Over the Battlefield, Operation Epsom

There has been little published about Operation Epsom as a detailed 
review of this vital stage of the Liberation of Europe. The author 
has provided an insightful account with a mass of illustration in 
the form of maps and photographs. Outstanding. Highly Recommended.

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NAME: Over the Battlefield, Operation Epsom
FILE: R2387
AUTHOR:  Ian Daglish
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back 
PAGES:  272
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII. World War 2, Second World War, World War Two, Special 
Forces, paratroops, glider troops, vertical insertion, blitz krieg, 
land forces, Normandy Landings, breakout, D-Day+
ISBN: 1-78384-559-9
IMAGE: B2387.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/jbauyb9
LINKS: Current Discount Offers http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/sale 
DESCRIPTION: There has been little published about Operation Epsom as 
a detailed review of this vital stage of the Liberation of Europe. 
The author has provided an insightful account with a mass of 
illustration in the form of maps and photographs. 
Outstanding. Highly Recommended.

The actual landings on D-Day, and the construction of the artificial 
harbours, has rightly received a great deal of coverage over the last 
70 years. However, Operation Epsom was the next vital stage of 
breaking out of the beachheads and forging on through France towards 
the German Homeland. It called for fresh troops and equipment that 
had been well used in training but was yet to be blooded in the field.

This book is evidence of the formidable amount of research conducted 
by the author to produce this fine and detailed analysis of this 
crucial operation. The supporting images are not only prolific, but 
of the highest quality and very ably support the text with its well 
argued assertions and conclusions. This is one of those books that 
can be considered definitive of its topics.

The Landings were all hard fought and the Americans suffered 
particularly, but the heavy bombing, air superiority and sheer 
determination carried the day at all beaches. The first critical 
phase of the first 24 hours was passed and, with it, the Germans best 
chance of throwing the invasion forces back into the sea. That said, 
there was still a chance that the Germans could counter attack in 
force. The first day had been helped by the work of airborne forces, 
bombing and the Resistance fighters. These forces had managed, with 
considerable success, to prevent the rapid movement of German 
reserves, especially the Panzer Divisions, to the beaches. However, 
considerable effort was made by the German reserves to fight through, 
or around, the special forces and Resistance. It was a slow battle, 
losses were suffered, but gradually the reserves were brought forward 
to threaten the breakout.

Operation Epsom was to be the first set piece battle commanded in 
France by Montgomery and on it rested the success or failure of the 
landings. The troops available to him were highly trained and fresh 
to battle which meant that they were theoretically as good as any 
force can be, but they had yet to prove themselves under fire. Against 
them was mounted highly experienced Panzer units that were amongst the 
best equipped, best led and most experienced German units. They were 
a very formidable opposition.

At this point in the war, the British still did not have tanks that 
were completely equal to the best German tanks, but they did now have 
the numbers in their favour and they did have up-gunned Shermans that 
could take on a Tiger and kill it. This was important to the swirling 
amoured action of the opening stages of the battles. Then, the British 
had to hold their gains under heavy attacks by two SS-Panzer Korps.

This is an exciting story that benefits from previously unseen 
evidence, enabling the author to make an impressive study of one of 
the most critical stages of WWII.