In this much-anticipated follow-up to his acclaimed Omaha Beach, historian Joseph Balkoski chronicles the amphibious landings and airborne operations at Utah Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Part of the story is already familiar: Among the paratroopers who landed with the 101st Airborne was the company Stephen Ambrose followed in Band of Brothers. Using firsthand after-action reports and unit journals, Balkoski creates a compelling narrative of the fighting at Utah Beach on D-Day, while meticulously constructed maps pinpoint key geographical features and show unit locations as the action unfolds.
Added to the invasion plan largely at the insistence of British General Bernard Montgomery, the attack at Utah Beach aimed to secure the Cotentin Peninsula and ultimately seize the port of Cherbourg. Although the assault on Utah Beach became one of the most successful American military operations of World War II, it was fraught with risk from the beginning: Not only was Utah the most isolated of the five D-Day beaches, but the airborne operation was of unprecedented size and scope. Despite the perils, American troops cascaded into that corner of Normandy from the sea and the sky, gaining a military triumph that contributed decisively to Allied success on D-Day. This book is both an engaging narrative and a tribute to the men who stormed the beaches and dropped from the sky.
Joseph Balkoski is Command Historian of the Maryland National Guard and author of Omaha Beach (978-0-8117-3376-2), Utah Beach (978-0-8117-3377-9), and the classic Beyond the Beachhead (978-0-8117-3237-6). He has appeared as a D-Day expert on MSNBC, and his work has been praised by Joe Scarborough, the New York Post, the Washington Times, World War II magazine, and others. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.