Neptune Monograph..the original topsecret plans for D-Day...

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Henrik Elling, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. Henrik Elling

    Henrik Elling Member

    Did any of you know this existed? It was delivered to the absolute top of the allied command six weeks before D-Day. It contains thorough information about everything from tidal forces to typical battle tactics. It describes German defenses and typical strongpoints, the risk of chemical attacks and is so thorough it even has an analysis of the soil type on Utah and Omaha Beach.

    Attached Files:

  2. I gather that you have bought this monograph at an auction by a UK auctioneer here:
    WWII Top-Secret BIGOT Neptune Monograph (Normandy Landing) Prepared by Commander Task Force 122 A

    I do not use facebook, so I can't easily navigate your fb website here:
    The Neptune Monograph Project
    but do I understand correctly that you plan to reproduce this booklet and make it available for sale?

    Also, can you give us an idea of the number of pages (and of what) it contains?

    I'm reproducing below the picture you posted, in the higher quality as originally posted on the auction webpage:

    It looks that this monograph was received by a Lt H(?) Rigby RNVR, therefore obviously not a member of the US Forces, but rather the British commander of a British craft (most probably a Landing Craft, Tank) attached to the Western Task Force (aka TF122) for the invasion.

  3. I misread (wasn't too sure either). It's not H. Rigby, but T.A. Rigby:

    Lieutenant Thomas Arthur RIGBY, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (seniority 28th November 1942), Commanding Officer of LCT(4) 1047, 54 LCT Flotilla, 'Q' LCT Squadron, attached to Force 'B'.

    RIGBY TA Lieut - The London Gazette Issue 35921, 26 February 1943 - Page 988.jpg
    Source: Page 988 | Issue 35921, 26 February 1943 | London Gazette | The Gazette

    You can read his action report in the "Narrative Report of 'Q' L.C.T. Squadron in Operation OVERLORD" in my flickr Album here (free of charge :D):

    Hardly "the absolute top of the allied command" if I may add a comment ;)

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  4. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Hi Michel,
    A bit of a coincidence there was also a J.F. Rigby serving in 54 Flotilla in June 1944.

    Sub/Lt J.F Rigby, RNVR. was on LCT 832 as 1st Lieutenant in June 1944.
    LCT(4) 832 was part of 54 LCT Flotilla, “Q” LCT Squadron, Force “B”. Location Plymouth


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  5. Thanks Danny, I did not know that. I only had LCT 832's C.O. (S/Lt. S.W. Cheek, R.N.V.R.).

    Here's LCT 1047 bobbing up and down in the rough Channel seas on its way to Normandy alongside other ships and craft of Force “B”. LCT 1087 is part of 59 LCT Flotilla, “Q” LCT Squadron:
    1047, 1087 LCT(4), LST 55 - 180 - 05.44.06.jpg

    Squinting our eyes a bit, one should actually be able to see Lieut. Tom Rigby on the bridge, frantically studying his copy No.845 of the Neptune Monograph while holding a sick bucket in the other, trying, not with total success if the stained cover of the booklet is any indication, not to mistake one for the other :lol:.

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  6. Henrik,

    All the kidding and teasing aside, this a an excellent project that you have undertaken, and I hope that we can see more of it soon, especially the maps & charts.

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  7. Henrik Elling

    Henrik Elling Member

    Hi Michel (and Danny)

    Awesome with somebody who actually can help. Thanks a lot, very interesting. My own background is 15 years as a history teacher, writer, and editor of a number of history magazines and books.

    I can see in my copy of the Monograph (yes, I used the picture from another page, because it's not stamped all over) that the Monograph was originally Top Secret Bigot - the absolute highest security level during WW2(and top of the allied command;-) - after combat operations began it became Restricted, which is probably when Rigby received his copy.

    I have attached a screenshot of my copy. Also, I will attach a table of content. It is so thorough it is actually difficult to grasp what information allied intelligence was able to gather.

    Some facts:
    * The Monograph is originally 112 pages, including 14 pages of large maps and charts
    * It originally came in a ring binder - we will try to recreate, but depending on costs might have to do a classic book instead.
    * There is a 22-page addendum added in late May. This is the latest update German movements and contains ie a new analysis of Torpedo-boat tactics and the risk of human torpedoes. We will try very hard to get hold of this and add to the Monograph.

    If you don't use FB but still would like a notification when we launch, you can sign up on our webpage

    I will try to post more about the book later and will take a look on your Flickr as soon as I am home from work.

