In the early hours of June 6, 1944, the first of over 150,000 Allied soldiers stormed five beaches in Normandy against fierce German resistance. They were specially trained and task-organized in a range of different landing teams depending on their means of transport, their tasks, and the resistance they anticipated. The first assault infantry were accompanied by tankers, combat engineers, and other specialist personnel, to breach German obstacles, knock out defensive positions, and to defend and prepare the beaches for the follow-on waves. On some beaches the plans worked, on others they were disrupted by bad weather, faulty timing, or enemy fire, with consequences that varied from survivable confusion to absolute carnage.
This is an in-depth study of the uniforms, equipment, weapons, passage, landings, and tactics of US, British, and Canadian assault units, during the period from before H-Hour on June 6 to dawn on June 7.
About the Author
Gordon L. Rottman entered the US Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and completed training as a weapons specialist. He served in the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1969–70 and subsequently in airborne infantry, long-range patrol, and intelligence assignments until retiring after 26 years. He was a Special Operations Forces scenario writer at the Joint Readiness Training Center for 12 years and is now a freelance writer, living in Texas.
Peter Dennis was born in 1950. Inspired by contemporary magazines such as Look and Learn he studied illustration at Liverpool Art College. Peter has since contributed to hundreds of books, predominantly on historical subjects, including many Osprey titles. A keen wargamer and modelmaker, he is based in Nottinghamshire, UK.
Table of Contents
Overview of "Overlord" 4
Selection of the objectives
Exiting the beaches
Preparation of Assault Troops 10
No.1 Combined Training Centre, Inveraray
Assault Training Center, Woolacombe
US Uniforms & Equipment 13
British & Canadian Uniforms & Equipment 22
Assault Units 29
The US infantry regiment
US Army Rangers
US infantry boat teams
The British & Canadian infantry brigade
British & Canadian Infantry boat teams
Overview of the landings
Cost & Aftermath 61
Select Bibliography 62