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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.

The Battle of the Ypres-Comines Canal 1940 - France and Flanders Campaign
Known in some accounts as the Battle of Wijtschaete, the confrontation along the Ypres-Comines Canal in 1940 is still hardly remembered in this country and, apart from the battle honours displayed proudly on the colours of the regiments who took part ? many no longer in existence, very little has been written about the four days which probably saved the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) from almost complete destruction. This is quite surprising, given the pivotal nature of the battle, for without the sacrifice of the battalions on the canal there would probably have been no evacuation from Dunkerque on the scale to which we have become accustomed, and the war may well have taken on a different outcome. Although there was fighting north of Ypres along the Canal Van Ieper Naar De Ijzer, where 151 Brigade and the 3rd Division were deployed, the actual Battle of the Ypres-Comines Canal took place to the south, where the three divisions of General der Infantry Viktor von Schwedler?s IV Korps were pitted against three British brigades along the disused canal which runs from Comines in the south to Ypres in the north. The book looks in detail at the order of battle of the British and German units engaged and focuses on the four British brigades that fought on the canal. The mainly territorial 143 Brigade was positioned in the south, 13 Brigade was in the middle and 17 Brigade held the northern end of the line up to Zillebeke Lake. Apart from the 12/Lancers and a few tanks from 3/RTR, Ypres itself was largely defended by 150 Brigade. Major General Franklyn?s instructions were to hold the line for as long as possible to allow the remainder of the BEF to strengthen the Dunkerque Perimeter. With over 150 contemporary and modern black and white photographs, ten maps, and visits to eight CWGC Cemeteries, the book enables the battlefield tourist to explore the area and undertake three car tours together with two short walks. Visitors will no doubt wish to combine a visit to the First World War sites around Ypres with the fighting along the canal in 1940, recognizing many places that were fought over in both wars.

Utah Beach- Revised
This major addition to our Battleground WW2 Series covers the U.S airborne and seaborne landings on the Cotentin Peninsular on D-Day 6 June 1946. It tells a dramatic story of near disastrous drops by the U.S 101st (The Screaming Eagles) and 82nd (The All American) Airborne Divisions and how they gallantly regrouped and gained their objectives at St Mere Eglise and Carentan. Meanwhile the 4th U.S Infantry Division were the first American seaborne troops to land (at Utah) followed closely by the 90th Infantry Division. This book graphically describes how these divisions eventually linkedup and succeeded in cutting off the vital port of Cherbourge. The book also describes the 'big picture' leading up to D-Day and is particularly interesting in its revelations about the notorious 'Operation Tiger' when over 700 American troops died during training.

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.

Cambrai - The Right Hook
Cambrai is most well known for the tank battle which took place in 1917. Although initially successful it soon became disastrous, and, as on other occasions throughout the War, the area changed hands many times. Illustrated with then and now pictures, this book unravels the history of the area for those either visiting or exploring it from their armchairs.

Hell's Highway
Hell's Highway is the dramatic name given to the vital stretch of road that the British 3rd Guards Armoured Division had to advance down rapidly on their route to relieve the American Paras (83rd Airborne) at Nijmegen and the British 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem. It should have been easy as The Screaming Eagles (101st Airborne) had been dropped to hold it. The reasons for the ensuing delay which led to disaster at Arnhem remain controversial and make for gripping reading. Adopting the clear and successful style of Battleground works this book relies on personal accounts to embellish this dramatic story.

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.

Malta - Island Under Siege
Malta: Island Under Siege not only relates the decisive military action from World War II but also details the religious, historical and political events that led to the Axis forces' attempts to conquer and occupy Malta, putting the reader in the meeting rooms of the military leaders and politicians, on board the convoys, in the cockpits of the bombers and with the civilian population sheltering beneath Malta's fortresses while trying to live as normal a life as possible. Wartime locations on the island, many often ignored by the guidebooks and tourist maps, are explored and their relevance to Malta's resistance examined alongside the people, on both sides of the conflict, who helped shape the Mediterranean island's destiny before, during and after the Second World War. Malta is now a holiday destination to many, but it's easy to forget how much the people of the island, its British garrison and the sailors of the Merchant Navy and Royal Navy had to endure to ensure the Allies kept a toe-hold in North Africa and southern Europe at a time when Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy were threatening to sweep all before them.

