The D-Day landings of 6 June 1944 were the culmination of months of meticulous planning and organisation. A vast army had to be trained and equipped; huge amounts of material - from tin cans to tank transporters, petrol to parachutes - had to be stockpiled, distributed and readied for transport to the beaches of Normandy; bombing missions had to reduce the enemy; fighters, minesweepers and other naval missions had to clear the English Channel; and, finally, the men had to embark and the armada had to deliver its cargo to a strict timetable under enemy fire onto a hostile shore. For understandable reasons, the emphasis on remembrance of D-Day is focused on the beaches: that's where the battles took place; that's where most of the casualties occurred; that's where the remarkable stories were written in blood, sand and shingle.
We should never forget the sacrifice of those who fell, but equally we shouldn't forget the sacrifices of those who prepared the way. The hundred locations chosen for this book are a small collection of those places in Britain that were involved in the preparations for D-Day. It would have been easy to choose a hundred others: few parts of Britain were not part of the war effort.
It is perhaps best to see the chosen 100 as starting points from which the reader can discover the considerable depth of involvement required to launch the great invasion.