The Germans in Normandy

By Richard Hargreaves

Here’s a book that will interest D-Day and other WW2 ‘aficionados’. Whereas most history is written by the conquerors, it is always refreshing to read books written by and about ‘the other side’.
This book reads a little like Cornelius Ryan’s famous The Longest Day. It is comprised of reports and letters written at the time by German soldiers and officers interlaced with explanations and chronological battle reports.
The red line throughout the German comments is that they are totally awed by the incredible amount of materiel the allied bring to shore in never-ending transport operations. That and the total air supremacy by the allied air forces, making it near impossible to move anything on the ground during daylight times.
Clearly, as we know, and as is confirmed also by the German side’s stories, things could have turned out quite different if it hadn’t been for some grave errors and miscalculations on the German side. Not having strong units defending the – unfinished – Atlantic wall was only one of those issues. Not having control over the armored forces immediately, not having sufficient air coverage, not having agreement on the seriousness of the situation, most important officers not being present, and then some.
Looking at all the German comments on the impossibility of beating the onslaught of the allies, it is indeed surprising to see how long the Germans did, in the end, hold out. Until the Falaise Gap closed, the allies were not really making much progress in spite of various offensives.
The book is very well researched and offers a wealth of footnotes in each chapter, referring to sources used. Very interesting reading indeed. Well done!

One note from me: the photo on the cover is a famous one, featured in many publications. But it was not taken in Normandy, but during the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes……

The book can be ordered (or downloaded as eBook!) from Pen & Sword here.

The Germans in Normandy (Paperback)
By Richard Hargreaves
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 271
ISBN: 9781526760678
Published: 28th May 2019

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