Beyond the beach : the Allied air war against France

Bourque, Stephen A. (Stephen Alan), 1950- author

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  • Creator Stephen Alan Bourque
  • Format Books
  • Publication Annapolis, Maryland : Naval Institute Press, [2018]
  • Series
  • Physical Details
    • xviii, 353 pages ; 25 cm
  • ISBNs 9781612518732, 1612518737
  • OCLC on1028609231


  • "Beyond the Beach examines the Allied air war against France in 1944. During this period, Gen. Dwight David Eisenhower, as Supreme Allied Commander, took control of all American, British, and Canadian air units and employed them for tactical and operational purposes over France rather than as a strategic force to attack targets deep in Germany. Using bombers as his long-range artillery, he directed the destruction of bridges, rail centers, ports, military installations, and even French towns with the intent of preventing German reinforcements from interfering with Operation Neptune, the Allied landings on the Normandy beaches. Ultimately, this air offensive resulted in the death of more than 60,000 French civilians and an immense amount of damage to towns, churches, buildings, and works of art. This intense bombing operation, conducted against a friendly occupied state, resulted in a swath of physical and human destruction across northwest France that is rarely discussed as part of the D-Day landings. This book explores the relationship between ground and air operations and the effects on the French population. The book examines the three broad groups that the air operations involved as well as the doctrine and equipment used by Allied air force leaders to implement Eisenhower's plans."--Provided by publisher.


  • Includes bibliographical references and index.


  • A missing narrative -- The operational environment -- Eisenhower's command -- Airfields and ports -- Industry -- Crossbow -- Fortitude -- The rail centers -- The bridges -- The landings -- The towns -- Conclusions and observations
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