7 June 2019

We Remember D-Day

'On leaving the plane I can only say I felt very lonely, except that the sky was full of bullets coming upwards. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before my feet hit the ground with a thud. Almost as soon as my feet touched the ground, I was to find that I had landed directly in front of the muzzle of a German Machine Gun and I received a burst of fire straight at me. I can remember being hit and spinning round with a sudden yell of shock and finishing up flat on my back... I lay there rather dazed for a while, expecting to be hit again at any moment.' John Hunter, Parachute Regiment, Northants.

Seventy years ago, on 6 June 1944, a great Allied Armada landed on the coast of Normandy. The invasion force launched on D-Day was a size never seen before and never likely to be seen again. 150,000 soldiers, more than 6,000 ships and 11,000 combat aircraft took part in the assault. The success of that attack led 11 months later to the final liberation of Europe from a ruthless dictatorship that had threatened to permanently enslave it. Such an undertaking on such a scale could not have been achieved without tremendous cooperation between Land, Sea and Air Forces.

In We Remember D-Day we hear from the men and women who were involved in the assault; those who risked their lives for a better future. Their stories tell of human bravery and endeavour, pain and heartache, and, most importantly, freedom and hope.

Available from:
Ebury Press

5 June 2019

Parachute Doctor - The Memoirs of Captain David Tibbs

Parachute Doctor is the story of Captain David Tibbs RAMC MC who as a member of 225 (Parachute) Field Ambulance and the 13th Parachute Battalion served with the 5th Parachute Brigade of the famous 6th Airborne Division.

His fascinating recollections feature jumping into Normandy on D-Day and the subsequent intense battle to defend the Airborne perimeter; assisting the Americans in repulsing the Ardennes offensive, the massive Airborne drop across the Rhine and the rapid advance to the Baltic to prevent the Russians moving into Denmark.

Following the end of the European war, the Brigade was shipped to the Far East for a proposed invasion of Singapore. However, the Japanese surrendered beforehand, and the Paras ended up being involved in a little known episode, fighting alongside the Japanese in defence of Dutch civilians against violent rebels on the island of Java.

Obituary: Captain David Tibbs, doctor awarded military cross after parachuting into occupied France on D-Day (The Scotsman)

Available from:
Sabrestorm Publishing
Casemate Publishing

4 June 2019

Operation Overlord - Cornwall & Preparation for the D-Day Landings

The story of Cornwall's involvement in the D-Day landings is both detailed and yet remains relatively unknown. In telling this story the role Cornwall played is explored, from the time Winston Churchill addressed the House of Commons with his now famous 'We will fight them on the beaches...' promise, up until the launch of Operations Neptune and Overlord via the Normandy beaches, which ultimately led to the liberation of Europe.

Roderick de Normann has captured both the spirit and detail of the planning for these two operations. His careful research has led him to uncover a wealth of hitherto undiscovered information and little known photographs. Fully illustrated, the book includes images taken throughout Cornwall often using Hollywood grade film, providing the reader with a real sense of what it was like to be in the county during the preparations for D-Day.

Table of contents:
  • Introduction - In God's Good Time
  • Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
  • Planning and Preparation for the Second Front
  • The US Navy Arrives in Cornwall
  • One Last Straw
  • The Western Task Force and American Landing Forces
  • Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
  • 'Let's Go...'
  • A Brotherhood in Arms
  • Postscript
  • Archive Sources
  • Image Sources
  • Bibliography

Available from:

3 June 2019

D-Day - The British Beach Landings

D-Day, the Allied invasion of Europe, began on the night of 5-6 June 1944. At 07.00 hours on the 6th, Britain's First Corps and XXX Corps came ashore on Sword and Gold beaches, to withering fire from the entrenched German forces. Within the initial and critical couple of hours some 30,000 soldiers, 300 guns and 700 armoured vehicles were landed, a magnificent achievement and, though the sands were soon choked with the mother of all logjams, exacerbated by a swelling tide, the British were firmly lodged; a bridgehead had been secured, albeit a rather flimsy one at this juncture.

This is the story of the British soldiers’ experience of the beach landings on that fateful morning - the spearhead of Operation Overlord.

Table of contents:
  • Introduction
  • Overture
  • H-Hour, The Airborne Drop
  • Sword Beach, Morning
  • Juno Beach, Morning
  • Gold Beach, Morning
  • Getting A Grip, the Afternoon and After
  • The Battle for Normandy
  • And Now
Available from:
Amberley Publishing

Seven Months to D-Day - An American Regiment in Dorset

In November 1943 the 3000 men of the American 16th Infantry Regiment arrived in West Dorset.
This book is the story of the seven months that followed, months that finally ended amidst the hell of Omaha Beach at dawn on D-Day.

Towns like Beaminster, Bridport and Lyme Regis filled with soldiers, who crowded into the pubs and dance halls, striking up friendships - many of which have endured. Romance flourished. Jeeps and trucks clogged country lanes as D-Day drew closer.

By tracking down GI veterans, and talking to townspeople and villagers of West Dorset, Robin Pearce has vividly recaptured the character and atmosphere of an extraordinary period.

Available from: