Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Books re Combined Operations

The Watery Maze by Bernard Fergusson

Photo credit - Chartwell Booksellers

Bernard Fergusson's account (published 1961) of the four year period between the British Army being evicted from the Continent in 1940, and the landing of British and American troops in Normandy in 1944, is a full and detailed story about the origins, purpose, early raids and activities related to the Combined Operations organization. It has been said that Mr. Fergusson was "allowed free access to all the documents, archives and minutes of meetings, which have hitherto been secret."

Readers interested in Canadians who served in Combined Operations might underline some of the following, as I did:

        "Obviously two of the most urgent problems were the provision of landing ships and craft, and the crews to man them... as an illustration of the magnitude of the crew problem, the Joint Planners, in the very month of Mountbatten's appointment, had persuaded the Chiefs of Staff that our requirements in LCTs alone for the eventual invasion would be 2,250 - a figure to daunt almost anybody. And where were the crews to come from? Canada made an offer, which was gratefully accepted, of 50 officers and 300 ratings, but this was a drop in the bucket." Page 93

Much is written about Lord Louis Mountbatten, the assault on Dieppe and the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Normandy, and the book emphasizes the role of the Combined Ops organization at every turn.

Important photographs and links to other important books, for further reading, are provided.

"The story of Mulberry (harbours) is a story of its own"
One such story - Operation Neptune by K. Edwards

Copies can be purchased online at AbeBooks and other such sites.

Link to more information at Wikipedia re Bernard Fergusson (Baron Ballantrae)

Link to more Books re Combined Operations

Unattributed Photos by GH

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