Two historians--one American and one British--examine the ways in which rivalries and personality conflicts among Allied commanders adversely affected the D-Day invasion and its aftermath. This book offers a fresh perspective on the Normandy invasion -- -the beginning of the end of World War II. The book highlights the conflicting egos, national rivalries, and professional abilities of the principal D-Day commanders who planned and executed the OVERLORD Operation and its aftermath. Two historians, one American and one British, show how lack of cooperation and bad decisions lengthened the war, increased casualties, and allowed the later Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.From their in-depth analysis of past D-Day literature, primary and archival sources, the authors provide insightful answers to the many controversies that have long surrounded the OVERLORD campaign. Among the questions addressed are: What caused the two-month delay for the Allied breakout from the Normandy beachhead. Why did the bulk of the German army escape from the Falaise Pocket? Who stopped Patton's August 1944 advance into Germany? Why did it take so long to open the Port of Antwerp needed for securing the required supplies for the Allied advance into Germany?The evidence presented in this book makes it clear that the problems raised by these questions and many other difficulties could have been avoided if the Allied commanders had been less contentious, a factor that sometimes led to catastrophic battlefield outcomes. Complete with maps that illustrate the campaign's progression and photographs of the commanders and the forbidding battlefield terrain, this new examination of the war in Europe makes a major contribution to our understanding of the decision-making behind these pivotal historic events.
Edward E. Gordon, Ph.D., is a professional historian, researcher, writer, and speaker. For a twenty-year period he taught history courses at DePaul University Chicago and also business subjects at Loyola University Chicago and Northwestern. Dr. Gordon is a member of the American Historical Association and was a participant in the Distinguished Lecturer Program of the Organization of American Historians. He is the author or co-author of 19 books and has written over 300 articles in journals and trade publications.David Ramsay is the author of Lusitania Saga and Myth and 'Blinker' Hall, Spymaster: The Man Who Brought America into World War I. He has lectured and been interviewed for radio and television on Winston Churchill's career, the Gallipoli Campaign, the 1944 Normandy landings, and the story of the Lusitania. He is a graduate of Trinity College Cambridge in history and economics. His father, Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, was the naval commander-in-chief for the Normandy Invasion and had previously directed the Dunkirk evacuation. Admiral Ramsay had also been responsible for planning the invasion of North Africa and commanded the British task force for the invasion of Sicily.
“Bold and engaging, Divided on D-Day brings renewed attention to the personalities surrounding Operation Overlord and the Allied campaigns in France and the Low Countries during World War II. With its share of heroes, including Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Montgomery, and the often overlooked Sir Bertram Ramsay, this book does not necessarily overturn existing historiography but highlights interpersonal conflicts, especially those stemming from Montgomery, which hampered Allied efforts before, during, and after the Normandy landings. Although some would disagree with the idea that the Germans were broadly better than the Allies at the tactical level, the adverse effects of the rivalries between various Allied commanders is hard to dispute, even if, as Gordon and Ramsay note, the Allies were less dysfunctional than the German Wehrmacht. A quick and lively read.”
—James Villanueva, captain, US Army
“This fast-paced and engrossing study of the Normandy campaign's major leaders illustrates how the interaction of their heavyweight personalities shaped the results. Edward E. Gordon and David Ramsay know their facts, and readers will enjoy assessing their conclusions.”—David Freeman, editor, Finest Hour, journal of the International Churchill Society“This is one of the most profound what-if books written on World War II.”
—Alan Axelrod, author of The Real History of World War II and Patton's Drive
“References to the Anglo-American ‘special relationship' notwithstanding, the partnership between Britain and the United States during World War II was marked by frequent disagreements, quarrels, and even occasional bitterness. Each country needed the other, of course, so the disputes never quite derailed the alliance. In this new book, two scholars—one American and one British (in fact, the son of the Allied naval commander at Normandy, Sir Bertram Ramsay)—show just how close the Allies came to fracturing. The authors' vivid portraits of the key figures in the D-Day campaign are entirely convincing.”
—Craig L. Symonds, author of Neptune: The Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings
“A meticulously researched examination of the key personalities in the Normandy campaign and their campaign highs and lows. Some readers will disagree with the authors' assessments, but with hundreds of supporting quotes from participants, the authors have provided substance and weight to their arguments. None of the Allied commanders were without flaws, and with the events seventy-three years in the past, it is time for a fresh study. Provocative and sometimes scathing, this book will create debate and reevaluation, and that can only be a positive thing.”
—Paul Woodadge, Normandy tour guide and author