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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.

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.

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.

The Canal Line - France and Flanders Campaign 1940
The network of canals stretching from the coast at Gravelines, through St-Omer, B?thune and La Bass?e, follows the approximate boundary between Artois and Flanders and was, in 1940, the defensive line established on the western edge of the so-called Dunkerque Corridor designed by Lord Gort to provide an evacuation route to the channel coast. Even before events on the line of the Escaut line had concluded with yet another Allied withdrawal, Lord Gort was diverting units to bolster the Canal Line defenses This is probably the first occasion that the fighting along the Canal Line has been looked at in detail; overlooked by the inevitable withdrawal towards the channel coast, the units deployed along the canal faced some of the stiffest fighting in the whole 1940 France and Flanders campaign. Whole battalions, particularly those in the 2nd Division, were sacrificed as units were thrown into the battle in an attempt to slow down the German advance. The book looks in some detail at the ad hoc nature of the Usherforce and Polforce units, the units of the independent 25 Brigade and the vicious fighting that enveloped the 2nd Division. Time is given also to the notorious massacre of the Royal Norfolks at Louis Creton?s farm near Le Paradis. Material concerning the deployment of units along the Canal Line in 1940 has been found in a variety of sources, including regimental histories and unit war diaries. The author has been fortunate in being able to access a number of personal diaries and accounts from men serving with the independent 25 Brigade and the 2nd Division, which has, in some cases, added to and enhanced the actions taken by those units while deployed on the canal. The book is illustrated by over a hundred contemporary and modern photographs and by five car tours and three walks, all of which give the tourist a greater access to the battlefield.

The Canal Line - France and Flanders Campaign 1940
The network of canals stretching from the coast at Gravelines, through St-Omer, B?thune and La Bass?e, follows the approximate boundary between Artois and Flanders and was, in 1940, the defensive line established on the western edge of the so-called Dunkerque Corridor designed by Lord Gort to provide an evacuation route to the channel coast. Even before events on the line of the Escaut line had concluded with yet another Allied withdrawal, Lord Gort was diverting units to bolster the Canal Line defenses This is probably the first occasion that the fighting along the Canal Line has been looked at in detail; overlooked by the inevitable withdrawal towards the channel coast, the units deployed along the canal faced some of the stiffest fighting in the whole 1940 France and Flanders campaign. Whole battalions, particularly those in the 2nd Division, were sacrificed as units were thrown into the battle in an attempt to slow down the German advance. The book looks in some detail at the ad hoc nature of the Usherforce and Polforce units, the units of the independent 25 Brigade and the vicious fighting that enveloped the 2nd Division. Time is given also to the notorious massacre of the Royal Norfolks at Louis Creton?s farm near Le Paradis. Material concerning the deployment of units along the Canal Line in 1940 has been found in a variety of sources, including regimental histories and unit war diaries. The author has been fortunate in being able to access a number of personal diaries and accounts from men serving with the independent 25 Brigade and the 2nd Division, which has, in some cases, added to and enhanced the actions taken by those units while deployed on the canal. The book is illustrated by over a hundred contemporary and modern photographs and by five car tours and three walks, all of which give the tourist a greater access to the battlefield.

The Canal Line - France and Flanders Campaign 1940
The network of canals stretching from the coast at Gravelines, through St-Omer, B?thune and La Bass?e, follows the approximate boundary between Artois and Flanders and was, in 1940, the defensive line established on the western edge of the so-called Dunkerque Corridor designed by Lord Gort to provide an evacuation route to the channel coast. Even before events on the line of the Escaut line had concluded with yet another Allied withdrawal, Lord Gort was diverting units to bolster the Canal Line defenses This is probably the first occasion that the fighting along the Canal Line has been looked at in detail; overlooked by the inevitable withdrawal towards the channel coast, the units deployed along the canal faced some of the stiffest fighting in the whole 1940 France and Flanders campaign. Whole battalions, particularly those in the 2nd Division, were sacrificed as units were thrown into the battle in an attempt to slow down the German advance. The book looks in some detail at the ad hoc nature of the Usherforce and Polforce units, the units of the independent 25 Brigade and the vicious fighting that enveloped the 2nd Division. Time is given also to the notorious massacre of the Royal Norfolks at Louis Creton?s farm near Le Paradis. Material concerning the deployment of units along the Canal Line in 1940 has been found in a variety of sources, including regimental histories and unit war diaries. The author has been fortunate in being able to access a number of personal diaries and accounts from men serving with the independent 25 Brigade and the 2nd Division, which has, in some cases, added to and enhanced the actions taken by those units while deployed on the canal. The book is illustrated by over a hundred contemporary and modern photographs and by five car tours and three walks, all of which give the tourist a greater access to the battlefield.

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.

Pointe du Hoc
The attack by Rudder?s Rangers on Pointe du Hoc, as one of the opening acts of D Day, is without doubt an epic of military history. As a result of Montgomery?s upscaling of the invasion General Bradley?s First US Army had to deal with a dangerous coastal gun battery that would dominate the approaches to both Omaha and Utah Beaches. When the plan to climb the defended cliff and put the guns out of action was first discussed, an astounded staff officer said ?Two old ladies with brooms could sweep them off those cliffs!? Lieutenant Colonel James Rudder, commander of the Provisional Ranger Group consisting of 2nd and 5th US Rangers, set about training his men and developing techniques to get up the hundred-foot-high cliff. Rocket fired grapples, ladders of various types and even free climbing of a similar lose cliff on England?s south coast were practiced. On D-Day everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Lesser men would have given up, with the force having navigated towards the wrong headland, been continuously under fire as they motored back towards Pointe du Hoc, shipping water in the rough seas, craft sinking and few of the saturated grapples reaching the cliff top. None the less determined Rangers with German infantry hurling grenades down on them struggled up the cliff but the guns were not there. With the Rangers fanning out across the wrecked battery and into the fields beyond the guns were found in an orchard and destroyed with thermite grenades. Mission accomplished but at 1300 hours there was no sign of the relieving force from Omaha. Colonel Rudder with his radios barely working appealed for help but with a near disaster at Omaha, neither help or relief was forthcoming. Consequently, the 200 Rangers fought on against mounting pressure in an equally epic battle until finally relieved two days later.

