Channel Firing: Tragedy of Exercise Tiger

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9780140114010: Channel Firing: Tragedy of Exercise Tiger

In the autumn of 1943, the United States armed forces, with the cooperation of the British government, evacuated seven villages and took over 30 acres of Devon to set up a high security camp where thousands of young American recruits could be trained for the forthcoming invasion of Europe. Known as Exercise Tiger, the operation included manoeuvres and rehearsals on landing craft in the English Channel. On the night of April 28th 1944, the landing craft had inadequate escort of warships and seven German E-boats in the area moved in. At first, the Americans thought they were part of the exercise, but then they saw that their friends were being wounded and killed on several of the vessels, the order was given to abandon ship. Many of the soldiers who jumped, drowned soon after hitting the water. Through research and interviews with survivors, Lewis uncovers incompetence, cover-ups, hasty midnight burials and possible official misrepresentation in the events surrounding the debacle of Exercise Tiger, when hundreds of men died in a dress rehearsal for D-Day in April 1944.

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