    / Henrik
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  8. Henrik Elling

    Henrik Elling Member

    Table of content + original cover

    Attached Files:

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  9. Henrik Elling

    Henrik Elling Member

  10. Henrik,

    I fail to detect the remotest hint of a Plan in the Condensed Table of Contents that you posted.

    Is there more to it than it seems ?

  11. Henrik Elling

    Henrik Elling Member

    Hi Michel

    First of all, yes. There is a lot more to it. I will try to upload some of it as the project progresses, but have attached a few screenshots.

    But in retrospective you are right, "plan" might be a wrong word. It is the top-secret intelligence report, the allied top leaned against to plan Operation Neptune - the landing on D-Day. When you read it you can easily understand how it has played a central role in the planning.

    The attachment is really a minimum but as you might sense it goes from descriptive to very "nerdy" in some of the charts.

    Feel free to ask further, Henrik :)

    Attached Files:

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  12. Henrik,

    Thanks for these screen shots. This is quite interesting. The Monograph must have been distributed to all ship & craft commanders in the Western Task Force on their departure for Normandy, along with the Operation Plan.

    I see that the detailed Table of Contents takes 3 pages. Could you post the part (if any) listing the "Folios (Shoreline sketches, Charts, Maps etc.)"?

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  13. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I am not surprised by the soil report, as failing to investigate or at least properly deal with the beach at Dieppe was a major problem there.

    As I understand it, a certain soft blue sand (?) was noticed in the D Day beaches and the Bobbins AVREs were supposed to lay carpet to deal with those.
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  14. Henrik Elling

    Henrik Elling Member

    Michel, definitely. I will post a listing soon, have a lot of tasks today together with the printing company (the task is quite difficult, as we want the maps, charts aso to be full size - and they are different sizes most of them. We will have to find a solution, but it drives expenses up).

    But I will try to upload when I am home tonight again.

    Seroster, Yes I thought the same about Dieppe...I didn't see anything about the blue sand in the report, but I will take another look and keep you updated.
  15. idler

    idler GeneralList

    'Blue clay' was suspected on GOLD and solutions were found that weren't used elsewhere:

    Roly Poly.
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  16. Henrik,

    I think I know where you might have got your (somewhat inadequate) title for this thread ("Neptune Monograph..the original topsecret plans for D-Day...") and some pages in your FB website :):
    Neptune Monograph – The original top secret plans for the Normandy D-Day Invasion

    The Neptune Monograph seems to be preserved in a few Museums/Archives around the world, including NARA. Is this the source for your version of it?"Neptune Monograph"

    The Private Papers of Lieut. P.L. BARRALL at the IWM also seem to hold a copy of the Monograph, along with other interesting documents:
    Private Papers of Lieutenant P L Barratt

    Here are the 3 pages of the Detailed Table of Contents, available on the quite nice new website of the "D Day Story Portsmorth", formerly "D Day Museum Portsmouth":
    NM p4 - DDM - 1990_167ac.jpg
    NM p5 - DDM - 1990_167ad.jpg
    NM p6 - DDM - 1990_167ae.jpg
    Source: The D-Day Story, Portsmouth

    From this and the few other sample pages available, it seems that, as expected, some Sections are concerned exclusively with the Western (US) Task Force Area. However, Section I (Weather, Sea and Surf), Section V (Enemy Order of Battle and Capabilities) and Section VIII (France under German control) as well as parts of Section VI (Enemy Defenses and Installations), plus Folios I to M also apply to the Eastern (Commonwealth) Task Force Area.

    Given the fact that the Neptune Monograph was obviously distributed to every ship and major craft commander in the Western Naval Task Force before they sailed for France, and that it is still, if not widely, but readily, available from an admitedly small number of preserving organisations, writing that "Only a small group of men ever saw it before it disappeared from history.", as you do in your FB page, sounds like stretching things a bit thin, does it not :D?

    That said, I believe your venture will have the definite advantage of offering those interested in the US part of Operation Neptune the complete Monograph in paper form, with the full-sized Maps & Charts probably being the most attactive part - that is, if the price is right, and provided that the most pompous advertising gimmicks are toned down a bit so that they better reflect the historical truth:lol:.

  17. Henrik Elling

    Henrik Elling Member

    This is great feedback, Michel. We will look into the descriptions, before launch. And yes, actually we talked for a while with the daughter of Marty to see if we could get the Monograph out for the world to see. Her father's story is a fascinating one.

    Our good news today is that the printing company found a solution for the maps & charts. Back to work for us. Thanks for the input.

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