The euphoria generated by the successful landings in Normandy, and the subsequent breakout from the beachheads, has largely glossed over the consequences and collateral damage in France. The author has provided a worthy evaluation of the costs, with the short term and long term effects – Most Highly Recommended.
NAME: The Allied War Against France FILE: R2681 AUTHOR: Stephen Alan Bourque PUBLISHER: Naval Institute Press BINDING: soft back PAGES: 352 PRICE: $34.95 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, Second World War, World War 2, D-Day, Op Overlord, Normandy, beach landings, breakout, 1944 Battle of France, Free French, British, Canadians, US forces, Wehrmacht, bombing, shelling. ISBN: 978-1-61251-873-2 IMAGE: B2681.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/yb729hub LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The euphoria generated by the successful landings in Normandy, and the subsequent breakout from the beachheads, has largely glossed over the consequences and collateral damage in France. The author has provided a worthy evaluation of the costs, with the short term and long term effects – Most Highly Recommended. Understandably, historians have concentrated on the Normandy Landings and the break-out from the beaches. These two stages were each critical to the success of the liberation of Europe by Britain, US, and Canada. The Landings were unique. Never before had anything on this scale been attempted in history and in military theory it should have failed, given the defences put in place by Hitler. Only careful reconnaissance and planning, training and ingenuity made this stunning victory a fact of history. However, the next stage was to break out from the beaches. The longer this was delayed, the more likely that German forces could be rushed in to throw the Allies back into the sea from narrow beachheads. Again, the critical element was the use of airborne forces and resistance fighters to delay the arrival of German reinforcements. This had never been attempted before. Large scale landings inland by paratroops and glider troops had seized bridges and other key communication points to deny them to the enemy and make them available to Allied troops fighting out from the beaches. The part played by the French resistance added to the obstructions placed before the enemy. This was stirring stuff for the news reels at the time and to historians subsequently. It made great entertainment in fictional books and films. Unfortunately it blanked out the carnage in France. Normally, war reporters would have made more comment as they passed through the devastated French towns and countryside with the wrecked roads and rail networks. However, the next big attention grabbers were Market Garden which was a huge gamble to try to cut the war short and the epic struggle as the British Forces clung on to the last bridge in the rapid advance, way beyond any reasonable expectations, was such a courageous stand that it occupied much news space and much attention since then. It rivalled the other two attention grabbers, the Nazi last throw in the Ardennes, with the Battle of the Bulge, and the crossing of the Rhine by the Allies, including the last mass assault by airborne troops. The author has addressed this information deficit with this new book. The French were torn at the time. They wanted to be free of German oppression so badly that they were prepared to endure great hardship and cost. They almost welcomed being bombed heavily by Allied aircraft wanting the Germans but back in their box. On the other hand, they were human. The lost of friends and family, the devastation of their towns and the destruction of roads and railways was a terrible price. It inevitably caused some animosity, mainly after the soldiers had moved away towards Germany. Some French politicians tried to exploit the pain in their hatred of Britain and the US. That exploitation continues more than 70 years later as the EU tries to find new ways to punish the US and the UK. The core EU project is still to create a United States of Europe that can humble the US and move to world domination under the Master Race, remarkably close to the Nazi objectives, but then it is easy to forget that a large number of French politicians welcomed the Nazis in 1940 and enthusiastically collaborated with them, even down to sending French Jews to the German extermination camps. The author looks at the situation in 1944 and its implications then and into the future for European relations.