Tag Archives: Normandy

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge – and pray God we have not lost it – that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt… Ronald Reagan

Photo shows General Eisenhower talking with American paratroopers on the evening of June 5, 1944, as they prepared for the Battle of Normandy. The men are part of Company E, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, at the 101st Airborne Division's camp in Greenham Common, England.

Photo shows General Eisenhower talking with American paratroopers on the evening of June 5, 1944, as they prepared for the Battle of Normandy. The men are part of Company E, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, at the 101st Airborne Division’s camp in Greenham Common, England.

Normandy crucible : the decisive battle that shaped World War II in Europe  John Prados  New York : NAL Caliber, c 2011  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xiii, 320 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.  Includes bibliographical references (p. 297-307) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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Assault landing. One of the first waves at Omaha. The Coast Guard caption identifies the unit as Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division.

The Battle of Normandy was the greatest offensive campaign the world had ever seen. Millions of soldiers struggling for the control of Europe were thrust onto the front lines of a massive war unlike any experienced in history. But this greatest of clashes would prove to be the crucible in which the outcome of World War II would be decided.

FIRST WAVE AT OMAHA: THE ORDEAL OF THE BLUE AND GRAY Omaha Beach, D-Day, June 6, 1944 Behind them was a great invasion armada and the powerful sinews of war. But in the first wave of assault troops of the 29th (Blue and Gray) Infantry Division, it was four rifle companies landing on a hostile shore at H-hour, D-Day - 6:30 a.m., on June 6, 1944. The long-awaited liberation of France was underway. After long months in England, National Guardsmen from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia found themselves in the vanguard of the Allied attack. In those early hours on the fire-swept beach the 116th Infantry Combat Team, the old Stonewall Brigade of Virginia, clawed its way through Les Moulins draw toward its objective, Vierville-sur-Mer. It was during the movement from Les Moulins that the battered but gallant 2d Battalion broke loose from the beach, clambered over the embankment, and a small party, led by the battalion commander, fought its way to a farmhouse which became its first Command Post in France. The 116th suffered monre than 800 casualties this day - a day which will long be remembered as the beginning of the Allies' "Great Crusade" to rekindle the lamp of liberty and freedom on the continent of Europe.

FIRST WAVE AT OMAHA: THE ORDEAL OF THE BLUE AND GRAY
Omaha Beach, D-Day, June 6, 1944 Behind them was a great invasion armada and the powerful sinews of war. But in the first wave of assault troops of the 29th (Blue and Gray) Infantry Division, it was four rifle companies landing on a hostile shore at H-hour, D-Day – 6:30 a.m., on June 6, 1944. The long-awaited liberation of France was underway. After long months in England, National Guardsmen from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia found themselves in the vanguard of the Allied attack. In those early hours on the fire-swept beach the 116th Infantry Combat Team, the old Stonewall Brigade of Virginia, clawed its way through Les Moulins draw toward its objective, Vierville-sur-Mer. It was during the movement from Les Moulins that the battered but gallant 2d Battalion broke loose from the beach, clambered over the embankment, and a small party, led by the battalion commander, fought its way to a farmhouse which became its first Command Post in France. The 116th suffered monre than 800 casualties this day – a day which will long be remembered as the beginning of the Allies’ “Great Crusade” to rekindle the lamp of liberty and freedom on the continent of Europe.

It began on D-Day. June 6, 1944 – the day that the Allied Forces launched Operation Overlord: the great crusade to free Europe from the iron grip of Nazi Germany. But only when the troops were ashore did the real battle begin.

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Photo taken on D+2, after relief forces reached the Rangers at Point Du Hoc. The American flag had been spread out to stop fire of friendly tanks coming from inland. Some German prisoners are being moved in after capture by the relieving forces.

With Nazi defenders marshaling to stop the invaders, Hitler and his generals schemed to counterattack. Tightly constricted hedgerow country and bitter German resistance held the Allied advance to a crawl. Suddenly the Allies broke through and trapped the Nazi armies. Yet within weeks of this stunning disaster, the Germans smashed the most dangerous Allied offensive yet.

A group of paratroopers in a French village at St. Marcouf, Utah Beach, France. From here they will move on into the continent, accomplishing their assigned objectives. 8 June 1944.

A group of paratroopers in a French village at St. Marcouf, Utah Beach, France. From here they will move on into the continent, accomplishing their assigned objectives. 8 June 1944.

