Roll on-roll off ferries, floating harbours and radio navigation might sound like modern day inventions but, in fact, were all developed in the two years of planning for D-Day on 6 June 1944.
The Allied invasion of France – the greatest amphibious assault in history – is examined as the first large-scale invasion where science, technology and innovation played a major part, in D-Day Manual by Jonathan Falconer (Haynes Publishing) out April 4.
Other inventions included tank-carrying gliders, like the Hamilcar, to Duplex Drive swimming tanks; and from miracle radio navigation aids like Gee and Decca, which ensured that coastal minefields were swept and landing craft arrived on the correct beaches, to the use of air photography for map and chart making.
Impressive feats of engineering and logistical organisation saw the rapid assembly of the two Mulberry harbours, while airfield construction engineers carved dozens of advanced landing grounds out of the Norman soil close to the battlefront.
The book includes 60 colour and 230 archive images and first person accounts of the design, construction and purpose of some of the innovative machines, systems and structures that were used on D-Day, revealing how they contributed to the success of Operations Overlord and Neptune, paving the way for victory in Europe.