Joseph Balkoski is Command Historian of the Maryland National Guard and author of Omaha Beach (978-0-8117-3376-2), Utah Beach (978-0-8117-3377-9), and the classic Beyond the Beachhead (978-0-8117-3237-6). He has appeared as a D-Day expert on MSNBC, and his work has been praised by Joe Scarborough, the New York Post, the Washington Times, World War II magazine, and others. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
Beyond The Beachhead: The 29th Infantry Division in Normandyby Joseph Balkoski
• Expanded edition with a new chapter on the final battles of the Normandy campaign By 1945, the US Army had sixty-eight infantry divisions, forty-two of which fought in the great campaign in northwest Europe that began with the amphibious landings on D-Day and ended eleven months later with Germany's surrender. Beyond the Beachhead examines the experience of one infantry division-the 29th-during forty-five days of combat from Omaha Beach on D-Day to the liberation of St. Lô. Using interviews, official records, and unit histories and supplementing his narrative with meticulously detailed maps, Balkoski follows the 29th from the bloody landings at Omaha through the hedgerows of Normandy, illustrating the brutal realities of life on the front line.
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More to the book than the title would suggest. Bullet form is the best way to outline my very positive likes. 1. The way the book outlines the history of the division including the 116th Regiment history back to Stonewall Jackson. 2. How the regular army was a bit skeptical about National Guard units (especially the disparaging remarks made by Gen. McNair and the 1st ID) 3. The contrasts and comparisons on how German and American units were organized, trained and deployed in combat; especially how the Germans build their units around the feared and ferocious MG 42. 4. The utter devastation of the 116th Regiments in D-Day - If you saw "Saving Private Ryan", you will see in your mind's eye the slaughter of A Co. as the 1st boat to hit the beach with every weapon trained on that one assault craft. 5.As with every other unit, no one thought about what was behind the beach head - the "bocage" ; which at times literally decimated wholesale 29th ID units. 6. Gen Gerhardt although referred to as "Uncle Charlie" is depicted as a ruthless task-master/take the objective no matter the costs. Overall the Division was well led from top to bottom - privates, sergeants, officers from company to field grade. Thankfully the author devoted only 1 paragraph to "Operation Cobra"; any Day-D enthusiast is very familiar with that action so there was no need to re-hash it again. The book ends with the Division south of Vire - and as the book ends "but that is another story. An outstanding look at a single Division - excellent maps to allow the reader to easily follow the 29er's path from the beach and beyond. Buy it!
Very quick delivery. Excellent book. Will definitely use this seller again.