4 out of 4 stars
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The largest seaborne invasion in history that happened on the 6th of June, 1944, in Normandy is one that history will never forget. We will never forget the leaders who oversaw the execution of operation OVERLORD after years of planning and how significant it was in laying the foundations for the Allied victory. Nevertheless, we have forgotten the person who planned this operation of utmost importance: Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Morgan, KCB. On that note, John D. Gazzelli has presented a detailed reminder of the facts surrounding the planning and execution of operation OVERLORD and Morgan's role in it in his book, Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Morgan, KCB: The Planner Who Saved Europe.
The author has done an incredible job in the presentation of this documentary, giving us an in-depth look into Morgan's story while presenting valid references for every aspect of the book. This is the first aspect of the book I enjoyed, as the author brought me into several strategic conferences, from ARCADIA and EUREKA to SYMBOL, where the Allied leaders deliberated on the best courses of action to take in the war. The author perfectly recreates the tense atmosphere in those meetings, especially between the American and British leaders, while they couldn't agree on a lot of specifics. Would they prioritize a cross-channel attack, or would they first attack the German forces through the Mediterranean?
Amidst these deliberations, Morgan was assigned to the role of Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander (COSSAC) on the operation, and in the absence of a Supreme Allied Commander, with limited logistical support, and a lack of support from the British Chiefs of Staff, Morgan oversaw the planning of the operation from the forces and landing crafts required to the ground assault and beyond that. As I went through his incredible story and witnessed the numerous challenges he had to overcome, I kept wondering why his role in the operation was diminished. The author also sufficiently explores the reasons for this in his book, especially revolving around Morgan's perceived loyalty to the Americans and the appointments of General Eisenhower as the Supreme Allied Commander and General Montgomery as the commander of the British 21st Army Group at the closing stages of the planning.
Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Morgan, KCB: The Planner Who Saved Europe is a professionally edited book. I found just five errors throughout, and they did not have any bearing on my enjoyment of the book. A lot of code names and abbreviations are employed throughout this piece, but the author makes things easy to follow by including a "List of Terms" section before the book commences. I cannot think of anything I dislike about this book.
Overall, I appreciate John D. Gazzelli's efforts in bringing this important aspect of one of the world's heroes' history to light. Therefore, this book deserves the maximum rating of four out of four stars. Its well-referenced nature, attention to detail, and excellent depiction of facts justify this rating. Historians and lovers of documentaries will thoroughly enjoy this book.
Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Morgan, KCB The Planner Who Saved Europe
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