. Delivering the numbers needed 
was a daunting task and a technical impossibility. To address this 
enormous obstacle to success, the Allies had to develop special 
technology and train raw troops. Even then, it was a close call that 
demanded great heroism and determination.

Exercise Tiger was designed to give a large force of untried US troops 
the experience and confidence to land on Utah Beach against a well dug 
in German force that would hold a significant potential advantage. 
This was a necessary and potentially risky exercise with soldiers who 
had not had previous experience of landing on a hostile beach under 
fire and many had received little more than basic training. To add to 
the challenges, the exercise had to be carried out at night and 
concealed from the enemy because it might betray the real target for 
the D-Day landings at a time when considerable efforts and ingenuity 
was being expended to convince the Germans that the real assault would 
be made at Calais.

Slapton Sands, Devon, was chosen for the training exercise because 
this beautiful stretch of Devon coast so closely resembles the 
Normandy beaches. What turned the exercise into a nightmare was that  
German S-Boats came across the flotilla of landing craft and escorts 
and caused havoc. At the time, the Allies had to conceal the disaster 
both to avoid damaging morale and perhaps more importantly to avoid 
betraying the details of D-Day planning to the Germans. After the war 
there was little appetite to make public the disaster that cost 
nearly 1,000 lives and underlined the vulnerability of landing craft 
to enemy surface vessels. However, the event provided important 
lessons and ensured that every possible effort was made to minimize 
the loses on D-Day.

Ken Small unearthed the details  which officials were keen to keep 
buried. When the book was first published it immediately became a 
best seller. Ken sadly died from cancer in 2004 after a long battle 
and this revised edition also serves as a memorial to his tireless 
efforts to uncover this important story. He also found and recovered 
from the sea a Sherman tank, purchasing it from the US Government 
for $50 and making it a memorial to the tragedy of Exercise Tiger.