D-Day: Piercing the Atlantic Wall

Overview


Many books have been written about the Normandy landings, but Robert Kershaw brings a new perspective by drawing heavily on German and Allied sources little used in the standard accounts. The actual landings and the subsequent few days of battle often resolved themselves into a multitude of desperate small-scale struggles - for the next few yards of beach, to cross the next field, or to reach the next hedgerow. By looking at the battle at this level through the eyes of both Allied and German participants, the ...
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Overview


Many books have been written about the Normandy landings, but Robert Kershaw brings a new perspective by drawing heavily on German and Allied sources little used in the standard accounts. The actual landings and the subsequent few days of battle often resolved themselves into a multitude of desperate small-scale struggles - for the next few yards of beach, to cross the next field, or to reach the next hedgerow. By looking at the battle at this level through the eyes of both Allied and German participants, the author is able to develop new insights into the successes and failures of both sides. He also shows why the battle for Normandy developed into the long and bitter struggle that has become so well known. The book features extracts from the German telephone log for Omaha Beach, bringing the landings to life. The author also analyses the failure by both sides to balance tank and infantry forces in the difficult Normandy terrain, and examines why the Allies, with local superiority in the early days, were unable to break out earlier or form a larger bridgehead.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780711033238
  • Publisher: Ian Allan Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/19/2008
  • Pages: 504
  • Sales rank: 1,138,352
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Table of Contents


Preface     ix
The Narrow Channel     1
'Wolves circling a wounded dog'...Lyme Bay 28 April 1944     1
'It will be all right on the night'...England, Spring 1944     13
The Far Shore     27
The German Army in the West     27
'As for the Atlantic Wall...it was sheer humbug.' The Defence Debate     31
'It is essential to prepare for hard times here.' Normandy Defences. Spring 1944     34
'Your objective is not the coast. Your objective is the sea!'...The Panzers     43
'Cry Wolf!'...Spring 1944     49
Objectives     51
The Race to the Fore-shore...Objectives and Plans     51
Realignment...'The situation did not look promising'     56
'The day of the dashing cut-and-thrust tank attack..is past and gone'     59
'Jagerschreck'...Fear of Fighters     62
Waiting     66
'Eternal Father Strong to Save'...The Camps     66
Embarkation...     73
Postponement...     79
It's D-Day Tomorrow     84
Manning the West Wall...5 June     84
'We were coming over Lord'...airfields in southern England     93
'What a night - dark and wet'...the Invasion Fleet     99
Securing theFlanks     109
Coup de Main...the Orne River 00.16-00.26     109
The Plan...secure the flanks     115
Go! Go! Go!...'a fantastic chimera of lights and flak'     117
Will it suffice?...holding the flanks     136
The Long Night     140
'Condemned to inactivity'...the Orne and the east     140
'The situation in the Seine Estuary is probably worse than ours'... the west     150
'A disturbed Beehive'...co-ordinating the response     156
'Look what's coming!...     164
The Storm Breaks     171
'The guns...were too hot to be touched'...the naval bombardment     171
'The Golden City'     181
'A Hollywood Show'...Utah 06.30     187
'A peaceful summer's day on the Wannsee'     194
First Wave Foundered     201
'No sign of life or resistance'...approaching Omaha 06.15     201
'Entire First Wave Foundered'...     207
Assaulting the 'Jib'...Pointe du Hoc 07.10     214
Coming ashore on 'Easy Red'...Omaha 06.30-08.30     220
'When, and from whom will the counter-attack...come?'     226
Tanks from the Sea     230
'Out Ramps!'...Sword 07.30     230
'The appalling number of church spires'...Juno 07     244
Tanks from the sea...Gold 07.25     259
A Brutal Defence     269
Stalemate on Omaha     269
Success or Failure?...     276
'They stick tight'...the German defence Omaha     281
Break-in     288
Einbruchsraum West. Break-in Point West...Gold     288
Einbruchsraum Mitte. Break-in Point Centre...Juno     301
'Einbruchsraum Ost'. Break-in Point East...Sword     305
Counter-Attack     310
21st Panzer attacks...     310
Assault towards Utah...     322
A Tenuous Foothold     328
Reinforcement     328
Beyond D-Day...dusk 6 June     333
Panzer-Marsch!     341
Where are the Panzers?...     341
Delays...the 12th SS 'Hitlerjugend'     347
A Nightmare Trek...Panzer Lehr     353
'Little fish! We'll throw them into the sea...'     359
Village Fighting     365
The Centre - before Caen...Authie     365
The East - stalemate on the Orne...Breville     381
The West - 'Bocage'...St Come-du-Mont     394
Postscript     409
The Germans...     410
The Allies...     420
The Human Factor...     424
Appendices     430
The Race to the Foreshore     430
Allied Superiority on Landing     431
Tables of Comparative Ranks     432
Abbreviations and Glossary     434
Notes to the Text     436
Sources     466
Index     472
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