Allied success in invading Fortress Europe (the area of Continental Europe occupied by Nazi Germany) depended on getting armor onto the beaches as fast as possible. This book explains how the Allies developed the specialist tanks it needed, their qualities, deployment and numbers, and how they performed on the two crucial days when France was invaded, firstly in Normandy and then in Provence.
The focus of this volume will be on the specialized tanks developed for the Operation Neptune amphibious landings including the Duplex Drive amphibious Sherman tanks used on both the US and British/Canadian beaches. It also covers the specialized engineer tanks called ”Armoured Funnies” of the British 79th Armoured Division and addresses the popular myth that US Army refusal to employ the Armoured Funnies was a principal cause for the high casualties at Omaha Beach. There is also coverage of Operation Overlord's “Forgotten D-Day”, the amphibious landings of Operation Dragoon. This book addresses why there were so few Panzers opposing the landings from the German perspective as well as detailing the extent of German tank/assault gun activity on D-Day.