Assault on Normandy: First-Person Accounts from the Sea Services

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Until now the telling of the story of D-Day and the retaking of France from the Nazis began at the beach and moved inland. With this book the experiences of the men on the water come to the forefront and deepen our understanding of the long and bitter struggle. This 50th anniversary commemorative volume documents the crucial part played by the sea services in the invasion through a series of eyewitness narratives remarkable for their variety and candor. No longer a mere footnote to history, the indispensable role...
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1st Edition, Fine/Fine Clean, bright and tight. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing, etc. ISBN 1557507813

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Overview

Until now the telling of the story of D-Day and the retaking of France from the Nazis began at the beach and moved inland. With this book the experiences of the men on the water come to the forefront and deepen our understanding of the long and bitter struggle. This 50th anniversary commemorative volume documents the crucial part played by the sea services in the invasion through a series of eyewitness narratives remarkable for their variety and candor. No longer a mere footnote to history, the indispensable role of the sea services can finally be fully appreciated. To provide a vivid, memorable account of the June 1944 Allied assault on Normandy, Paul Stillwell has selected four dozen firsthand recollections of the participants, illustrated with some 250 photographs, many from private collections. Taken from interviews he and other oral historians have conducted, the recollections range from those of admirals in command to frontline soldiers and capture the human side of the story from all perspectives. The drama, sense of sacrifice, and impact on individuals are realized through the reminiscences of naval reservist Douglas Fairbanks Jr., former Brooklyn Dodger Rex Barney, and Medal of Honor recipient Vice Adm. John D. Bulkeley, USN (Ret.), who commanded the minesweepers that cleared the sea-lanes to the Normandy beaches, and a host of other participants. Assault on Normandy also recounts the fatal flight of Joseph Kennedy, conditions on board troop transports and landing craft, the capture of hundreds of German prisoners, PT-boat operations, the naval shore bombardment of Normandy and Cherbourg, a surface gun battle at point-blank range, and the use of codebreaking in the air war. Stillwell's informative introduction and transitions put the individual contributions in their historical context.

As he did to such acclaim in Air Raid: Pearl Harbor! noted oral historian Paul Stillwell brings together first-hand recollections of participants--from his own interviews and other sources--to provide a vivid, memorable account of the June 1944 Allied assault on Normandy. Nearly 50 personal recollections are presented with 250 photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Documents the role of the US sea services in the June 1944 assault on Normandy through first-hand narratives of the men involved, from admirals to frontline soldiers. Contributors recount conditions on board troop transports, the capture of German prisoners, gun battles, and the release of concentration camp prisoners. Includes b&w photos, and brief biographies of those interviewed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557507815
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/1994
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 8.75 (w) x 11.29 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
The Memory of Departed Shipmates 1
Disaster at Dieppe, Success at Normandy 9
Strategy and Secrecy 14
Admiral Stark's Role 19
Admiral Ramsay and I 23
Ultra Warnings 29
German Naval Operations on D-Day 33
Exercise Tiger - Screams of Agony 41
Stripe Five and You're Out 46
Ike Remembered Me 50
Close-In Support at Omaha Beach 57
Traffic Cop 64
DD Spelled Disaster 68
Landing the Big Red One 72
My Only Job was to Stay Alive 76
Surviving the London Blitz - and Meeting a Husband 83
Noic Utah 86
Combat Demolition Unit 93
The Best Seat for a Really Big Show 98
Make Love and War 106
Dread of the Unknown 112
Shipwrecked in the Channel 119
Broken Ship, Broken Body 125
Getting the Troops 'Over There' 131
Sub-Ordinary Seaman 136
Liberty Ship Signalman 142
When Sevens Weren't Lucky 148
Designing the LST 154
Civilians in Uniform 159
The Hazards of London (and Normandy) 165
Mulberries and Gooseberries 170
Battleship Commander 182
A Strange Place for a Marine 188
The Capture of Cherbourg 194
The Non-Amphibious Swan of Cherbourg 203
Submarines and Buzz-Bomb Launchers 210
A Warm Welcome in Southern France 217
The Death of Admiral Moon 225
Dog Tags and Dirty Beans 231
Beach Jumpers Don't Really Jump 235
Surface Action at Point-Blank Range 242
The Alsos Mission 249
A Different Kind of Uniform 257
Gambling for Dramamine 262
Three Faces 268
A Sense of Duty to the Fatherland 272
Moving into Germany 278
Across the Rhine 283
Surrender! 289
Glossary 293
Sources of Articles 295
Acknowledgments 297
Index 301
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