PROLOGUE 1. Germany First 2. ARCADIA 3. <"We've Got to Go to Europe and Fight>" 4. The Mediterranean Tar Baby 5. Casablanca to COSSAC 6. Brits and Yanks 7. <"Some Damn Things Called LST's>" 8. SHAEF and ANCXF 9. Duck, Fox, Beaver, Tiger 10. <"O.K. We'll Go>" 11. D-Day: The Invasion 12. D-Day: The Beaches 13. D-Day: The Crisis 14. <"The Shoreline Was Just a Shambles>" 15. <"A Field of Ruins>" EPILOGUE
Craig L. Symonds is Professor of History Emeritus at the United States Naval Academy. He is the author of many books on American naval history, including Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles That Shaped American History; The Battle of Midway; and Lincoln and His Admirals, co-winner of the Lincoln Prize in 2009.
"[Symonds] has written a marvellous account of Operation Neptune. While emphasizing the American side of the equation, he is even-handed and covers the British side of events with sensitivity and generosity. He is a rare American historian in his willingness to credit the contribution of the British and essentially accepts that it was a genuine partnership between, if not equals in the material sense, certainly so in the moral one...Symonds provides an excellent account of the strategic planning, discussions and compromises that led to the invasion of June 1944...This is a useful history of Operation Neptune. It tells a neglected story well and it is a story that deserves to be known much better. Symonds book is an excellent addition to the shelf of anyone interested in the Second World War and I recommend it accordingly."--The Northern Mariner "[A] fascinating, multi-layered story... Symonds has an excellent eye for telling details and arresting quotes from the ordinary participants." --Daily Beast "Neptune is a sweeping account . . . Symonds is lucid and incisive. His writing is as good as Rick Atkinson's . . . accessible, sharp and faithful to the human foibles of the protagonists whose plans and courage bore fruit on June 6, 1944." --ARMY "Excellent... Symonds has produced a terrific account of the heroic role the U.S. Navy played in making the D-Day landings a success." --Charleston Post and Courier "Symonds employs his extensive knowledge and skill at synthesis to turn an oft-told story into vibrant on-the-scene history... Symonds touches all the bases... The landing is especially well narrated. Solid writing has the reader feeling the suspense, where the outcome is already known." --Sea History "[A]n impressive account... Most accounts of the D-Day invasion start with landing craft opening their gates as courageous men rush out into German gun fire, Symond's brilliant narrative starts years earlier with American entry into WWII. The reader gains an incredible appreciation for the logistical masterpiece completed by Allied leaders and the careful, all-important buildup of the 'special relationship' between the United States and Great Britain... a must read for this year's important 70th Anniversary of D-Day." --Breitbart.com "Neptune is unquestionably a work that makes major contributions to the field... a finely written piece of history... It is very readable and hard to put down." --Proceedings "In Neptune, prolific naval historian and longtime US Naval Academy professor (now emeritus) Craig Symonds describes in fascinating detail Allied planning and preparation for the defeat of Germany in 1944 . . . Neptune fills a lacuna in D-day literature by its unusually thorough treatment of the naval requirements for the successful invasion of northern Europe. And, too, his extensive use of archival materials and relevant personal papers and documents allows him to elucidate the naval planning, preparation, and organization for Operation Neptune in far greater detail than do previous works." --Michigan War Studies Review "In this well-written, engaging volume, Craig Symonds, Professor Emeritus at the U.S. Naval Academy, makes an original contribution to the historiography of the Normandy landings... Symonds masterfully mixes the big picture, operational descriptions with colorful, illuminating firsthand accounts from the sailors.... Symonds has an especially strong feel for naval command. His personal profiles and assessment of the key leaders such as Bertram Ramsay, Alan Kirk, Morton Deyo, Philip Vian, and Don Moon are arresting and unforgettable. One suspects that his analysis of these important personalities will substantially influence and inform subsequent generations of Neptune historians...Neptune is a truly original and important contribution, one that substantially rounds out our understanding of the Normandy invasion." --Robert C. McMannus, Journal of Military History "This superb volume is the first comprehensive account in a half century of the vital naval operations that lifted the liberating legions to France, landed them on D-Day, and supported them. Craig Symonds ranges with easy command from often fractious strategic planning sessions to the searing experiences of young sailors in the crucible of fire-drenched beaches. Neptune is at once an important scholarly contribution and a great read." --Richard B. Frank, author of Guadalcanal and Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire "Craig L. Symonds, one of America's greatest military historians, scores a triumph with Neptune. In this masterpiece of historical scholarship Symonds sheds new light on how FDR mobilized the U.S. Navy for the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944. His archival work is dazzling. Highly recommended!" --Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History at Rice University, CBS News Historian, and author of The Boys of Point du Hoc "Craig Symonds brings to vivid life the Allied assault from the sea on Normandy. He has written a clear, comprehensive, and often thrilling account of the massive and complex invasion--a tale of heroism and folly, genius and muddle. Neptune is an invaluable contribution to the history and literature of D-Day." --Evan Thomas, author of Sea of Thunder and Ike's Bluff "The prose is distinguished by the author's ability to simultaneously present an academic history supported by excellent research while captivating the reader with the individual narratives of soldiers and sailors who participated in the operation. Symonds has crafted an enjoyable and informative read for anyone interested in the history of WWII." --Publishers Weekly "Acclaimed naval historian Symonds has the teacher's patient touch and big-picture knowledge to accessibly present the truly incredible scope of this largely naval endeavor." --Kirkus Reviews