The Normandy Battlefields D-Day and the Bridgehead, Leo Marriott & Simon Forty

The Normandy Battlefields D-Day and the Bridgehead, Leo Marriott & Simon Forty

This photographic history of the D-Day landings covers the air-borne attacks, the landings on the five beaches and the area immediately behind them.

A photographic history of the D-Day beaches really needs to have something unusual about it to stand out in a crowded market. In this case the main selling point is the good combination of wartime and modern photos. The most effective of the modern photos are a series of aerial photographs, each showing key parts of the battlefield, and with modern war memorials marked. These give a much clearer idea of the layout of the battlefield than the more familiar ground level photos, and are of great interest. Even now the German bunkers dominate some of these scenes, with some of them now memorials and others slowly crumbling away.

Some of the pictures are familiar (or at least cover familiar topics), but there are some unusual additions. My attention was caught by a side view of a LCT(R), a landing craft converted to carry up to 1,000 60lb rockets. There is also a striking aerial photo of the Mulberry harbour seen from one side, so that the full scale of the construction and the amount of shipping it contained becomes truly apparent (most pictures I've seen are taken from the shore, and the overall layout is thus obscured by the mass of details).

The final chapter covers the war cemeteries associated with the D-Day landings, and is a suitably thought provoking way to finish the book.

1 - Introduction
2 - Airpower
3 - Seapower
4 - The Airborne Landings
5 - Utah Beach
6 - Omaha Beach
7 - Gold Beach
8 - Juno Beach
9 - Sword Beach
10 - In Memoriam

Author: Leo Marriott & Simon Forty
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 224
Publisher: Casemate
Year: 2014

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