Operation Cobra and the Great Offensive: Sixty Days That Changed the Course of World War II [NOOK Book]

Overview

THE BEGINNINGS OF VICTORY

Shortly after the D-Day invasion, the Allied forces in Europe had stalled. A limited operation was set in motion to punch a small hole in the enemy defenses, starting on July 25, 1944. It was called Operation Cobra, and it would become one of the greatest offensives in all of military history.

In the sixty days following the launch of the ...
See more details below
Operation Cobra and the Great Offensive: Sixty Days That Changed the Course of World War II

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$15.99
BN.com price

Overview

THE BEGINNINGS OF VICTORY

Shortly after the D-Day invasion, the Allied forces in Europe had stalled. A limited operation was set in motion to punch a small hole in the enemy defenses, starting on July 25, 1944. It was called Operation Cobra, and it would become one of the greatest offensives in all of military history.

In the sixty days following the launch of the operation, the Allies -- commanded by Dwight Eisenhower and led by men such as the irascible General George Patton and General Omar Bradley -- attacked the enemy relentlessly. And what began as a desperate attempt to break a stalemate turned into an unstoppable armored juggernaut that swept the Germans out of virtually all of France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Here is a penetrating account of that incredible feat of military skill, bravery, and daring that changed the course of the war, and signaled the end of Germany's domination of Europe.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451604214
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 6/15/2010
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 627,414
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author


Bill Yenne is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen books on military and historical topics, including Aces: True Stories of Victory and Valor in the Skies of World War II, Black '41: The West Point Class of 1941 and the American Triumph in World War II, and Superfortress: The B-29 and American Air Power in World War II. He is a member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors, and was commissioned by General Dynamics Corporation to write a history of their Convair Division, their airplane manufacturer, which was entitled Into the Sunset. He lives in San Francisco.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents

Prologue

Chapter 1. Prelude

Chapter 2. Cobra Strikes

Chapter 3. Patton Arrives

Chapter 4. Counterattack at Mortain

Chapter 5. The Falaise Gap and the German Collapse in Normandy

Chapter 6. Paris

Chapter 7. Farther and Faster

Chapter 8. Old Battlefields

Chapter 9. The Apogee of the Great Offensive

Chapter 10. The Forgotten Front in Brittany

Chapter 11. The End Was Near

Chapter 12. Epilogue

Appendices

Source Notes
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Prologue

Six weeks had passed since Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy that took place on "D-Day" -- June 6, 1944. On that day, for the first time since William of Normandy became William the Conqueror in 1066, a military force had successfully crossed the English Channel and secured a foothold on the opposing shore. Overlord was rightly heralded -- then as now -- as one of the greatest military achievements in the history of modern warfare.

Four years earlier, in June 1940, Germany's then-invincible Wehrmacht had stunned the world by defeating and occupying France in a matter of weeks. During the four ensuing years, German military engineers had worked tirelessly on the northern and western coasts of France to create the Atlantic Wall, the most formidable network of fortifications ever constructed. Much of the reinforced concrete poured by the Germans during those four years still survives in the twenty-first century. It is so solid that it is not economically practical to dismantle it.

The German idea was to build a wall that would make the Allies consider an invasion of northern France impractical. Adolf Hitler himself had such great confidence in the Atlantic Wall that he assuredly referred to his empire as Festung Europa -- Fortress Europe.

The Anglo-American Allies, of course, had other ideas.

The idea of a cross-channel invasion as the means to liberate France and defeat Germany had been agreed to in principle by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in April 1942, and it was at the Eureka Conference in November 1943 that the two Allied leaders gave the 1944 invasionpriority over all other military operations that the Anglo-American Allies would undertake anywhere in Europe, the Mediterranean, or the Pacific.

On December 7, 1943, two years to the day after the United States entered World War II, US Army Chief of Staff George Marshall informed General Dwight Eisenhower that he was to be the Supreme Allied Commander for history's biggest military operation.

When Eisenhower arrived in England in mid-January 1944 to set up the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), American supplies had been flowing into the island nation for two years, but what had initially been a trickle now became a torrent. Nevertheless, a great deal of key materiel would not arrive until May.

To insure the success of Overlord, Eisenhower had amassed the largest force of men and war machinery that would be committed to a single operation in the history of warfare.

The 175,000 men of Operation Overlord would make the trip across the English Channel aboard more than 5,000 ships and landing craft supported by 6 battleships, 2 monitors, 22 cruisers, 93 destroyers, 250 mine sweepers, and 150 smaller fighting craft, not including motor torpedo boats and mine layers.

Overhead, the British First Tactical Air Force and the American Eighth and Ninth Air Forces committed 5,000 fighters; 3,500 heavy bombers; 1,600 medium, light, and torpedo bombers; and 700 other combat aircraft. This was not to mention the 2,300 transports and 2,600 gliders that would carry paratroopers into battle.

Overlord's landing zone would be a fifty-mile section of the Normandy coastline between the neck of the Cotentin Peninsula in the west and the mouth of the Orne River in the east. This region, in turn, had been divided into five zones or "beaches." The westernmost, Utah and Omaha, were assigned to General Omar Bradley's United States First Army, while the others -- Gold, Juno, and Sword -- were assigned to the British and Canadians of General Sir Miles Dempsey's British Second Army.

The troops would come ashore across the beaches. Prior to these amphibious landings, under cover of darkness in the early morning hours of D-Day, paratroopers of the United States 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions would land behind the line of German coastal defenses overlooking the invasion beaches.

The day originally selected to be D-Day was June 5, 1944, but weather delayed Operation Overlord for twenty-four hours. The leading waves of Allied landing craft hit the beaches of Normandy at 6:30 A.M. on June 6. It was here that the British and American soldiers would get their first taste of the ferocity of resistance that the Germans would have in store for them at the Atlantic Wall.

Despite an unprecedented amount of shelling by Allied warships offshore, the German defenders were able to put up a ruthless defense. Fire from fortified machine gun emplacements chewed up soldiers attempting to make their way through barbed wire entanglements to cross the narrow, heavily mined strip of sand that separated the cold waters of the English Channel from the Norman cliffs. Meanwhile, landing craft and tanks were hung up on obstacles, and many vehicles never made it ashore.

Losses were extreme, but as D-Day wore on, the German defenses were eventually overcome. By the end of the day, the Allies' beachhead at Utah was ten miles wide and four miles deep, and the Gold/Juno/Sword beachhead, which was twenty miles long and five miles deep, reached to within a few miles of the city of Caen. The stiffest German resistance had come on Omaha Beach, where towering cliffs gave the Germans a defensive advantage. Nevertheless, the tenacious Yanks of V Corps held on and refused to be pushed back into the sea.

The impregnable Atlantic Wall had been beached.

By daybreak on June 7, Overlord had been deemed a complete -- albeit costly -- success. Within a few days, a quarter million Allied troops were in France, and the Allies had

installed vast prefabricated artificial harbors known as Mulberries at Omaha Beach and Gold Beach. These ingenious and cleverly designed facilities had been built the previous winter and were quickly towed into place to aid in the off-loading of supplies and troops.

The news that the invasion had been a success was greeted with enthusiastic optimism in the United States and Britain. "At last the supreme moment has come," wrote the editorial page of The New York Times. "The months and years of waiting are over."

Copyright ©© 2004 by Bill Yenne

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    Good Read

    Rjp

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)