Cover image for The D-Day atlas : anatomy of the Normandy campaign : with 178 illustrations, including 71 full-color maps
The D-Day atlas : anatomy of the Normandy campaign : with 178 illustrations, including 71 full-color maps
Messenger, Charles, 1941-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Thames and Hudson, 2004.
Physical Description:
176 pages : illustrations, color maps ; 30 cm
Format :


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D756.5.N6 M43 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

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June 2004 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the largest amphibious military operation in history. D-Day was the culmination of four years of planning and preparation, which had begun in summer 1940 when Britain stood alone and under imminent threat of a German cross-Channel invasion. This groundbreaking study of D-Day and the subsequent campaign charts the gradual evolution of the invasion plan, encompassing the intelligence efforts, the Anglo-U.S. strategic debate over where the Allies should attack, and the elaborate deception put in place to fool the Germans about the true D-Day objective. The buildup culminates in an hour-by-hour and day-by-day account of the landings by air and by sea on the beaches of NormandyUtah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Swordand the subsequent grim struggle for six weeks to break through the German defenses. At the center of this fascinating re-creation of the D-Day invasion are 70 maps in full color, which incorporate the latest computer technology. Many are in fact based on the same maps used by the Allies in 1944. Detailed drawings and 80 photographs, both modern and contemporary to the period, help bring the beaches of Normandy to life. The book also includes contributions by French and German historians. Featuring:Splendid full-color maps with detailed explanatory captionsSection introductions with comprehensive examinations of how, when, where, why, and whoAn authoritative text by a noted military historian175 illustrations, 70 in color

Author Notes

Charles Messenger studied at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and Exeter College, Oxford, where he read Modern History and won a Murray Naval History Prize. He spent nineteen years in the Royal Tank Regiment, before pursuing a career as a military historian and defense analyst. He has written over thirty books

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

The 178 illustrations of this annotated atlas include 71 full-color maps, which stand out among its rather indifferent images. A veteran of Britain's Royal Tank Regiment and Territorial Army, historian and defense analyst Messenger (The Second World War in the West) is the author of more than 30 books and has written and directed three BBC Worldwide television series. His knowledge of his subject comes through in the clear, info-packed, subtopic-laden essays that make up the five chapters here, systematically taking readers through D-Day and its aftermath. (Apr. 26) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

For a brief narrative history, there's the newest title in Wiley's "Turning Points" series, Sir Martin Gilbert's D-Day (ISBN 0-471-42340-8. $19.95), a compact yet authoritative treatment in the tradition of John Keegan's wonderful Six Armies in Normandy. Also from Wiley, Charles Messenger's The D-Day Atlas: Anatomy of the Normandy Campaign (ISBN 0-500-25123-1. $34.95) colorfully employs 171 illustrations (and 70 full-color maps) to lay out the technical plans, revised plans, and final progress of the armies that historically converged that spring on the beaches. A good choice for military enthusiasts, it helps readers visualize what happened and what was supposed to happen, even if the accompanying text doesn't always bring alive that day when, as one veteran later recalled, "history waded ashore." (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Military historian Messenger (Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst; Exeter College, Oxford) offers a badly needed reference work on the Normandy campaign, the first book dedicated solely to a campaign to which other military atlases devote a few pages. Researchers will find this study of the battles and related operations very valuable. Messenger covers all phases of the campaign, including planning and buildup, an hourly account of the invasion, and subsequent battles from the breakout to the fall of Paris. The text provides a balanced, comprehensive, and authoritative history of the entire campaign, summer 1943 through September 1944. Supplementing the text are more than 70 detailed, computer generated, color maps of the various landings, operations, and defenses based on Allied maps used during the campaign. Messenger also includes some 80 photographs plus sketches of weapons, aircraft, ships, and artillery. Command organization charts, a code word glossary, suggested readings, and a list of the participating divisions accompany the text. A valuable addition to academic and research collections emphasizing military history, particularly WW II. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General and academic collections. T. L. Storey Lamar University--Beaumont

