The Americans In Normandy (Paperback)
Alongside their British and Canadian allies, the American troops landed on the Normandy beaches on the 6th of June 1944. Today, their presence in Normandy on D-Day appears as if it were perfectly obvious. The reality behind it is a little more complicated.When war broke out in Europe in September 1939, a survey revealed that only 2.5% of Americans were in favour of their country joining the conflict. At the time, the US Army ranked roughly in twentieth position among armed forces across the globe and the nation's economy was as yet to recover from the 1929 crash.On the 7th of December, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was to hasten the United States' involvement in the war. In just a few years, the immense war effort deployed by the world's most powerful nation was to irreversibly tip the scales in favour of the Allies.The first American soldiers arrived in Belfast as early as January 1942. By the spring of 1944, 1,700,000 were posted in the United Kingdom. Some of them spent months there before heading for Normandy to contribute towards the liberation of France and Western Europe.First and foremost, this book offers an account of their long journey. It also concentrates on the hostilities that marked the summer of 1944, covering aspects which are often left in the shadows, such as how the army operated out in the field, the day-to-day lives of the GIs, their relationships with the local population or the great burden of the presence of the Americans in Normandy – for by late July, there were three times as many GIs in the Cotentin and Bessin as there were inhabitants!