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Operation Totalize
By early August 1944 the Germans fighting in Normandy had been worn down by the battles around Caen, while to the west, the American breakout was finally gaining momentum. Now was the time to launch II Canadian Corps south towards Falaise. With much of the German armour having been stripped away for the Mortain Counter-Attack, hopes ran high that the Corps, reinforced with British tanks, the 51st Highland and the Polish Armoured Divisions, would repeat the success of their predecessors in the Battle of Amiens. An innovative change of tactics to a night armoured assault and the conversion of seventy-two self-propelled guns to armoured personnel carriers for the accompanying infantry was very successful, but up against their implacable foes, 12th Hitlerjugend SS Panzer Division, the pause for bombing allowed Kurt ?Panzer? Meyer to deploy his division. Consequently, when the 4th Canadian and Polish Armoured Divisions were launched into their first battle they made frustratingly little progress. As the Canadians advanced over the following days, the battle degenerated into a costly fight for ground as the Hitlerjugend struggled to contain the inexperienced Poles and Canadians. Operation Totalize is renowned for the death of SS panzer Ace Michael Wittmann at the hands of Trooper Joe Ekins and the destruction of Worthington Force, the result of a navigational error.

Operation Totalize
By early August 1944 the Germans fighting in Normandy had been worn down by the battles around Caen, while to the west, the American breakout was finally gaining momentum. Now was the time to launch II Canadian Corps south towards Falaise. With much of the German armour having been stripped away for the Mortain Counter-Attack, hopes ran high that the Corps, reinforced with British tanks, the 51st Highland and the Polish Armoured Divisions, would repeat the success of their predecessors in the Battle of Amiens. An innovative change of tactics to a night armoured assault and the conversion of seventy-two self-propelled guns to armoured personnel carriers for the accompanying infantry was very successful, but up against their implacable foes, 12th Hitlerjugend SS Panzer Division, the pause for bombing allowed Kurt ?Panzer? Meyer to deploy his division. Consequently, when the 4th Canadian and Polish Armoured Divisions were launched into their first battle they made frustratingly little progress. As the Canadians advanced over the following days, the battle degenerated into a costly fight for ground as the Hitlerjugend struggled to contain the inexperienced Poles and Canadians. Operation Totalize is renowned for the death of SS panzer Ace Michael Wittmann at the hands of Trooper Joe Ekins and the destruction of Worthington Force, the result of a navigational error.

D-Day Gunners - The Royal Artillery on D-Day
Part history book and part travel guide, D-Day Gunners is aimed at anyone interested in the artillery on the D-Day beaches and landing grounds. While the heritage of the D-Day beaches and landing sites is well documented, this rarely includes the Gunner story. The author of this book aims to correct this by providing a visitors' guide to the gunner stories associated with the battlefield heritage, which remains on the D-Day Beaches, and usefully mapping the fire-plan for D-Day, against the known German locations and looked at what happened at these places. There is relatively little explanation about the role of the artillery in general or the deeds of artillerymen, in particular those of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. This book tells of the significance of artillery on D-Day and the part it played in the outcome. Initial reports published stressed that the coastal defences were effectively neutralized by the bombing and that no significant counter attacks developed on D-Day, however, post-war accounts increasingly attributed allied success to allied fire power. The book largely documents the stories of the men who served the guns on the D-Day beaches, mostly British, but with the occasional view of the Kannoniers. The main sources for this are the accounts by veterans and contemporary accounts. The medal cards within The National Archives contain some information about the actions, which resulted in awards. The last part of the book has been written as a guide to the D-Day Beaches, telling the gunner stories that are not always commemorated on memorials, interpretation boards, or recorded in more general guides. These poignant stories include war poets and heroes decorated for bravery or just the tales of some of the men buried on the war cemeteries or commemorated on the memorials.

Omaha Beach - V Corps' Battle for the Normandy Beachhead
This book guides the reader through the battle for the V Corps beachhead, the fiercest and bloodiest of the Landings. A must for those inspired by Saving Private Ryan and many more.

Channel Islands - Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark
The only part of the British Isles that can answer the question 'What was it like to be invaded and occupied in World War 2?' are the holiday islands of Jersey, Alderney, Guernsey and Sark. Left undefended in 1940, they fell like ripe plums into German hands. Thereafter they were turned into the most heavily defended parts of the Nazi Atlantic Wall, with massive fortifications, gun emplacements and underground storage tunnels. An army of foreign 'slave workers' was brought in as well as the 27,000 German troops (known as the 'Canada Division' as it was widely assumed that they would eventually become POWs!) Amid the routine of occupation came periods of danger and action from raiding parties. After D-Day the German garrison was cut off and 'the Hunger winter' resulted. In May 1945 the Germans surrendered amid much rejoicing.

Remagen Bridge
In Spring 1945 one final hurdle faced the American and British Armies under Ike's supreme command ? the Rhine. This mighty river was literally the last ditch for the defence of Hitler's Germany. Crossing it would be a major military undertaking. The race was on to find intact crossings. Famously the American forces in a daring coup-de-main operation seized the Bridge at Remagen which, due to German blunder and oversight, remained intact. This is the thrilling story of that success.

