The author, Jerome Welna, takes the reader aboard the USS Barton to his battle station on the bridge for a grandstand view of the army Ranger assault on Pointe du Hoc, located at the west end of Omaha Beach, 6 June 1944. The Barton provided artillery support for the army Rangers until target number one for the Omaha Beach sector was taken out and all German resistance eliminated. The author provides personal eyewitness details of the nineteen-day naval battle with naval artillery support for invasion troops at Omaha Beach, including E-boat and bomber attacks, which ended 24 June with the bombardment and capture of Cherbourg. Detailed descriptions of problems encountered by assault forces advancing through the German mined defense system bring the reader to realize how dangerous it really was for the soldiers to advance up the beach to the base of the cliffs, which afforded their only protection from accurate German shell fire. The Normandy invasion could never have been attempted without the support of the U.S. Navy. In the second half of the book the author describes the many battles with the kamikazes (Japanese suicide planes) for the liberation of the Philippines, and the final battle of Okinawa. A foreword by David F. Winkler, Ph.D. (U.S. Naval Historic Foundation), many footnotes, eighteen maps, fourteen photographs, and an index of full names, places and subjects enhance the text.
Jerome S. Welna
2009, 5½x8½, paper, index, 436 pp.