The Navy Department Library
Editor's Note - Operation NEPTUNE
Editor's Note (1948)
This substantial and well-document monograph is still (June, 1948) the most complete study which has been made of the strategic background of the invasion of Normandy, and of naval participation in that operation. The author had access not only to U.S. naval documents, but also to papers of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, the British Chief of Staff, and the Combined Chiefs of Staff. He was thus able to produce a work of extraordinary value, especially in its early part. The complexity of the problems dealt with in the firs three chapters is so great, however, and the range of sources so wide, that these pages cannot pretend to contain the final word on the subjects which they cover. No doubt the history of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, when it has reached Operation OVERLORD, will provide materials for correcting shortcomings in the present volume.
This study was finished in the summer of 1946. It was submitted to the Historical Officer of the U.S. Naval Forces, Europe, and somewhat revised by him, then it was forwarded by COMNAVEU to the Director of Naval History. It has not yet been extensively criticized by U.S. naval commanders of the operations described, but has been submitted to some few such officers.
For information on other aspects of this operation, the reader is referred to Volume IV of this series; also to the first study in Volume VII. On file in the Office of Naval Records are two brief narratives of small naval units: "ComNavEu Special Intelligence Unit", and "ComNavEu Forward Intelligence Unit"; both of these present interesting additional details concerning U.S. Naval Intelligence aspects of the operation.
At the beginning of each chapter of this monograph will be found an analytical table of contents of the chapter.
Editor's Note (2006)
The source document used for this web posting (Naval Administrative History of World War II) is a carbon copy of a typewritten document from 1948 that appears to have been a first draft compilation which was not well-proofread before it was bound for preservation. It contains errors and inconsistencies in punctuation, hyphenation, usage, capitalization, numbering, and alphabetization. In preparing this historical document for posting on the web, current proofreaders focused on readability rather than on exact reproduction of the original. Misspelled words and mistakes needing clarification were corrected without indicating the change from the original. For example: "Pointe du Hoe" was changed to "Pointe du Hoc," and "Operation TINBEL" to "TINDEL." Other inconsistencies in the original, such as "RAdm," "Radm," "Rear Adm," "Cincs," and "CinCs" are found throughout the document and are for the most part repeated verbatim in this version. Footnotes were moved to endnotes to make the web-formatted document easier to read. Therefore, when the Index refers to a page number, the reference will sometimes be found in the endnotes instead of on the page number referenced. Chapter numbers were standardized by using Roman numerals (Chapter I, Chapter II, etc.). Parts of chapters were standardized by using Arabic numbers (Part 1, Part 2, etc.). The footnotes refer to Sections I, II, etc., when they mean Part 1, Part 2, etc.). In summary, the original document appears to have been hastily assembled from notes, letters, and directives, not as a scholarly or well-edited document. Therefore it can be expected to have a wide variety in usage, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The current editors have not attempted to correct or standardize all the variations.