Eagles and Bulldogs in Normandy 1944: The American 29th Division from Omaha to St. Lo, the Bristish 3rd Division from Sword to Caen

Overview

This is the story of two Infantry Divisions during the first weeks of the Normandy campaign. With battle cries of '29 - Let's Go!' and '3rd Division - Drive On!' the American 29th and British 3rd fought their way on to OMAHA and SWORD beaches on D-Day and then inland towards their respective objectives - the major communication centres of St Lo and Caen. After describing the agonies suffered by the Americans on 'Bloody OMAHA' and the difficulties experienced by the British in overcoming the concrete strongpoints ...
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Overview

This is the story of two Infantry Divisions during the first weeks of the Normandy campaign. With battle cries of '29 - Let's Go!' and '3rd Division - Drive On!' the American 29th and British 3rd fought their way on to OMAHA and SWORD beaches on D-Day and then inland towards their respective objectives - the major communication centres of St Lo and Caen. After describing the agonies suffered by the Americans on 'Bloody OMAHA' and the difficulties experienced by the British in overcoming the concrete strongpoints sited in depth behind SWORD beach, the author follows both Divisions as they tried to break through the German defenses. Their initial moves were quickly countered by a well trained and astute enemy - in the case of the Americans by infantry and paratroopers in the dense 'hedgerow country' covering the approaches to St Lo, and in the British by the Panzers and Panzer-Grenadiers defending Caen in the open country to its north.

It was to take the GIs nearly six weeks to reach their objective, whilst the Tommies were forced into a concurrent holding operation that in many respects resembled the trench warfare hell of World War One. The main part of Caen was eventually captured by the British and Canadians on 9 July and St Lo by the Americans nine days later. By then the two Allied Divisions had suffered more than 10,000 casualties, several thousand French civilians had been killed and the previously beautiful cities turned to rubble in a series of devastating air attacks. Throughout this vivid account of infantry combat, readers will be able to compare and contrast the leadership qualities of the various commanders and the tactics employed by the Americans, British and Germans; and they will surely marvel at the sheer courage of a generation that is rapidly passing away.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932033175
  • Publisher: Casemate Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Pages: 230
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.68 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps viii
Introduction and Acknowledgements ix
Preface xii
Guide to Abbreviations xv
I The American 29th Infantry Division - 'The Blue and Gray' 1
II The British 3rd Infantry Division - 'The Iron Division' 7
III The Big Picture - 1944 11
IV The Ground and the Objectives 15
The Blue and Gray Division Sector 15
St Lo 16
The Iron Division Sector 17
Caen 18
V The Enemy 19
VI Morale, Weapons and Tactics 26
Morale 26
Weapons 28
Tactics 31
VII Plans for D-Day 34
The Blue and Gray on OMAHA 34
The Iron Division on SWORD 37
VIII D-Day on OMAHA - the Reality 40
The First Landings 40
The Second Wave 46
From Beach to Bluffs 49
The Move Inland 51
The Commanders 54
The Picture at the End of D-Day 55
The Enemy in the OMAHA Sector 57
St Lo on D-Day 60
IX D-Day on SWORD - the Reality 63
The First Wave 63
Queen Red 69
Queen White 70
The Second Wave 71
The First Moves Inland 73
The Third Wave 75
The Fourth Wave 81
The German Counter-Attack 88
The Picture at the End of D-Day 91
Caen on D-Day 93
X The Big Picture at the End of D-Day 96
XI The Iron Division - 7 and 8 June 101
7 June 101
British Actions 102
Caen on 7 June 111
8 June 112
XII The Iron Division - 9 to 11 June 115
XIII The Blue and Gray - 7 and 8 June 118
The OMAHA Sector 118
7 June 118
The Enemy 121
St Lo 122
8 June and Night 8/9 June 122
The OMAHA Sector 122
The Enemy 125
St Lo 126
XIV The Blue and Gray - 9 and 10 June 127
From Aure to Elle 127
XV The Blue and Gray - 11 June to 6 July 131
Crossing the Elle 131
Toujours l'Attaque 138
The Enemy 149
St Lo 150
XVI The British and Canadian Sector - 10 June to 6 July 153
Operation PERCH 154
Operation EPSOM 155
Operation WINDSOR 156
XVII The Iron Division - 12 June to 11 July 158
Stalemate 158
The Fighting for la Londe 159
Operation CHARNWOOD 163
The Attack 166
Mission Accomplished 170
Caen - 12 June to 16 August 171
XVIII The Blue and Gray - 7 to 19 July 174
7 - 10 July 174
The Enemy 175
The Big Picture in the American Sector - 10 July 176
11 July 176
Mission Accomplished - 18 and 19 July 191
Conclusion 195
Epilogue 198
Sequel 202
Appendix A Organisation of the US 29th Infantry Division 205
Appendix B Organisation of the US 743rd Tank Battalion 206
Appendix C Organisation of the UK 3rd Infantry Division 207
Appendix D Organisation of the UK 27th Armoured Brigade 208
Appendix E Organisation of the German 716th Infantry Division 209
Appendix F Organisation of the German 352nd Infantry Division 210
Appendix G Les Moulins beach defences 211
Appendix H Organisation of the 21st Panzer Division 212
Appendix J Organisation of the 12th SS Panzer Division (HJ) 213
Appendix K Sequence of Events in the 3rd Division Sector on D-Day 214
Appendix L Organisation of the German 3rd Parachute Division 216
Bibliography 217
Index
People 221
Formations and Units 224
Places 228
Maps 231
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