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Normandiefront: D-Day to St Lô Through German Eyes [Paperback]

Vince Milano , Bruce Conner
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £14.99
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Book Description

1 April 2012
You probably already know the basic story of what happened on D-Day - but it is almost certain that your knowledge is based upon books written from the Allied perspective. "Normandiefront" provides a fresh and unique exploration of the greatest seaborne invasion in history. It also explains just why the Americans on Omaha beach suffered the Longest Day of all. As the ramps went down and the Amis plunged into the water, their commanders expected them to face just one battalion of mediocre occupation troops - but the veterans and the new recruits of the 352nd Division were waiting instead. Authors Vince Milano and Bruce Conner have interviewed the surviving members of that formidable fighting force - at the same time amassing a collection of German and Allied photographs and documents, many of which are published here for the first time. The fight to get off the beach and then the seemingly interminable struggle through the bocage - from hedgerow to hedgerow, as the German line fell back only to reform and counter-attack time and time again, all the way to the ruins of St Lo - was one of the most intense ever experienced by any army. Generalleutnant Dietrich Kraiss' deployment of his men is a fascinating military case study in itself. The General, responsible for the stretch of coastline that included Omaha beach and part of Gold beach, was an Eastern Front veteran, as were many of his men. He was therefore used to facing an adversary who outnumbered and outgunned his forces and was well versed in the tactics of defence and counter-attack. The division actually expected to be sent East any day and had been trained for it. Denied the use of one third of his division during the crucial first hours of the invasion that had been held in reserve by higher commands, he tenaciously held his ground until they were released and then mounted a skilful defensive campaign. The reinforcements needed to contain the Allied breakout from the beachhead never came - partly because German High Command refused to accept that Normandy really was the main invasion target and not Pas de Calais. As the authors point out, 'Any Grenadier in the 352nd could have told them differently.' With over 200 photographs and those priceless interviews with German veterans, "Normandiefront" is an important addition to the literature of World War II, telling as it does the story of how one German division changed the course of the invasion and almost the entire war.

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Normandiefront: D-Day to St Lô Through German Eyes + Michelin Historical Map 102: : Battle of Normandy (Michelin Historical Maps)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; Reprint edition (1 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752471457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752471457
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 17 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 122,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Vince Milano is a former U.S. infantryman and the author of "The German Army Order of Battle 1918" and many articles for military magazines such as "Combat "and "Living History." He interviewed combatants in Germany for this book. He lives in Epping, New Hampshire. Bruce Conner is a military history researcher who gives military history displays and talks with Vince Milano across the United States. He lives in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars D-Day before and after - excellence 24 Sep 2012
The authors have done a superb piece of research (and it cannot have been easy) and converted it into a thoroughly readable account of the Normandy battles, basing it on German views and standing in the shoes of the "defenders". An excellent addition to my burgeoning library on this vital episode in my history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good all round book . 18 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent book that looks at the German side of Normandie from the point of view of the troop sand commanders of 352nd Infantry division . It is a good mix of an overview of the battle ,what the German command was thinking and the thoughts and reactions of those at the sharp end. My interest is wargaming and there is plenty of information here to provide background for those small battles and company level fights that formed part of the wider battle.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Norm Front 27 Aug 2013
By steve smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a glimpse of history that while told on a personal level it at the same time gives a good account of the entire battle strategy, progress, and the near catastrophe's that may have turned the day. Well worth the first read and will probably re read this one several more times.
4.0 out of 5 stars I found this quite interesting. The story is told ... 6 Sep 2014
By R. Young - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this quite interesting. The story is told from the common soldier's perspective which is different from the many WWII books I've read. To try to frame my impressions from this book, my uncle was a POW, captured during the Battle of the Bulge, who was worked/beaten/starved to death as forced labor digging a mine. My father fought through North Africa and Anzio. I came away from this book with an increased appreciation of the horrors of war. I feel sorrow for those who were swept up into war by madmen and for those swept up into war in response to those madmen.
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