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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.

Operation Plunder
Operation Plunder was the overall name for 21st Army Group's crossing of the Rhine but each of the major elements was known by its own codeword, TURNSCREW and TORCHLIGHT, the British assault river crossing; WIDGEON, FLASHLIGHT, the crossing by XVI US Corps. Operation Plunder joins over 100 previously published titles in the acclaimed Battleground series. These well written and highly illustrated guide books not only bring the battlefields alive for visitors, they also entertain readers at home.

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.

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 tell 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 attacked 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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