The Light of Battle: Eisenhower, D-Day, and the Birth of the American Superpower

Mariner. Jun. 2024. 528p. ISBN 9780358682370. $35. MILITARY HISTORY
At the 1943 Tehran Conference, the Big Three Allied leaders agreed to open a second front in western Europe to relieve pressure on Soviet forces. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, fresh off his victories in North Africa, was selected to lead the Allied forces into France. In this command-level study, historian Paradis (law, Columbia; Last Mission to Tokyo) details the level of planning and controversy that went into Operation Overlord, the codename for the Battle of Normandy. The specifics include squabbling between the western Allies about the limits of Eisenhower’s authority, and reconciling command style among the armies. Dubbed “the transatlantic essay contest,” every little detail about the invasion generated hundreds of reports, memos, and studies. The most vexing problem confronting the Allies was where they would get the vessels they needed to transport the invading forces. Operation Overlord proceeded to take precedence over all other Allied operations, including siphoning troops from the Italian campaign and postponing Operation Anvil, the invasion of France from the south.
VERDICT This magnificent study is based on deep archival research and offers a comprehensive look into the planning of the Allied invasion of France. Readers interested in World War II history, especially about D-Day, should enjoy.
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