Author: Francis Cottam
Publisher: A&C Black
They were just like the beaches at Normandy, Slapton Sand. That's why they trained them there - an army of invasion secluded in sleepy south Devon. But fifteen hundred soldiers perished at Slapton Sands, and no one seems to want to know why. Thirty-two years later, in the long hot summer of '76, Alice Bourne, an American Student, arrives determined to discover the true story of their tragic sacrifice. But her presence is unwelcome. Disturbing incidents occur. Alice believes she's being haunted, targeted by a malevolent individual with his own dark reasons for preventing her from finding out what really happened. A poignant love story and a chilling tale of suspense, Francis Cottam's mesmerizing novel peels back the layers of both past and present to examine the harrowing detail of a tragic wartime mystery.
A chronicle of one of WWII's most dramatic and secret operations.
A stunning novel about friendship, war, and one girl's bravery which changes her life forever. It's 1943, and twelve-year-old Lily Tregenza lives on a farm in an idyllic seaside village in England. Apart from her father being away and the "townie" evacuees at school, her life is scarcely touched by the war . . . until Lily and her family, along with 3,000 other villagers, are ordered to evacuate their homes to allow the Allied forces to practice their landings for D-day. It's a dangerous operation--guns firing and bombs exploding--and the whole area is off-limits. But Adolphus Tips, Lily's adored cat, has other ideas--barbed wire and "Keep out!" signs mean nothing to her. Tips (cont'd)
The Kid on Slapton Beach
Author: Felicity Fair Thompson
Publisher: Hatchet Publications
War is hard enough when your dad is missing in action, and even harder when you have to leave everything you know and love. Twelve-year-old Harry is one of three thousand people leaving the coast in Devon during the Second World War as US troops move into the area, planning secret D-Day rehearsals on the beach there in April 1944. But what if your most treasured possession is left behind?
The Magic Army
Author: Leslie Thomas
Publisher: Random House
The war, they said, would be over by Christmas. That was in 1939, and it is now January 1944. An exhausted Britain faces another year of conflict. Meanwhile, small coastal villages in Devon are facing an invasion from an army just as foreign as that of the Germans. The Americans are smart, well-fed and well-equipped, and they have swept the bewildered citizens of South Devon from their homes in deadly earnest rehearsal for D-Day. As the beaches echo to the sound of bullets and the local church to the strains of Glenn Miller, Americans and English are thrown together with sometimes hilarious, sometimes painful and puzzling results.
Author: Ken Small, Mark Rogerson
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing UK
Bestselling true story of the fiasco of the D-Day landings exercise in Devon in 1944 in which over 1,000 soldiers were killed
Author: Nigel Lewis
Publisher: Prentice Hall Direct
Describes the tragic loss of nearly seven hundred American servicemen during preparations for the D-Day landings of World War II, offering an eyewitness chronicle of Allied ineptitude and and cover-up
The Waiting Hours
Author: Ellie Dean
Publisher: Random House
Slapton Sands, 1943 War has not been kind to Carol Porter. It took her husband and baby, and with them her heart. At last she’s found some peace, working as a land girl at Coombe Farm. But Carol’s sanctuary, the whole local area in fact, is about to be disrupted. When Pauline Reilly hears Carol’s news she’s worried for her little sister. But as rumours about Slapton Sands reach Cliffehaven, Pauline can’t help be more concerned for her only surviving son. And despite her sister-in-law Peggy’s best efforts, nothing soothes Pauline’s fears. As Carol prepares to face the impending upheaval alone her beloved mother, Dolly, swoops in to Slapton, and packing up Carol’s life presents unexpected opportunities for them both: Carol looks to her future while Dolly confronts a ghost from her past, and they both have a chance to mend their broken hearts.
Author: Mark Khan
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Preceded by a massive airborne assault, the largest amphibious operation ever undertaken began on 6 June 1944 D-Day. Over a fifty-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline 160,000 Allied troops came ashore on the beaches of Normandy. Supported by more than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft, they quickly gained a foot-hold in Fortress Europe.??To plan and execute such a massive military operation successfully required training. The stakes were high. There was one chance to see the landings work; failure was inconceivable. Much work was required to be done, new tactics to be worked out, new technologies to be utilised. Most of all, the training for the amphibious assault required beaches. Such locations would need to be as representative of the actual landing beaches as possible, large enough to support exercises up to divisional level and be able to safely allow the live firing of weapons both by the supporting naval and air forces as well as that of the assaulting troops.??Such a place for the Americans was found in the sleepy South Hams area of South Devon. The long shingle beach at Slapton Sands featured a freshwater lake and inundated area just behind it. The rural countryside with rolling hills, de-lineated by high hedges and featuring numerous small woods bore a remarkable similarity to the area selected for the American landing area at Utah beach.??But this choice came at a price. Over 20,000 acres of prime agricultural land, along with villages and farms were requisitioned. No less than 180 farms, 28 shops, 11 inns, 100 houses and 450 cottages, along with 3,000 residents, were expelled from the area. The peace of the South Devon coast was soon shattered as what came to be known as the Slapton Sands Assault Training Centre. ??Such was the scale of the training that almost all of the US troops involved in D-Day itself landed on the beach at Slapton Sands at one time, some more than once. The American airborne forces would also practice here, being dropped behind the beaches as part of the vast exercises - Incredibly realistic, always dangerous. ??The training, however, was not without risk. During one of the final major co-ordinated practices Exercise Tiger over 800 men were lost to enemy action whilst travelling by sea to land on the beaches at Slapton Sands. Often shrouded in intrigue, this disaster has been the subject of conspiracy theories for many years.??Following D-Day, with the troops gone, the South Hams area fell silent once more. People returned to their homes to find farmland overgrown, shell-crated and damaged. Villages and houses had been battered by shell fire and the movements of thousands of troops. Live ammunition and the detritus of war lay scattered throughout the area.??Packed with the first-hand accounts of those who lived or trained at Slapton Sands, the author, a military historian brought up in the area, investigates all aspects of the military exercises undertaken here.
Cameron Henry Hafer
Author: Gary Hafer
Publisher: Hafer, LLC
Letters From My Windmill
Author: Alphonse Daudet
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The stories are all told by the author in the first person, typically addressing a Parisian reader. The author, having relocated his home from Paris, recounts short bucolic tales about his new life in Provence as well as his trips to Corsica and French Algeria. Considered to be light-hearted, and often a bit tongue-in-cheek, the stories vary from day-to-day events in southern France to Provençal folk-tales, and often feature professions and faunal references characteristic of Provence.
Author: James R. Benn
Publisher: Soho Press
A young Boston Irish cop becomes Eisenhower's personal investigator in London. His first assignment takes him to the headquarters of the Norwegian government-in-exile to find a killer who is trying to thwart Allied plans to invade Norway.
Experience the abundant history of Britain firsthand with this scenic, thorough, and altogether superlative guide.