How was this possible? In Normandy Crucible, noted author John Prados offers a penetrating account that reframes the Normandy breakout to answer that question. For the first time he melds intelligence into the combat narrative. Shifting between battle action and command decisions on both sides, Normandy Crucible shows in fascinating detail how this campaign molded the climactic battle for Europe.

Evacuating Wounded Soldiers England, World War II Harrison Standley, 1944 Stretcher bearers of a medical battalion carry a casualty from the hold of an LST to a waiting ambulance which will take them to a nearby field hospital. The LST had just returned from Normandy bringing about 300 ambulatory casualties and about 30 stretcher cases. Seamen from the LST's and soldiers about to embark for France watch with interest. On board the evacuating LST's the cases are cared for by Navy medical personnel, June 1944.

Evacuating Wounded Soldiers England, World War II Harrison Standley, 1944 Stretcher bearers of a medical battalion carry a casualty from the hold of an LST to a waiting ambulance which will take them to a nearby field hospital. The LST had just returned from Normandy bringing about 300 ambulatory casualties and about 30 stretcher cases. Seamen from the LST’s and soldiers about to embark for France watch with interest. On board the evacuating LST’s the cases are cared for by Navy medical personnel, June 1944.

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Comments Off on The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge – and pray God we have not lost it – that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt… Ronald Reagan

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The future battle on the ground will be preceded by battle in the air. This will determine which of the contestants has to suffer operational and tactical disadvantages and be forced throughout the battle into adoption compromise solutions… Erwin Rommel

The old adage is that you must do the sum to prove it and Rommel’s is a clear case. He is one the one hand describing the initial German victories of the Second World War and, on the other, describing the recipe for their defeat from 1944 through 1945. These two books cover both the beginning and the end and since most of the operations in between may be considered transitional give a full and complete account as most who are concerned with understanding tank warfare need. Both books are excellent and give an introduction to what shock and awe should be.

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Lightning war : Blitzkrieg in the west, 1940  Ronald Powaski  Hoboken, N.J. : J. Wiley & Sons, c 2003  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xi, 388 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 361-374) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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In Lightning War, historian Ronald Powaski tells the dramatic story of the German defeat of the Allies in northern France and the Low Countries in 1940. This is the first book to cover the campaign as a whole, examining the issues from all sides – those of the French, British, German, and other involved nations. From the Battle of the Meuse to the German drive to the English Channel, from the Weygand Plan to Operation Dynamo, Powaski relates the events through the eyes of the generals, politicians, and servicemen who witnessed and forever shaped a new way of war.

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Fighting the breakout : the German Army in Normandy from COBRA to the Falaise Gap  Rudolf-Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff … [et al.] ; edited by David C. Isby  London : Greenhill ; Mechanicsburg, PA : Stackpole Books, 2004  Hardcover. 255 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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This fascinating volume charts the progress of the Allied breakout of Normandy through German eyes. Beginning with Operation COBRA and ending with the offensive which led to the liberation of Paris, this critical phase of the war in the west is examined and described by senior German officers. These, from staff officers at OKW to divisional generals on the ground, critique their performance, examine Allied efforts, and evaluate their own efforts to contain Allied forces in Normandy.

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They look at such key events as the counter-attack at Mortain, the American offensive, British and Canadian efforts and the sequence of events that led to the fighting around the Falaise gap. The German officers originally submitted the reports presented here to Allied intelligence efforts as part of post-war debriefing sessions.

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The current volume, which follows on from Fighting the Invasion and Fighting in Normandy, consists of carefully selected and edited material. Fighting the Breakout gives a broad picture of German hopes balanced with the realisation that they could not hope to contain the Allied efforts for long. With supplementary material by David C. Isby, Fighting the Breakout is a fascinating glimpse into how a defeated army sought hard to turn the tide of defeat.

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Comments Off on The future battle on the ground will be preceded by battle in the air. This will determine which of the contestants has to suffer operational and tactical disadvantages and be forced throughout the battle into adoption compromise solutions… Erwin Rommel

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A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week… George S. Patton

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Operation Fortitude : the story of the spy operation that saved D-Day  Joshua Levine  London : Collins, 2011  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing.  316 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ; 23 cm.  Includes bibliographical references and index.  Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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Operation Fortitude was the ingenious web of deception spun by the Allies to mislead the Nazis as to how and where the D-Day landings were to be mounted.  The story of how this web was woven is one of intrigue, personal drama, ground-breaking techniques, internal resistance, and good fortune. It is a tale of double agents, black radio broadcasts, phantom armies, ‘Ultra’ decrypts, and dummy parachute drops. These diverse tactics were intended to come together to create a single narrative so compelling that it would convince Adolf Hitler of its authenticity.