Table of Contents

Key to Mapsp. 4
Prefacep. 6
Chapter 1 Planning and Preparationp. 9
Operation Sealion German Invasion Plansp. 11
Denmark and Norway April-June 1940p. 12
The Dakar Operation August-September 1940p. 14
Allied Special Forces operations in France and Norway 1940-43p. 15
Early Invasion Plans 1941-43p. 17
St Nazaire Raid--Operation Chariot 28 March 1942p. 19
Operation Jubilee--Dieppe Raidp. 20
North Africa Landings 8 November 1942p. 22
Invasion of Sicily 10 July-17 August 1943p. 25
COSSAC Plan August 1943p. 26
Revised Plan April 1944p. 28
Air Plan June 1944p. 32
Naval Planp. 36
Deception Plans for D-Day--Operation Overlordp. 38
Concentration of Allied forces in the United Kingdomp. 43
Chapter 2 Fortress Europep. 45
Festung Europa--Distribution of German Divisions in the West November 1943p. 47
Festung Europa--German Defences in the Westp. 49
French Resistance--Normandy early 1944p. 54
French Resistance: Industrial Sabotage 1942-44p. 55
The German Coastal Batteries and their ranges May-June 1944p. 56
The Merville Batteryp. 56
Chapter 3 D-Dayp. 59
Allied D-Day Landing Plan and Objectives 6 June 1944p. 60
101st Airborne Division Drop Pattern 6 June 1944p. 63
82nd Airborne Division Drop Pattern 6 June 1944p. 64
British 6th Airborne Division 6 June 1944p. 66
Pegasus Bridgep. 68
Allied Naval Bombardment Plan 6 June 1944p. 70
Utah Beach: Initial landing to middayp. 76
Pointe du Hoc: Initial landing to middayp. 78
Assault on Omaha Beach: Situation at middayp. 80
Gold Beach: Initial landing to middayp. 82
Juno Beach: Initial landing to middayp. 84
Sword Beach: Initial landing to middayp. 86
First German reactionsp. 90
Chapter 4 The Beachhead Battlesp. 93
Overview of Normandy 6 Junep. 95
Gold and Juno Beaches: Consolidation to 9 Junep. 96
Sword Beach: Consolidation to 9 Junep. 99
Omaha Beach: Consolidation to 8 Junep. 101
Utah Beach 6-8 June 1944p. 102
Interdiction Bombing of Northern Francep. 103
Villers-Bocage 11-14 June 1944p. 106
Crossing the Cotentin 11-18 June 1944p. 107
Overview of Frontline 7-12 June 1944p. 108
Mulberry Harbour A at St-Laurent-sur-Mer 19-21 June 1944p. 110
Mulberry Harbour B June 1944p. 111
Capture of Cherbourg 18-30 June 1944p. 112
Bombing of Cherbourgp. 112
Monty's Plan 30 June 1944p. 113
Battle for St-Lo 11-24 July 1944p. 115
Operation Epsom 24-30 June 1944p. 116
Operation Charnwood 7-9 July 1944p. 119
The Odon Valley 10-18 Julyp. 120
Overview of Frontline 12-30 Junep. 122
Operation Goodwood 18-22 July 1944p. 125
Normandy Front 24 Julyp. 126
Chapter 5 Break-Outp. 131
Operation Cobra 25-31 Julyp. 133
German Counter-attack at Mortainp. 135
Bluecoat Day 1 30 July 1944p. 137
Operation Bluecoat 29 July-6 August 1944p. 139
Overall Situation 6 August 1944p. 140
Operation Totalize 7-11 August 1944p. 143
Overrunning Brittany 3-7 August 1944p. 144
Operation Tractable 14-15 August 1944p. 145
Closing the Falaise pocket 13 August 1944p. 146
Closing the Falaise pocket 16 August 1944p. 148
Closing the Falaise pocket 19 August 1944p. 150
Overview of Campaign 6-19 August 1944p. 152
The Liberation of Paris 13-25 August 1944p. 154
Allied Advance to 31 August 1944p. 156
Allied Advance to 15 September 1944p. 157
Europe: Allied Advance to September 1944p. 159
Epiloguep. 162
Codewords Connected With D-Dayp. 166
High Command Diagramsp. 168
Divisions Which Fought in Normandyp. 170
Further Readingp. 172
Indexp. 173
Acknowledgmentsp. 176