The 1944 Allied invasion of France was a combined effort, with land- and sea-based forces supported by a huge aerial task force, which included legendary aircraft such as the Spitfire, Mosquito, Dakota and Mustang. The force comprised the RAF, its commonwealth allies and the USAAF, which resulted in an eclectic mix of gliders, heavy bombers, fighters, ground-attack aircraft and transport aeroplanes. Illustrated with over 170 color images of modern-day surviving and restored aircraft, this book features many of the aircraft types that were involved in the operations surrounding the Normandy invasion, including the aircraft the flew on D-Day itself.
Campaigns of World War II: Fall of the Reich is a military history of the Western European campaign from D-Day in June 1944 to the fall of Berlin in May 1945. Beginning with the Allied preparations for what would become Operation Overlord, from the initial discussions of Roosevelt and Churchill, to the deliberations and plans of Marshall and Brooke, and the subsequent appointment of commanders like Eisenhower, Montgomery and Ramsay, the book covers in detail the landings on the Normandy coast. Combining tactical coverage of events such as the severe fighting at Omaha and Pegasus Bridge, the Canadian success on Juno beach, and the 21st Panzer Division's aborted counterattack, with reporting of the reactions of Hitler and Rommel to the landings, the book provides an explanation of why the Allied advance ran out of steam, and a description of their struggle to escape the bocage hedgerows of Normandy. The US-led breakout in late July 1944 released Bradley and Patton's forces into the heart of France, and the liberation of Paris followed swiftly. A crumbling German defence led to Allied overconfidence and the resultant 'bridge too far' at Arnhem, but as the Allies approached the Rhine and the German border, resistance quickly stiffened. Hitler's last gamble, the attack through the Ardennes known as the Battle of the Bulge, brought temporary panic to the Allied ranks, but heroic stands at Bastogne and elsewhere, coupled with a German acute lack of petrol and the weather clearing to allow Allied aircraft to operate again, led to the defeat of the last Wehrmacht attack in the west. The final year of the war saw the Allies advancing as occupying forces into the heart of Germany, adopting Eisenhower's broad front strategy. Finally the book examines why the decision was made to allow the Red Army to occupy Berlin and remain on the western bank of the Elbe river. Part of a five-volume series on the Second World War written by prominent military historians, Fall of the Reich is a masterful account of the 1944–45 campaign in Western Europe that describes both the action on the front line and the decisions made behind the scenes that decided the fate of Nazi Germany.
Eyewitness accounts of heavy bombers on D-Day Rarely told story of what happened above the beaches Detailed descriptions of various bombing runs In this vivid and dramatic look at World War II in the air, eight different aircrews--three American and five British--tell eye-opening and heart-racing stories of operations before, during, and after D-Day. These bombing missions helped pave the way for the success of the Allies' invasion of Normandy, disrupting German transportation, destroying various installations, and spreading fear and panic.
Airpower provides support to ground forces by applying elements of operational art. Air operational art formed between the beginning of World War I and the end of World War II. The Air Corps Tactical School developed and taught the principles of attack and pursuit aviation for the support of ground forces. These principles include all the elements of operational fires and operational protection and are known today as interdiction and counterair. These doctrines were tested in exercises with the Army between 1931 and 1934 but not in combat until World War II. The doctrines were combat-tested soon after America's entry into North Africa. From November 1942 until May 1943 heavy, medium and fighter bombers successfully applied operational fires to Axis lines of communication and were accompanied by pursuit aircraft which provided operational protection. The interdiction of Axis supply and isolation of forces in Africa helped force the Axis retreat from Africa in May, 1943. Beginning in April, 1944, Allied bombers and fighters began attacking targets in northern France, particularly the rail network. These operational fires successfully isolated the Operation Overlord landing sites by destroying and delaying German supplies and reinforcements. Allied aircraft provided operational protection over the landing areas on D-Day, although there was little Luftwaffe resistance. The interdiction continued after the invasion, and was decisive in delaying reinforcements and in facilitating the breakout from the lodgement.
On August 19, 1942, 5,000 Canadian, 1,000 British, 50 American and 24 French troops attacked Dieppe, France. This was Operation Jubilee, World War II's first large amphibious operation. The Allies had hundreds of vessels, Churchill tanks, Commandos, Spitfires, Hurricanes, P-51 Mustangs, B-17s, Typhoons, etc. They expected an easy win. However, they met S-boats, determined German troops and hundreds of Luftwaffe aircraft including superb FW-190s, Stukas, Me-109s, Ju-88s, Do-217s and He-111s, flak and artillery. The sky flooded with aircraft, making it the Western Front's biggest air battle. Germany's pilots were superb. Though outnumbered, they shot down over 100 Allied aircraft. In hours, the landing Canadians had a massive defeat, losing five out of six men and all their tanks. But the lessons learned at Dieppe saved 10 times as many lives at Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. "Disaster at Dieppe" is a well-illustrated fast read. 167 pages, 9"" x 6,"" 66 photos and maps.
