Bruneval, Battleground, French Coast

B1803

The author has made a first class job of recounting this feat of arms. A considerable number of images have been included to enhance the text and many are previously unseen images. As an historical account of an exciting and important action, this book deserves to sell very well. The true story has many elements of the successful thriller and has provided the basis for a gripping account of an outstanding feat of arms. It also marks the first action of the newly formed British Parachute Regiment that was to play an important role in support of the D-Day Landings and advance towards Germany and victory.

Reviews

ASDNews

Broadly Guns News

Nighthawk News

Firetrench Directory

NAME: Bruneval, Battleground, French Coast
CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews
FILE: R1803
DATE: 100113
AUTHOR: Paul Oldfield
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 124
PRICE: £12.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Radar, sigint, elint, commando, parachutist, WWII, Second World War, World War Two, French coast, electronic warfare
ISBN: 1-78159-067-2
IMAGE: B1803.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/bxytjql
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The Bruneval Raid was perhaps the most significant Commando raid on occupied territory during the Second World War. It entailed the dropping of parachutists close to the German radar station, the removal of key components for examination, followed by the extraction of the commando force from the beach, together with the captured radar components.

When Churchill encouraged the formation of special forces during 1940, he was planning for both a resistance force to fight any German occupation of the British Isles, and for an offensive force that could remind German commanders that their days were numbered, should the anticipated invasion fail to take place. The collapse of the French troops in 1940 and the evacuation by the Royal Navy of French and British troops from the beaches of Dunkirk marked the lowest point of the 1939-1945 war. Other defeats were to come before the tide turned decisively against the Germans, but the summer of 1940 offered a real prospect of an invasion of the British Isles.

The first special forces raids on the German positions along the French Coast, and the mining of ships in French ports were as much a propaganda campaign as they were a military action. Churchill was able to point to the evacuation of much of the British Expeditionary Force and a sizeable number of French troops from Dunkirk, the failure of the German Air Force to establish air superiority over the British Isles, the consequent failure of the Germans to attempt an invasion, and a series of ever more daring raids on Occupied Europe by British Special Forces. He could also point to the growing fleet of RAF bombers attacking deep into Germany in increasing numbers and with increasingly potent bombers.

By 1942, the Commando Combined Operations were well established and increasingly effective. The British Parachute Regiment had been formed, trained and prepared for its first actions. British intelligence services were proving successful in their own right and in support of the growing number of resistance groups in Occupied Europe, and the fight-back was well underway. A critical element of this fight was the strengthening RAF bombing campaign and the preparations for the USAAF to join the bombardment of German targets, bringing the bombing from increasingly large RAF night raids, to twenty-four hour bombardment with the USAAF raiding during daylight. However, the Germans had begun to develop effective radar within a command and control structure that would pose a very serious threat to Allied bombers and provide a defence that could deny the Allies air superiority, and with it any prospect of successful invasion. The British already fully understood the vital role that their own command and control systems and radar stations had played in denying German air superiority over Britain.

The British prepared a sophisticated alliance of Special Forces, intelligence, resistance fighters, naval and air forces, to identify a new type of German radar, locate a station close to the French coast and then build a detailed attack plan that would employ parachutists to make a surprise attack and then extract the paratroops and their booty from the beaches in RN craft. This involved a large number of very colourful figures and achieved a level of cooperation between the many different groups to win a great victory that would help reduce bomber losses and speed the ending of the war. It also encouraged the British to relocate all of their key electronics development sites as far from the British coast as possible in case the Germans decided to replicate the Bruneval raid for their own advantage.

The author has made a first class job of recounting this feat of arms. A considerable number of images have been included to enhance the text and many are previously unseen images. As an historical account of an exciting and important action, this book deserves to sell very well. The true story has many elements of the successful thriller and has provided the basis for a gripping account of an outstanding feat of arms. It also marks the first action of the newly formed British Parachute Regiment that was to play an important role in support of the D-Day Landings and advance towards Germany and victory.

However, the book has one further advantage. The author is a battlefield guide and battlefield tours have been growing in popularity as the veterans of WWII die out and their children and grand children want to visit the battlefields and understand the importance of the fight and the continuing dangers posed by Germany to European peace and stability. This book is therefore also essential reading for anyone wishing to visit the area and walk the battlefield.

Leave a Reply