List of Normandy Letters
These letters are important because they document where Ellsberg was during the critical days leading up to the Normandy invasion and his contact with Churchill, as described in detail in The Far Shore. The problem was that the huge cement Phoenixes that were to be an integral part of the Mulberry harbors were solidly stuck on the ocean floor, and the Royal Engineers who were in control of the project could not raise them. Ellsberg had showed them how to, but realized that they weren't capable of the task. He communicated this to Admiral Stark, who, in turn, contacted the King, who used his influence in getting Churchill to visit Selsey Bill where Ellsberg was stationed. The facts surrounding Churchill's involvement in the Mulberry aspect of the invasion are practically unknown, and it is solely through these letters that his involvement is documented. Immediately upon reviewing the problem, Churchill went back to London, took the job away from the Royal Engineers and gave it to the royal Navy. Ellsberg and others had pushed for the Americans to get the job, but due to politics, that never could have happened. See The Far Shore for a full account of the events leading up to D-Day, and how Ellsberg's efforts changed the outcome of the invasion. It is important to note that the date the letter was written may not correspond to the postmark date. This will be especially important for those letters written prior to the invasion.