Certified Brave presents the story of 10 disparate personalities. The bonding of these seemingly ill assorted men into a dedicated, effective combat crew, is our subject. In reportorial, conversational style we get to know each crew member and his duties. We see how the B-24 ''Liberator'' operates. We follow the crew from over confident early missions to the suspicion that none of them can live through the required 25 to 35 missions. You'll see the triumph of the human spirit. The crew keeps on flying - they could quit at any time. Yet each man has a personal break point. If necessary each man hopes to die well protecting the plane and the crew. He hopes to hang onto his mind in the process. The biological animal says run away, protect life. The intelligent animal says get out here now, forget duty. I'll help you. There is time seized for love in the infrequent 40 hour passes to wicked London and ancient England. For a short time you would allow yourself to believe you might live. Ones airplane became to each of the crew a magic and near living thing. As they boarded she was just a pile of metal devoid of life. With cough of one starting engine the fuselage would plane shudder awake and the plane would become a powerful machine making the crew feel vital and brave. Hurt the plane with flak and cannon shell and the crew felt a sense of outrage. Their child was abused. The book is all action: You'll be there for D-Day. You'll see the 5000 ship invasion fleet and the 8000 plus assorted allied aircraft. You'll hear H.M.S. Rodney's nine 16 inch guns from 4 miles up an dover plane's engines firing on shore targets. Later, you'll be attacked by Me 163's. The rocket powered fighter with only enough fuel for 7 minutes of powered flight. Another time you'd be attacked by aerial rockets fired from first line fighters. Surface to air missiles such as ''Wasserfall'' will try to end your life. You will suffer from the dangerous cold, as low as minus 70 deg. F. You'll feel the effects of the oxygen thin air. 4 miles up the sun is twice as bright as it is on the earth. Your corneas will fry if unprotected. You have to continually search for the little black specks that are enemy fighters. You'll have a grandstand seat for the bombing of massed German troops at the time of the breaking of the 6 weeks stalemate in the St. Lo area. For the first time perhaps you'll know now a distinguished General was killed by our bombs. The book has lots of little known technical facts. For instance see how the dreaded Me 262 was robbed of it's power by the use of short barrel ''Rhinemetal'' canon. There is humor and joy and love between the battles. It should be there. That's the way it was. As to technical material not covered in other books: -Explosive more powerful than T.N.T. -The crew use of sulfanilamide on a daily basis -The contents of escape kits including the ''L'' pill. -All airmen were armed with a .45 pistol. They were only given 5 rounds. This was intended to deliver the crew member from a pitchfork wielding angry mob if captured. -V1 and V2 and V3 weapons. Their design and employment. -Operation of the Me 163 rocket airplane. The fuel, the landing and take off routine, and the high mortality of the pilots. -Our use of booby trap bomb fuses. -The use of nitroglycerine and metro balloons. -The joke of Swiss neutrality. -Operation of the Nordon bombsight
Operation 'Overlord' - the allied invasion of occupied France - began in the opening minutes of 6 June 1944. By the end of the day a bridgehead had been won and gradually the Allied Forces extended their grip. None of this would have been possible without air power. In the weeks and months leading up to D-Day the RAF and USAAF waged a concerted campaign against fighter bases, troop depots, road and rail junctions and ammunition and fuel dumps: any target that would impede the Germans' ability to repel the liberating forces. This book - the product of detailed research in original documents - tells the story of this air campaign, with the aid of nearly 200 archive photographs.
Beyond the Beach examines the Allied air war against France in 1944. During this period, General Dwight David Eisenhower, as Supreme Allied Commander, took control of all American, British, and Canadian air units and employed them for tactical and operational purposes over France rather than as a strategic force to attack targets deep in Germany. Using bombers as his long-range artillery, he directed the destruction of bridges, rail centers, ports, military installations, and even French towns with the intent of preventing German reinforcements from interfering with Operation Neptune, the Allied landings on the Normandy beaches. Ultimately, this air offensive resulted in the death of over 60,000 French civilians and an immense amount of damage to towns, churches, buildings, and works of art. This intense bombing operation, conducted against a friendly occupied state, resulted in a swath of physical and human destruction across northwest France that is rarely discussed as part of the D-Day landings. This book explores the relationship between ground and air operations and its effects on the French population. It examines the three broad groups that the air operations involved, the doctrine and equipment used by Allied air force leaders to implement Eisenhower’s plans, and each of the eight major operations, called lines of effort, that coordinated the employment of the thousands of fighters, medium bombers, and heavy bombers that prowled the French skies that spring and summer of 1944. Each of these sections discusses the operation's purpose, conduct, and effects upon both the military and the civilian targets. Finally, the book explores the short and long-term effects of these operations and argues that this ignored narrative should be part of any history of the D-Day landings.
In his 1945 report to the Combined Chiefs-of-Staff on the success of Operation Overlord, the Supreme Commander General Eisenhower wrote that "on the morning of June 9 I?was able to announce that for the first time since 1940, Allied air forces were operating from France, and that within three weeks of D-Day, 31 Allied squadrons were operating from the beach-head bases." In their forecasts for the first three months following D-Day, the planners plotted the number of the advanced landing grounds that would be required in Normandy to support the Allied air forces up to September 1944. Using maps and aerial photographs, individual sites were surveyed and plans drawn up so that when each location was captured, either US Aviation Engineers, the Royal Engineers or RAF?Airfield Construction Wings, could move in without delay to begin work to build them. This book tells the story of every airfield that became operational by D+90, explaining the methods used to construct them and the units that flew from them. The vast majority of the temporary airstrips have now been returned to the farmland from which they came, but by using engineers plans from the period and modern aerial photographs, we have portrayed the sites in true After the Battle fashion: as they were then and as they are today.
Adapted for young readers from the #1 New York Times–bestselling The Guns at Last Light, D-Day captures the events and the spirit of that day—June 6, 1944—the day that led to the liberation of western Europe from Nazi Germany's control. They came by sea and by sky to reclaim freedom from the occupying Germans, turning the tide of World War II. Atkinson skillfully guides his younger audience through the events leading up to, and of, the momentous day in this photo-illustrated adaptation. Perfect for history buffs and newcomers to the topic alike! This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.