Peter Caddick-Adams's account of the Allied invasion of France in June 1944 matches the monumental achievement of his book on the Battle of the Bulge, Snow and Steel, which Richard Overy has called the "standard history of this climactic confrontation in the West." Sand and Steel gives us D-Day, arguably the greatest and most consequential military operation of modern times, beginning with the years of painstaking and costly preparation, through to the pitched battles fought along France's northern coast, from Omaha Beach to the Falaise and the push east to Strasbourg. The Allied invasion of Europe involved mind-boggling logistics, including orchestrating the largest flotilla of ships ever assembled. Its strategic and psychological demands stretched the Allies to their limits, testing the strengths of the bonds of Anglo-American leadership. Drawing on first-hand battlefield research, fresh personal testimony, and a commanding grasp of all the archives and literature, Caddick-Adams's book does Operation Overlord full justice.
Sand and Steel shows as well how liberating France hinged on two other key elements: the activities of the French Resistance and Operation Dragoon, which involved landing 887 ships along the French Rivera, including seven aircraft carriers and 2,000 plans. It was Dragoon as much as Overlord that inspired resistance fighters throughout France to rise up. The implementation of Dragoon was controversial. Backed by Eisenhower and Stalin the other D-Day invasion was strongly opposed by Churchill, who believed a less costly breakthrough in the Mediterranean was imminent. This volume in Caddick-Adams's epic trilogy of the final year of World War II is the first book to incorporate all the elements of D-Day, and to reveal in full what lay behind eventual Allied victory in Europe.
Peter Caddick-Adams is a lecturer in military history and current defense issues at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. He is the author of Monte Cassino: Ten Armies in Hell and Snow and Steel: The Battle of the Bulge, 1944-45. He holds the rank of major in the British Territorial Army and has served with U.S. forces in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.