Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall : The 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Landing with the British and Canadians in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944, was the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers, a specialized armored unit tasked with removing obstacles and mines from Gold, Juno, and Sword Beaches. To support this mission, the engineers modified their tanks with ingenious innovations, such as replacing the main gun with a giant mortar or attaching a steamroller-like device to flatten a path in the sand. In the early hours of D-Day, the brigade landed under fire, and took serious casualties in some areas, but achieved many of its key objectives and cleared the way for the infantry.Refreshingly different perspective on the momentous events of D-Day Nuts-and-bolts narrative of how the landings were carried out along with details on the unique British armored vehicles used in the invasion The controversy over the U.S. refusal to use these vehicles, which may have contributed to bloody American losses on Omaha Beach
- Hardback | 288 pages
- 203.2 x 254 x 22.86mm | 907.18g
- 01 Jan 2010
- Stackpole Books
- Mechanicsburg, United States
- 175 b/w photos & 19 maps
About Richard C. Anderson
Richard C. Anderson Jr. is a senior research historian at The Dupuy Institute. He is co-author of Hitler's Last Gamble (978-0-06-092196-5) and Artillery Hell (978-0-89096-623-5). He lives in Newport News, Virginia.
When the British and Canadians landed in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944, they were accompanied by specialized armored vehicles that had the job of removing German obstacles and mines from the invasion beaches. Developed by the Royal Engineers and known as Hobart's Funnies, these unique tanks featured ingenious innovations--ranging from a giant 290-millimeter mortar to carpet-laying and bridge-laying devices--to support their mission on D-Day and after. Covering both the technical development of these engineer vehicles and their combat deployment, military historian Richard C. Anderson Jr. gives a minute-by-minute account of D-Day's early hours on Sword, Juno, and Gold Beaches--the critical moments when the success of the invasion hinged on whether the assault engineers could clear a path through a minefield or breach the seawall under withering fire from entrenched German positions. Landing craft sank, vehicles bogged down, but the men and their vehicles blasted their way forward and contributed to Allied victory Anderson also describes D-Day as it unfolded on Omaha and Utah Beaches, where U.S. troops, despite being offered the special vehicles, stormed ashore without them. Carefully comparing the American and Commonwealth beaches--from the quality and quantity of German defenses on each beach to the number of Allied soldiers making the landing--Anderson assesses the performance of the vehicles and determines the nature of their impact on D-Day's successes and failures. Painstakingly researched and impressively detailed, Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall offers a refreshing perspective on the familiar events of June 6, 1944, while also standing as a testament to the courage and resolve of individual soldiers, whatever their equipment. Richard C. Anderson Jr. graduated from George Mason University with a degree in history and has worked for more than twenty years as a military analyst, currently with the U.S. Army. He is also the author of Hitler's Last Gamble (with Trevor N. Dupuy and David Bongard) and Artillery Hell (with Curt Johnson).