The Island - Nijmegen to Arnhem
Having fought their way up fifty miles of Hell's Highway and through Nijmegen, XXX Corps was just ten miles from Arnhem and 1st British Airborne Division. The Island is flat land between the Waal at Nijmegen and the Rhine at Arnhem. The situation was increasingly bad with the remainder of II SS Panzer Corps in the area and German counter attacks on Hell's Highway preventing the Allies applying their material superiority. The Guards Armoured and then 43rd Wessex Infantry Division took turns to lead before reaching the Rhine opposite the paratroopers in the Oosterbeek Perimeter.Attempts to cross the Rhine by the Polish Paras and the Dorset Regiment had little success but, meanwhile, the guns of XXX Corps ensured the survival of the Perimeter. After some desperate fighting on the island, 43 Wessex Division evacuated just two thousand members of the elite Airborne Division who had landed eight days earlier.

Walcheren - Operation Infatuate - Belgium-Holland
Describes the fierce campaign, codenamed INFATUATE, mounted in November 1944 to clear the way through to the port of Antwerp. The book describes the extraordinary courage of the Germans who fought to the bitter end.

The Rhine Crossing
By Spring 1945, with the Russians closing fast on Berlin from the East, the US and British Armies of Patton and Montgomery were faced with one major hurdle, the Rhine. Heavily defended by the Nazis, this obstacle would only be crossed by a massive operation requiring meticulous planning and bold execution.The resulting operation involving 29 divisions was outstandingly successful. This book follows the river crossings by 30th and 79th US Divisions, codenamed Operation FLASHPOINT and the airdrop by 17th US Airborne Division (VARSITY). While covering quite different sectors, this book can be read in conjunction with its sister volumes "Operation Varsity" and "Operation Plunder", by Tim Saunders.

Nijmegen - US 82nd Airborne & Guards Armoured Division
In the first of three books covering the battles on the road to Arnhem, Tim Saunders describes the US 82nd Airborne Division's daring seizure of the Grave Bridge and their battles for the Grossbeek Heights, and the struggle for the vital Nijmegen Bridge.

Oradour - The Massacre & Aftermath
The destruction of the French village of Oradour and the massacre of its population in June 1944 by the SS Das Reich Division ranks as one of the most notorious atrocities of the Second World War. The scars that were left will never fully heal and there are those that would argue that they should remain as a lesson to future generations. The ruins of the village have been preserved as a memorial to the victims and a new museum has recently been opened by President Chirac. Fully illustrated in true Battleground style, this superb account reveals the full horror of this outrage.

St Vith - US 106th Infantry Division
An easy to understand account of one of the opening actions of the Battle of the Bulge. Contains detailed maps of positions and graphic first-hand accounts from veterans.

Arnhem - The Landing Grounds & Oosterbeek
This is latest of the well-respected Battleground series of books, and covers a number of aspects of the battle of Arnhem. It concentrates on the landings and the desperate and legendary battle fought by the remnants of 1st Airborne Division in the town of Oosterbeek. The book relies on both historical knowledge and anecdotes from veterans to bring to life the events of those fateful days of late September 1944. Have set the strategic scene on the opening chapter the guide suggests four separate tours around the area, one on foot and the others requiring a car. They can all be completed in a full day, but are structured in such a way that visitors can make their own choice of how and where to visit. For a clear, concise and accurate account of the Arnhem-Oosterbeek battlefield this excellent addition to our Battleground series is unlikely to be beaten.

Dieppe - Operation Jubilee - Channel Ports
In 1942, with the outcome of the war very much in the balance, there was a pressing need for military success on mainland Europe. Churchill ordered Admiral Lord Mountbatten's Combined Operations HQ to take the war to the Germans. The Canadians were selected for the Dieppe raid, which, while a morale raiser, was a disaster. Over 3,000 men were lost. This authoritative account looks at the planning, execution and analyses the reasons for failure.

The Dunkirk Perimeter and Evacuation 1940 - France and Flanders Campaign
The book, the latest in a series of eight Battleground Europe books that deals with the BEF's campaign in France and Flanders in 1940, covers the fierce fighting around the Dunkerque Perimeter during May and June 1940 between the retreating British Expeditionary Force and its French allies and the advancing German army. It covers the area that most people in Britain associate with the fighting in France in 1940, a military disaster that could have been much worse. This grievous military setback was soon transformed into a morale boosting symbol of the resilience of the British against a Germany that had crushed so many nations in a matter of weeks. With over 200 black and white photographs and fourteen maps, this book looks in some detail at the units deployed around Dunkerque and Nieuport and their often desperate actions to prevent the inevitable advance of German forces opposing them. The evacuation of the BEF from the beaches east of Dunkerque is covered in detail from the perspective of the Royal Navy and from the standpoint of the soldier on the beaches. Unusual for a Battleground Europe publication is the inclusion of a walk and drive around Ramsgate and Dover, covering the English end of the evacuation. In addition to visits to the relevant cemeteries, the book includes three appendices and two car tours, one tour covering the whole of the Dunkirk perimeter and the other covering Ramsgate and Dover, although there is plenty of scope for walking in both tours. There is also a walk around De Panne, which takes the tourist along the beach that saw so much of the evacuation, and into the back areas of the town where the Germans left their mark when clearing up after the British had gone.


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