chapter  4
25 Pages

The gathering force

The British had neither the manpower nor the number of weapons to achieve their aim; long fronts were covered by too few units with too few guns. The great temptation was to start issuing orders and getting people to do things. Part of that work was an assessment of the capacity of ports and beaches to handle the supplies an invading force would require. For months the British had been convinced that the blow would fall on East Anglia and the four divisions and the Independent Brigade of XI Corps were deployed there with an armoured division, an infantry division and a brigade in reserve. The study continued with consideration of the throughput that might be attained using beaches and ports between North Foreland, the north-eastern extreme of Kent, and Dungeness. Success would depend on all arms doing their uttermost and in particular those attacking the enemy's supply lines.