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Operation Fortitude was intended to create the false impression that the Normandy landings were merely a feint to disguise a massive forthcoming invasion by this American force in the Pas de Calais. In other words, the success of D-Day was made possible by the efforts of men and women who were not present on the Normandy beaches.

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Men such as Sefton Delmer, the creator of black propaganda, whose team of journalists, academics, German prisoners of war and Jewish refugees ran fake radio broadcasts to Germany with the cunning misinformation.

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Men such as Juan Pujol, a Spanish double-agent (code-name GARBO) who sent hundreds of wireless messages from London to Madrid in the build-up to D-Day relaying supposed intelligence from his fictitious spy network. This allowed the enemy to conclude that the number of Allied divisions preparing to invade was twice the actual number.

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Men such as R.V Jones, the head of British Scientific Intelligence, who masterminded the dropping of tinfoil confetti from the bomb-bay doors of Lancaster bombers, creating a false impression that a flotilla of Allied ships was heading in the opposite direction to the genuine invasion fleet.

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Using first hand sources from a wide range of archives, government documents, letters and memos Operation Fortitude builds a picture of what wartime Britain was like, as well as the immense pressure these men and women were working under and insure D-Day succeeded.

Comments Off on A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week… George S. Patton

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The essence of football was blocking, tackling, and execution based on timing, rhythm and deception…Knute Rockne

Hoodwinking Hitler : the Normandy deception Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 1993      William B. Breuer World War, 1939-1945 Campaigns France Normandy Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. x, 263 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [253]-257) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Despite the mighty invasion force the Americans and British mustered in England in early 1944, a top Allied general warned: “If the Germans have even a 48-hour advance notice of the time and place of the Normandy landings, we could suffer a monstrous catastrophe!” For his part, Adolf Hitler planned to inflict such a massive bloodbath on the invaders that the Allies would agree to a negotiated peace with Nazi Germany.

Hoodwinking Hitler is an action-packed, you-are-there account of a colossal and incredibly intricate deception scheme created and implemented by ingenious minds, machinations intended to bamboozle the Germans on true Allied invasion plans.

Facets of the global chicanery included electronic spoofing, double agents, diplomatic deceit, whispering campaigns, femmes fatales, camouflage, strategic feints, the French underground, murder plots, phony military installations, misleading bombing raids, sabotage, propaganda, traps, fake codes, and kidnap schemes.

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Allies gained total surprise, mostly because of what Winston Churchill called “the greatest hoax in history.” But not until two months later, when the Allies broke out of Normandy, did the deception scheme pass into history.

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Inch by inch, foot by foot, yard by yard the unwilling, led by the unqualified to do the unnecessary for the ungrateful.

After D-day : operation Cobra and the Normandy breakout  James Jay Carafano World War, 1939-1945 ,Campaigns ,France ,Normandy Boulder, Colo. : Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000 Hardcover. ix, 295 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.     Includes bibliographical references (p. 267-284) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text.  VG/VG

In Operation Cobra, six US divisions during six dramatic days in Normandy ended the stalemate on the western front, breaking through German defenses after seven weeks of grueling attrition warfare. After D-Day examines the experiences of U.S. soldiers in the July 25-30, 1944, Normandy campaign: their mistakes, hardships, and fears, as well as their leadership, courage, and determination.

Drawing on original archival sources, Carafano argues that previous accounts of Operation Cobra are flawed. Standard explanations of its success — the force of air power, innovative tactics, superior logistics, the inestimable value of “citizen soldiers,” hedgerow busting “rhino” tanks — are in fact myths. And serious mistakes were made: one of the most famous US generals, Omar Bradley, ordered strategic bombing close to US lines, a decision that led to the killing and maiming of hundreds of US soldiers by “friendly fire.” Nonetheless, Carafano demonstrates, operational flexibility — the ability of commanders to exercise effective combat leadership and take advantage of troop strengths and material advantages — resulted in Allied victory.

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