As World War Two edged towards its conclusion, Allied planners had one last operation up their sleeves. It was a mission that would require every ounce of logistical ability that the Allied armed forces had at their disposal. And if it failed, the impact on the morale of the men and women serving in the Allied navies, armies and airforces could potentially be catastrophic.
This massive operation would require a huge amount of resources and involve millions of soldiers, sailors and airmen. And these resources – human and material – had already been stretched to breaking point by years of vicious warfare. Following the bitter combat that so many had endured, the success of this undertaking was absolutely paramount.