Finally, after two years of pandemic-imposed absence, a day spent researching at the National Archives in College Park (a.k.a. “Wonderland”)! Working with the archivists to build the foundation for a follow-on to Advocating Overlord felt like beginning again. The pandemic has not kept me idle completely, however. For unrelated reasons, over a couple of months before the lock-down started, I scanned hundreds of pages of documents into my research database. Since then, I have been working from that fortuitous haul. The research gaps remaining are quite clear and a trip to the United Kingdom will be essential. However, the path to the second book now is clear.
Once the advocates, British, American, and Canadian, had won reaffirmation of Allied commitment to their liberation strategy that would begin with a cross-Channel invasion into Normandy, they had to sit down and ask each other, “Okay, how are we really going to do this?” Accomplishing the tasks flowing from the answer was neither easy, straightforward, risk-free, nor without conflict.
Perhaps no story can be fascinating without also being complex – or in the case of these nine months in 1943-44, very complex. Understandable to me now is why so many books on D-Day instead skip ahead to begin their account with paratroopers jumping out of airplanes. However, General Sir Frederick Morgan, COSSAC, rightly considered to be part of the battle this period of intense preparation. That will be the focus of the follow-on to Advocating Overlord. Now, to the work of writing this story well and true. Working title, Assembling Overlord.
Philip Padgett examines history by applying skills developed during 40 years of national security and preparedness research and analysis in the military, government, and the private sector. As Deputy Intelligence Adviser at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, he supported from Washington teams negotiating five international treaties and agreements. Read more >>