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.
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.