Pointe du Hoc
The attack by Rudder?s Rangers on Pointe du Hoc, as one of the opening acts of D Day, is without doubt an epic of military history. As a result of Montgomery?s upscaling of the invasion General Bradley?s First US Army had to deal with a dangerous coastal gun battery that would dominate the approaches to both Omaha and Utah Beaches. When the plan to climb the defended cliff and put the guns out of action was first discussed, an astounded staff officer said ?Two old ladies with brooms could sweep them off those cliffs!? Lieutenant Colonel James Rudder, commander of the Provisional Ranger Group consisting of 2nd and 5th US Rangers, set about training his men and developing techniques to get up the hundred-foot-high cliff. Rocket fired grapples, ladders of various types and even free climbing of a similar lose cliff on England?s south coast were practiced. On D-Day everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Lesser men would have given up, with the force having navigated towards the wrong headland, been continuously under fire as they motored back towards Pointe du Hoc, shipping water in the rough seas, craft sinking and few of the saturated grapples reaching the cliff top. None the less determined Rangers with German infantry hurling grenades down on them struggled up the cliff but the guns were not there. With the Rangers fanning out across the wrecked battery and into the fields beyond the guns were found in an orchard and destroyed with thermite grenades. Mission accomplished but at 1300 hours there was no sign of the relieving force from Omaha. Colonel Rudder with his radios barely working appealed for help but with a near disaster at Omaha, neither help or relief was forthcoming. Consequently, the 200 Rangers fought on against mounting pressure in an equally epic battle until finally relieved two days later.

Pointe du Hoc
The attack by Rudder?s Rangers on Pointe du Hoc, as one of the opening acts of D Day, is without doubt an epic of military history. As a result of Montgomery?s upscaling of the invasion General Bradley?s First US Army had to deal with a dangerous coastal gun battery that would dominate the approaches to both Omaha and Utah Beaches. When the plan to climb the defended cliff and put the guns out of action was first discussed, an astounded staff officer said ?Two old ladies with brooms could sweep them off those cliffs!? Lieutenant Colonel James Rudder, commander of the Provisional Ranger Group consisting of 2nd and 5th US Rangers, set about training his men and developing techniques to get up the hundred-foot-high cliff. Rocket fired grapples, ladders of various types and even free climbing of a similar lose cliff on England?s south coast were practiced. On D-Day everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Lesser men would have given up, with the force having navigated towards the wrong headland, been continuously under fire as they motored back towards Pointe du Hoc, shipping water in the rough seas, craft sinking and few of the saturated grapples reaching the cliff top. None the less determined Rangers with German infantry hurling grenades down on them struggled up the cliff but the guns were not there. With the Rangers fanning out across the wrecked battery and into the fields beyond the guns were found in an orchard and destroyed with thermite grenades. Mission accomplished but at 1300 hours there was no sign of the relieving force from Omaha. Colonel Rudder with his radios barely working appealed for help but with a near disaster at Omaha, neither help or relief was forthcoming. Consequently, the 200 Rangers fought on against mounting pressure in an equally epic battle until finally relieved two days later.

Frankforce and the Defence of Arras 1940
There is no other city in France that has the same associations in time of conflict that the British have with Arras. Since the campaigns of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, in the early 18th century, British soldiers have fought in and around Arras, occasionally as an enemy but, more often, as defenders of French and Allied democracy. Battlefield visitors to the area will immediately recognize the names of towns and villages that were as significant to the men of Marlborough?s army as they were to those who fought in the First and Second World Wars. This book serves both as guide to the Second World War battlefields that surround the city and its environs as well as detailing the actions of the British armoured attack of 21 May 1940. The book looks at the strategic situation that led up to the famous Arras counter-stroke and, using material that has not been published before, examines the British and German actions between 20 and 23 May. The only Victoria Cross action that took place during this time is looked at in detail; as is the fighting that took place in Arras and during the breakout. Despite its shortcomings, the counter-stroke achieved the essential element of surprise and caused widespread alarm amongst the German command and hit Rommel?s 7th Panzer Division at precisely the moment when his armoured units were ahead of the infantry and gunners. The British infantry fought well and both the Durham battalions were fortunate that their commanding officers and senior NCOs were men who had already fought in one conflict and possessed the determination to rally their less experienced junior ranks and fight on regardless. Such was the case with the two tank battalions, although sadly they lost both their commanding officers and over half the tanks that went into the engagement. The attack did enable the British to tighten their hold on Arras ? albeit temporarily ? and, as is often cited, built doubts in the minds of German High Command as to the speed of their advance and contributed to the subsequent Hitler halt order of 24-27 May. The author has gone to some lengths to track down accounts from those individuals who served in the area during May 1940 and fought the enveloping tide of the German advance The book is supported by three car tours, one of which takes the visitor along the tragic path taken by the Tyneside Scottish on 20 May and two walking routes, which concentrate on Arras. 137 black and white photographs (integrated) and a number of maps derived from regimental histories; and six tour maps provide the battlefield visitor with illustrations of the battlefields as they were in 1940 and as they are today.


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