World War II was the first war in which amphibious landings played a truly significant role in the outcome of a global conflict. Drawing on the testimony of hundreds of participants, the author recounts their experiences in the Allied amphibious landings, vividly describing some of the most significant battles of the war. Organized chronologically, the first half of the book explores the European theater, including among other landings, Salerno, Diepe, and D-Day in Normandy. The second half focuses on the Pacific and Guadalcanal, including Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Every aspect of amphibious warfare is covered, from the experiences of the planners and the landing craft crews to the crews of the support ships and the assault troops, technicians, aircrews, and troop replacements.
Literally hundreds of testimonies were recorded by the author, resulting in a work as brilliant and immediate as any in describing the realities and horrors of war as well as the humor and comradeship, and the technical and logistical factors that influenced the Allied experience of amphibious warfare.