This was one of the very first Osprey Campaign books I purchased (I now have a shelf full of them!) as it did something not seen in many other works on D-Day. It simply focuses on the landings and immediate aftermath with details of the beaches, assaults and German defences. The details of the landings at Gold and Juno beaches have often been overlooked in general histories of D-Day and Operation Overlord. In the 1962 film `The Longest Day' these beaches hardly even get a mention despite these assaults being the most successful of D-Day. This book puts these landings right back centre stage (literally).
Whilst the maps (which should be a strong point for Osprey) are pretty good, I do think that the plans of the German defences could have been more detailed. There is one good piece of original artwork showing the first minutes after H-Hour of the attack on La Riviere (Gold Beach), but the other two are really a lost opportunity to provide illustrations of combat not possible in contemporary photographs.
The title goes on to cover the follow up battle of Villers-Bocage a week after D-Day and therefore slots in very nicely with Ken Fords other three books covering the British and Commonwealth contribution to Operation Overlord. This is the sort of book I'd like to see more of from Osprey. It is a shame that some minor editorial decisions just let it down from getting five stars.
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