Malta - Island Under Siege
Malta: Island Under Siege not only relates the decisive military action from World War II but also details the religious, historical and political events that led to the Axis forces' attempts to conquer and occupy Malta, putting the reader in the meeting rooms of the military leaders and politicians, on board the convoys, in the cockpits of the bombers and with the civilian population sheltering beneath Malta's fortresses while trying to live as normal a life as possible. Wartime locations on the island, many often ignored by the guidebooks and tourist maps, are explored and their relevance to Malta's resistance examined alongside the people, on both sides of the conflict, who helped shape the Mediterranean island's destiny before, during and after the Second World War. Malta is now a holiday destination to many, but it's easy to forget how much the people of the island, its British garrison and the sailors of the Merchant Navy and Royal Navy had to endure to ensure the Allies kept a toe-hold in North Africa and southern Europe at a time when Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy were threatening to sweep all before them.

Gold Beach - Jig - JIG SECTOR and WEST - June 1944
Amongst the veterans that Montgomery brought back with him from the Mediterranean to spearhead the D-day invasion, were West Country infantrymen of 231 Brigade. The Devons, Hampshires and Dorsets had already carried out assault landings in Sicily and in Italy and replaced another brigade that had been provisionally allocated to lead XXX Corps ashore on Jig sector of Gold Beach.Unknown to the Allies, a quality German Division had been moved forward to the coast. This was the same German Division that nearly halted the Americans at OMAHA and the West Countrymen had to fight extremely hard for their objectives. 231 Brigade faced the sternest test of all British troops on D-day.

Hill 112 - Battles of the Odon - 1944
'He who holds Hill 112, holds Normandy' said a German general, while the British regarded the hill as 'the Key to Normandy'. During the battle in June and July 1944, both sides were to fight hard for its dominating views over the surrounding area.This book tells of Hill 112's seizure by 11th Armoured Division and their subsequent withdrawal after ULTRA decryptions warned Montgomery of II SS Panzer Corps's approach. Ten days later soldiers from the West Country, Scotland and the Royal Tank Regiment struggled to take Hill 112 for a second time.The controversial Major General Thomas earned the nickname 'Butcher' in one of the Normandy campaign's bloodiest battles, fought against four SS panzer divisions. This guide depicts in vivid detail the desperate fighting during the hot July days on the slopes of Hill 112 and in the surrounding villages that remain largely unchanged today.

Malta - Island Under Siege
Malta: Island Under Siege not only relates the decisive military action from World War II but also details the religious, historical and political events that led to the Axis forces' attempts to conquer and occupy Malta, putting the reader in the meeting rooms of the military leaders and politicians, on board the convoys, in the cockpits of the bombers and with the civilian population sheltering beneath Malta's fortresses while trying to live as normal a life as possible. Wartime locations on the island, many often ignored by the guidebooks and tourist maps, are explored and their relevance to Malta's resistance examined alongside the people, on both sides of the conflict, who helped shape the Mediterranean island's destiny before, during and after the Second World War. Malta is now a holiday destination to many, but it's easy to forget how much the people of the island, its British garrison and the sailors of the Merchant Navy and Royal Navy had to endure to ensure the Allies kept a toe-hold in North Africa and southern Europe at a time when Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy were threatening to sweep all before them.

Sword Beach - British 3rd Infantry Division/27th Armoured Brigade
In this addition to the Battleground World War Two series, Major (retired) Tim Kilvert-Jones focuses on the action by 3rd British Infantry Division and attached units at Sword Beach from D-Day 6th June 1944 to the fall of Caen in July 1944. Following the structure of his previous work in the series Omaha Beach, the author draws on both memoirs and extensive interviews with veterans to create a dynamic guide to book this fascinating story of undaunted courage, and dashed hopes. Caen was the pivotal main objective for General Montgomery's invasion plan.The 3rd Division's failure to capture the city on 6th June lead to major recriminations during and after the war as former allied commanders and other vested interests argued the causes of failure. The truth is as always simpler than the arguments and recriminations. While still struggling to establish a secure beachhead on D-Day. The division was attached by powerful elements of 21st Panzer division. This was the only effective armoured counterattack mounted by the Germans during the invasion phase. The result was a devastating defeat for the Panzers under the combined arms guns of the 3rd Division, but vital hours had been lost and the Germans were given the time to defend the City. Sword Beach is 3rd Division's unique D-Day story and analyses subsequent events up to 10th July in a clear, easy to follow style that makes it a vital book for armchair strategists, military students and tourists visiting the historic Normandy coast.

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.

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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