“General Eisenhower wrote that the three tools most important for winning World War II were ‘the Jeep, the Dakota [aircraft] and the Landing Craft.’ Not much has been written about the last until journalist Tom Carter’s Beachhead Normandy, in which he traces his father’s Landing Craft Tank (LCT) to the chaos of Omaha Beach and beyond. Using navy records, diaries, interviews and more, Carter restores some balance to giving credit to the men and seacraft that stormed the beaches not once but over and over, bringing in the equipment and supplies to sustain the D-Day effort. Exquisitely researched, Carter’s book is a significant contribution to World War II literature.”—Brooke C. Stoddard, author of World in the Balance: The Perilous Months of June–October 1940
Beachhead Normandy: An LCT's Odysseyby Tom Carter
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World War II naval history has been discussed and examined from almost every possible angle. One story that has never been told in detail, however, is that of the U.S. Navy's vessel designated the landing craft, tank (LCT). Even though they are known for ferrying troops and supplies to the beaches of Normandy, LCTs were more than mere transports. In fact, the little craft had permanently assigned crews and participated in nearly all forms of naval warfare. Beachhead Normandy combines the history of LCT operations with a detailed look at a specific ship, the LCT 614, which landed at Omaha Beach under heavy fire.
Tom Carter has gathered material from the U.S. Navy's archives, the National Archives, and personal stories from several members of the 614's crew, including the ship's skipper and second officer, to give readers a clear picture of the LCT's role in one of World War II's most pivotal moments. He also analyzes the role of LCTs in the Pacific theater, including the 614's participation in the occupation of China while supporting the marines' famed First Division.
Drawing on both technical analyses and personal accounts by the actual participants, including the author's father, Beachhead Normandy is a rich and varied history of the key services these ships performed during and after World War II.
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Meet the Author
Tom Carter grew up in a navy family with a father who had landed at Normandy. After high school, he enlisted in the navy and served three years aboard the USS Semmes (DDG 18), making deployments to the Persian Gulf in 1976 and with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean in 1977. After his service, Carter worked for a series of newspapers as a reporter and editor. He later earned a PhD in communications from the University of Tennessee and now teaches journalism and medieval British literature at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia.
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