on 15 December 2010
This is a collection of essays produced by 16 leading American, British, Canadian, German and New Zealand historians, the product of two international conferences held in the United Kingdom in 2004.
The essays re-examine key aspects of the Normandy campaign from the events of D-Day to points towards the close of the campaign discussing the allied forces, the German military and the civilians caught in the middle. While structured the collection does not read as general history working from D-day onwards and does not need to be read cover to cover. While the main focus is on the military side of things - tactics, strategy and doctrine; essays also explores culture and how the campaign is perceived in modern media.
The collection provides the reader with modern discussion on various debates surrounding the campaign showing where some debates stand today while offering new evaluations. To paraphrase the introduction a wave of revisionist works have been released over the last decade or so that have challenged the prevailing views of the previous 50 years of research and in quite a few cases have shown the errors in previous work. These essays continue that trend, suggesting in some that looking at ground won or lost/losses inflicted should not looked upon as a deciding factor and that we all need to be more analytical when looking at the campaign. The introduction offers a bibliography of works from the late 1990s onwards that have been major pieces of research in advancing our view of the campaign and one could argue that at least two of these essays are essentially summaries of works released around the time of the 2004 conference or beyond, in particular Buckley's own British Armour in Normandy and Ian Daglish's Operation Bluecoat.
To summarise, for anyone interested in the campaign wanting to see a summary of the most modern research then this is essential reading.