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.
NAME: Over the Battlefield, Operation Epsom
AUTHOR: Ian Daglish
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
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+
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.