Destination Normandy: Three American Regiments on D-Day by G. H. Bennett

By G. H. Bennett

Bennett collects oral histories from males of 3 usa regiments that participated within the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. The 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment was once the main extensively scattered of the yankee parachute infantry regiments to be dropped on D-Day. even if, the efforts of one hundred eighty males to forestall the development of an SS Panzer Grenadier department mostly were overlooked outdoors of France. The 116th Infantry Regiment acquired the top variety of casualties on Omaha seashore of any Allied unit on D-Day. Stationed in England via lots of the warfare, it were the butt of jokes whereas different regiments did the combating and death in North Africa and the Mediterranean; that modified on June 6, 1944.And the twenty second Infantry Regiment, a unit that had fought in nearly each crusade waged by means of the U.S. military in view that 1812, got here ashore on Utah seashore rather simply prior to getting embroiled in a chain of savage fights to go the marshland in the back of the seashore and to catch the German heavy batteries to the north. each one participant's tale is woven into the bigger photo of the attack, permitting Bennett to head past the principally own viewpoints yielded via conventional oral background yet heading off the impersonal nature of reports of grand procedure. as well as the interviews and memoirs Bennett accrued, he additionally found clean documentary facts from American, British, and French information that play a major half in facilitating this new strategy, in addition to documents in Britain and France. the writer finds new tales and questions from D-Day, reminiscent of the bloodbath of infantrymen from the 507th at Graignes, Hemevez, and somewhere else. This new fabric features a specialise in the regimental point, that is all yet neglected by way of historians, whereas nonetheless protecting strategic, tactical, and human concerns. His conclusions spotlight universal misperceptions in regards to the Normandy landings. Questions have already been raised in regards to the knowledge of the Anglo-American amphibious doctrine hired on D-Day. during this examine, Bennett keeps to problem the idea that the operation was once an exemplary demonstration of strategic making plans.

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For several months it had been practicing amphibious landings in Florida and Georgia. Although it was one of only three regular army regiments that had not seen action, most considered it unlikely that the regiment would be committed to action imminently. Many of the men had gone home on furlough over Christmas, and on their return to Fort Jackson they tended to dismiss the rumors of imminent action. However, Colonel Hervey Tribolet, commanding officer of the 22nd Infantry Regiment, held a closed meeting with the officers of the three battalions to confirm that the rumors were true.

The GI explained the problem to the chaplain, who ushered the GI into the chaplain’s cabin and told him that he could sleep in the bathroom even though it was strictly against orders for enlisted men to sleep in officers’ quarters. The chaplain advised that with a few cushions the bath would prove most comfortable. The GI was exhorted to keep out of sight except during boat drills and, if discovered, to maintain that he was the chaplain’s altar boy. Verret would keep him supplied with food during the trip.

When the GI explained that he was a Protestant, Father Verret told him not to worry and that until disembarkation he would be an honorary Catholic. After two weeks at sea the SS Strathnaver docked in Liverpool. However, the regiment was quickly moved by train to Grenock on the river Clyde in Scotland. Just before Christmas the regiment was moved by ship across the Irish Sea to Belfast, Northern Ireland. The journey did not end here, and the regiment was transported 24 DESTINATION NORMANDY by rail to Portrush.

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