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Wartime New Forest Revealed

By John Leete


The New Forest, a military training area since the sixteenth century, played a pivotal role during the preparations for, and the launch of D-Day in 1944. Many consider that the ultimate success of the D-Day campaign was in part due to the fact that the Allied Armed Forces were able to harness so much power and might within the Forest.

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The New Forest, a military training area ever since the sixteenth century, played a pivotal role in the preparations and launch of D-Day in 1944. Many consider that the ultimate success of the D-Day campaign was in part due to the fact that the Allied Armed Forces were able to weld together so much power and might within the Forest. The coastal location was deemed geographically ideal and an almost purpose-built springboard for launching Operation Overlord.

 

Wartime New Forest Revealed, the only title giving a comprehensive account of this part of the country in wartime, brings to light newly discovered evidence of wartime occupation – through films, photographs, LiDAR surveys, maps, aerial photography, personal anecdotes and accounts from the military archives – to give new insights into this hub of Britain’s wartime past. Above all, Leete illustrates how wartime Great Britain proves the truth that ‘it is the long history of humankind … that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed’ (Charles Darwin).

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