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Normandy: Breaching the Atlantic Wall: From D-Day to the Breakout and Liberationby Dominique Francois
Synopses & Reviews
The French defeat at the hands of the Germans in June 1940 began a period of occupation, shame, repression, and deprivation. Four years later, the dawn landings of Allied forces on the coastal beaches of France began la Bataille de Normandie—the epic Battle of Normandy—rekindling hopes for liberation which French citizens, including the grandfather of author Dominique François, so longed to see. Like many Frenchmen, Joseph François dreamt of revenge, of washing away the stain of the French defeat, and of freedom. But he did not live to see that long-awaited day, the day his country was liberated from the Germans.
Ten years of writing and research went into Normandy: Breaching the Atlantic Wall, From D-Day to the Breakout and Liberation. François, an author and historian of numerous books on the battle, pored through military archives in France and the United States, selecting the most compelling images and documents from the period. He also included numerous photographs from his family’s collection, including many that show the personal hardships faced by his father’s family, their neighbors, and all of occupied France during the war. In addition to more than 500 images, many never before published, François commissioned a number of highly detailed color maps of the beach landings, the battle plans, and German and Allied military operations and troop movements.
From the invasion to the breakout, to Patton’s opening of the road to Brittany, the Mayenne, and the Loire, and finally, with de Gaulle’s triumphant return to Paris, the Battle of Normandy was won at a terrible price. This grand history covers all aspects of the battle, including:
· France under the Occupation
· Operation Overlord: The Plan
· The D-Day Invasion
· The First U.S. Army and the Capture of Cherbourg
· The Second British Army and the Battle of Caen
· Operation Cobra: The Battle of the Hedgerows
· The Breakthrough at Saint-Lô
· The Counterattack at Mortain
· The Falaise Pocket
· The Race to Paris
· More than 25 vivid color photos of unit patches
· Then-and-now battlefield photos
"This coffee-table book, packed with prints and photographs covering the Allies' June 1944 invasion of France is clearly a labor of love by French military historian Franois. A preinvasion bombing killed his grandfather, a Norman farmer, and barely missed his father, age 10 at the time. Chapter one offers family photographs as well as posters and photos of the 1940 — 1944 German occupation. Even better is an epilogue of before-and-after photographs juxtaposing images of locations like Omaha Beach in 1944 and 60 years later. In between, the pages teem with images of the massive Allied buildup in England, the invasion itself and the battles in Normandy interspersed with sidebars on generals and soldiers awarded medals for their bravery. Readers familiar with the iconic Normandy photographs will not find them; among the myriad of images in the archives, Franois's choices emphasize modest soldierly activity and civilian miseries. The extensive text delivers a conventional, undistinguished history of events, so readers will lose little by skimming. Picture books on the Normandy invasion would fill a substantial shelf, but this one offers some modestly unusual features. 100 color and 400 b&w photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The first complete illustrated history of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of France, with accounts of both the attacking Allies and the defending Germans.
Now available in flexibound format, Normandy illuminates the tense buildup to the Allied invasion of France in World War II, covering both the German and Allied perspectives through previously unpublished period photographs.
Told in full, in never-before-seen detail, this is the first complete illustrated history of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of France. The book's on-the-ground and behind-the-scenes accounts of both the attacking Allies and the defending Germans offer a uniquely broad perspective on the Normandy landing and subsequent battles.
From the invasion to the breakout, to Patton's opening of the road to Brittany, the Mayenne, and the Loire, and finally, with de Gaulle's triumphant return to Paris, the Battle of Normandy was won at a terrible price. This grand history covers all aspects of the battle.
The French defeat at the hands of the Nazis in June 1940 began a period of occupation and deprivation; four years later, the dawn landings of Allied forces on the beaches of France began la Bataille de Normandie—the epic Battle of Normandy—rekindling hopes for liberation. The grandfather of author Dominique François, like many Frenchmen, dreamt of revenge, but did not live to see his country freed from the Nazis.
Normandy is the result of ten years of research by François, drawing on French and U.S. military archives as well as numerous photographs from his family’s collection that capture the hardships of occupied France. From the invasion to the breakout, Patton’s charge through France, and finally de Gaulle’s triumphant return to Paris, the Battle of Normandy was won at a terrible price. Normandy covers all aspects of this turning point in World War II and includes more than 500 images, many never before published, as well as eleven detailed color maps of the beach landings, battle plans, and German and Allied operations and troop movements.
About the Author
Dominque Francois is a French military historian specializing in D-Day and the Normandy campaign. This is his ninth illustrated military history book related to D-Day and Normandy. He lives in France.
Table of Contents
List of Maps
Part I: Four Years of German Occupation
1 June 1940: The Defeat of France
2 France under the Occupation
3 Construction of the Atlantic Wall
4 German Forces in Normandy on the Eve of the Allied Invasion
Part II: Operation Overlord: The Plan
5 Strategic Preparations
6 Airborne Operations
7 Amphibious and Naval Operations
Part III: D-Day: The Invasion
8 Airborne Missions
9 The Beaches
10 Consolidating the Beachheads
Part IV: Expanding the Beachheads
11 The First U.S. Army and the Capture of Cherbourg
12 The Second British Army and the Battle of Caen
Part V: Operation Cobra
14 The Breakthrough at Saint-Lô
Part VI: Normandy’S Stalingrad
15 The Counterattack at Mortain
16 The Falaise Pocket: The Road of Death (Todesgang)
17 The Race to Paris
A: The Battle?eld: Then and Now
B: Unit Insignia
Operation Overlord Plan
German Forces in Normandy
1st Division Landing at Omaha Beach
Utah Beach: D-Day
Gold, Juno, and Sword Beaches: D-Day
The U.S. Drive to Secure the Cotentin Peninsula and Cherbourg
The British and Canadian Capture of Caen
Operation Cobra: The Breakout from Saint-Lô
The German Attack at Mortain
The Falaise–Argentan Pocket
Cartography by Philip Schwartzberg, Meridian Mapping, Minneapolis
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