THE INVASION OF FRANCE AND GERMANY: 1944-45 by Samuel Eliot Morison


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The official Naval History of the war continues to the European theatre victory in this eleventh volume in a memorable series. Morison has a faculty for making lively reading of many-times- told material, and this is no exception. A whole new facet of the invasion story comes to life. A recent reading of the diaries of Field Marshal Alan Brooke in Bryant's The Turn of the Tide (see report P. 318) covering the years of Britain's lonely war supplies a backdrop for this analysis of the final year, 1944-45. The navy's part was vastly more important than the average reader expects, not only in the planning and execution of Operation Neptune-Overlord, but in the invasion of Southern France- which came to be called Operation Dragoon and was for the western theatre of war, the peak achievement in amphibious warfare, and finally in the crossing of the Rhine, when the Navy was called on for the oddest of assignments. Throughout, each phase- planning, training, preliminary exploration and ultimate execution -- is vigorously told, with enough of incident and anecdote and adventure to balance the intricacies of technical strategy and tactics. As invasion became a reality, the Navy was faced with a new menace, in the storm that wrecked Mulberry. Throughout- particularly in the months leading up to Dragoon- the differences of opinion between British and American top brass and political leadership proved the most difficult of hurdles -- but the results, for most historians, justified the decision. There is more of land operations in this book than in the earlier volumes- but always the Navy's part in the ultimate achievement comes through.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1957
Publisher: Little, Brown- A.M.P.