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The Battle of Normandy 1944: 1944 the Final Verdict [Hardcover]

Robin Neillands
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 Sep 2002
What happened to the Allied armies in Normandy in the months after D-Day, 1944? Why, after the initial success of the landings, did their advance stall a few miles inland from the beaches? Why did the British take so long to capture Caen? Why did the US infantry struggle so much in the bocage south of Omaha beach? Who was right about the conduct of the land campaign - Eisenhower or Montgomery? How did the Germans, deprived of air support, manage to hold off such a massive Allied force for more than two months? And if Enigma was allowing the Allies to read German battleplans, why did things go wrong as often as they did? THE BATTLE OF NORMANDY 1944 re-examines the demands and difficulties of the campaign and sheds new light on both with the aid of accounts from veterans on both sides. (Oral history forms a large part of the book.) It also analyses in detail the plans and performance of the commanders involved: Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, Montgomery, Crerar and, of course, Rommel. Controversial and at times catastrophic, the Battle of Normandy was the last great set-piece battle in history and is long overdue for reassessment.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; First Edition edition (26 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0304358371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304358373
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 779,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


THE BATTLE OF NORMANDY got a very big review in the NEW STATESMAN on 6th February 2003: '... certain American historians - not to mention screenwriters -have long offered an alternative explanation: that the British preferred to sit tight in their foxholes drinking endless cups of tea rather than do theirshare of the fighting. This myth receives a witting and efficient rebuttal in Robin Neillands's book. He writes with an urgency because, as he notes, "itcannot be too long before some American academic reveals how the US contingent played a decisive part in beating the French at the Battle of Agincourt in1415 while the 'cautious' and 'timid' British archers looked on in 'watchful

Book Description

A fresh and incisive examination of one of the Second World War's crucial campaigns, the battle for Normandy in the months after D-Day

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A balanced view of the Normandy Battle 21 Nov 2002
The author examines in detail all the myths which have accumulated around the Normandy Battle and destroys them by a detailed research of and examination of the FACTS. The Hollywood treatment of mainly fictitious events is exposed by examination of what really happened including the tensions between the different nationalities and generals. This is a non partisan account of what really happened and, to me, is unique in that it acknowledges the fighting spirit if not only the Allies but also the enemy. Where necessary there is criticism of all commanders and events and no sign of nationalistic chauvinism. A must for anyone who really wants an unbiased view of what really occurred.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Entirely readable and comprehensively persuasive, this volume strips away the charisma and myths that surround the great personalities and momentous events of 1944.
For any student of modern history this must be essential reading. For the veterans of those battles this book may make for depressing reading in as much that training, tactics and equipment on the Allied side proved so woeful. That Montgomery's strategy prevailed is a remarkable testimony to the endurance of the ordinary Tommy and his Canadian, Czech, Polish and American allies.
Unmistakeably a great work.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This book follows on from the author's account of the Normandy landings (written with Roderick de Normann), D-Day 1944 : Voices from Normandy, though he has produced a number of other books in between. Robin Neilland's growing stature as a military historian is based on his consistently solid research, cool objectivity, cracking narrative style and a willingness to put his head above the parapet. In this excellent book he explodes many of the myths surrounding the battle of Normandy, not least that the eventually successful outcome was largely due to the efforts of the American forces, while the British and Canadians dragged their feet. However, Neillands is too good an historian (and has too much respect for the American fighting man) to beat a nationalistic drum. He is concerned solely with putting the record straight, and his even-handed assessment and penetrating judgements not only benefit history but do proper justice to those who fought the three-month battle.
As in his book about D-Day, Neillands' narrative is generously laced with the recollections (often startlingly vivid) of Normandy veterans from both the Allied and German armies, adding drama to the account and enabling the reader to experience the conflict from a variety of perspectives. It is all grippingly there: the ferocity of the battlefield; the death traps of the bocage; the courage and endurance of soldiers on both sides; the strategic errors and tactical mistakes; the spiky relationship of the superstar generals; the military legacy of the battle and the controversy that has followed it. And throughout it all the resonance of the place names - Caen, St-Lo, Falaise, Argentan, Flers - all charmingly familiar to the modern visitor to the region. Driving through Normandy will never be quite the same again.
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As usual with this author this is a very good book easily read and offering interesting facts and opinions. Having read many of his books I would recommend any of them concerning a subject in which you have an interest.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Final verdict? 24 Aug 2013
By jonh69
As an historian, just seeing the words "final verdict" raises the hackles a bit. There is no such thing in my opinion.
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