Attack on the Scheldt, The Struggle for Antwerp 1944

The author has provided a graphic account of the vital struggle for Antwerp, a story that has received very little previous coverage. The text is clear and graphic. The illustration captures the essence of the battle – A Rewarding Read, Recommended.


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NAME: Attack on the Scheldt, The Struggle for Antwerp 1944
FILE: R2495
AUTHOR: Graham A Thomas
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES:  212
PRICE: £19.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Second World War, WWII, World War Two, World War 2, 
reconnaissance, defence, coast defence, underground army, 
intelligence, Resistance, beach assault, beach masters, beach 
markers

ISBN: 1-47385-067-3

IMAGE: B2495.jpg6
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/mq6we4n
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: The author has provided a graphic account of the vital 
struggle for Antwerp, a story that has received very little previous 
coverage. The text is clear and graphic. The illustration captures 
the essence of the battle – A Rewarding Read, Recommended.

Churchill was initially reluctant to commit to landings in France, 
because he recognized the considerable obstacles that must be 
overcome. With the Italian campaign proceeding very slowly, and 
seeing the available resources for a landing in France, he warmed to 
the concept. His concerns were fully justified and only some amazing 
innovation, in the form of special armoured vehicles, landing craft, 
and artificial harbours, gave the Allies a reasonable prospect of 
success.

There was much soul searching over the best part of the French coast 
to assault. Both Allied commanders and some German commanders saw 
Normandy as the best option with the depth of beaches and the 
relatively light German defences. Had Rommel had his way, even 
Normandy would have been a very risky option for the Allies. As it 
was the creative mis-information campaign was to play to Hitler's 
obsessions and convince the bulk of the German commanders to believe 
that the attack would fall on Calais. Even so, the Normandy landings 
were no soft option.

The major problem that could not be changed was that Normandy was much 
further from the German border, leaving a very long supply line that 
could not be adequately fed from the artificial harbours created on 
the Normandy beaches. Although Allied air superiority prevented the 
Panzers from reaching Normandy in time, it could do nothing to prevent 
the Germans from destroying the ports on the route to Germany. This 
meant that Antwerp was the only port available for capture to provide 
supplies for the Allied armies as they approached the German frontier. 
The Germans recognized the importance of Antwerp, putting up a 
determined defence, and then committing precious resources to the 
Ardennes Offensive that was intended to recapture Antwerp and cut 
critical supplies to the advancing Allied armies.

Considering the importance of Antwerp to eventual Allied victory, it 
is surprising that historians have largely neglected the assaults to 
capture and hold Antwerp as the northern supply port for the Allies.

The author has blended operational reports with vivid first-hand 
accounts of the fighting to produce a graphic account of the courage, 
skill and determination of the allies in overcoming the entrenched 
German positions that fought with equal determination. Without 
reading this new book, it is impossible to fully understand the final 
stages of the Second World War in Europe.