D-Day by Stephen E. Ambrose follows the landings on the Calvados coast of Normandy from the pre-planning stages all the way up through the invasion and through about D-Day plus one - one day after the Normandy landings. The first two chapters deal with the combatants in a general fashion before moving on to the location of the landings and why it was chosen. From there, Mr. Ambrose moves into planning of the operation and the preparation for the same. This discussion of the preparation leads into a chapter on the operation specific training that the soldiers received. Then Ambrose discusses the numerous briefings that the troops underwent before the invasion was even launched and then he writes about the process behind General Eisenhower’s deciding to launch the invasion. Once that actual invasion begins, Ambrose uses oral history accounts from men on both Utah Beach and Omaha Beach to tell the story of how the day progressed. The end of the book is taken up with the British and Canadians on Gold Beach and Sword Beach, as well as the actions of the British airborne units. Finally, Mr. Ambrose ends his book with an overview of the Allied forces at the end of June 6, 1944.
During the Normandy landings, particularly at Omaha Beach, the destroyers of the Allied armada played a critical role and kept the Normandy invasion from becoming an unprecedented defeat. To fully understand the importance of the destroyer action on Omaha Beach, th...
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...e lost the Allies Omaha Beach and possibly cost them the invasion. This can first be seen through the crucial position of Omaha Beach and how when all looked lost, the destroyers were released to provide fire upon the defenses of the beach, destroying much of them. Secondly, the aforementioned support was crucial in moving the troops further inland and in clearing the bluffs of enemy emplacements and artillery spotters. Finally, the fire support that the destroyers provided to the troops on the beaches inspired them onwards, thus helping indirectly to secure a beach head and give the troops the confidence to move inland, knowing that they would have artillery on target rapidly if they needed it. Therefore, without the support of the destroyers, specifically on Omaha Beach, the infantry landings on D-Day would have failed and the Allies would have been defeated.
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