For the Allies as well as Germany, it will be the longest day'. So said Field Marshall Erwin Rommel of the operations on D-Day; and he was correct. This is the first volume of a most impressive tribute and comprehensive five-part work that includes a multitude of personal military and civilian accounts of the aerial operations which were carried out on D-Day. At fifteen minutes after midnight on 6 June 1944 'Operation Overlord', the Allied invasion of Hitler's Festung Europe, became reality. The logistics of landing almost 250,000 men by amphibious craft seems almost unimaginable, yet a massive aerial umbrella of 3,000 RAF and USAAF fighters, fighter-bombers and heavy bombers, headed for France and more than 1,000 transport aircraft dropped more than 17.000 paratroopers to secure the flanks and beach exits of the assault area. Air superiority in the invasion areas was total. It was a day that changed the whole course of the war and resulted in the first steps to final victory in Europe.
Copious quotes from American and British and Dominion forces, fighting men, sailors, airmen from the occupied countries and their German opponents, tell of incredible, illuminating and often under-stated actions of extraordinary courage, companionship and a common fear of death or serious injury which offer a more personalized view of D-Day. This first volume sets an impressive precedent for the rest of the series.