Operation EPSOM - Over the Battlefield (Hardback)

World War II D-Day & Normandy

By Ian Daglish
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781844155620
Published: 21st June 2007
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Before EPSOM in late June 1944 there remained the chance that a German counter-stroke might seriously threaten the bridgehead. After EPSOM, the Allies retained the strategic initiative through to the liberation of France and Belgium.This was a battle in which highly trained but largely inexperienced British 'follow-up' divisions, newly arrived in Normandy, confronted some of the best equipped, best led and battle-hardened formations of the Third Reich. Beginning with a set-piece British assault on the German lines in dense terrain, the battle developed into swirling armoured action on the open slopes of Hills 112 and 113, before the British turned to grimly defending their gains in the face of concentric attacks by two full SS-Panzer Korps. This entirely new study brings together previously unseen evidence to present an important Normandy battle in very great detail. The unfolding action is illustrated using aerial photography of the battlefield and period Army maps.

Here once again, is yet another successful title from the excellent Over the Battlefield series of books from Pen and Sword. This particular volume covers Operation Epson-the first of Montgomery’s major battles that marked a turning point in Normandy Campaign.

Up until then odds were very much in favour of the enemy launching a counter attack and therefore threatening the allied bridgehead! Although well trained, the British forces, had only recently arrived in Normandy and were relatively inexperienced compared to the much superior enemy they now faced. In fact, many experts actually consider our opponents to have been the best equipped and most experienced combat formations of the German Army. Fighting in dense terrain and on the slopes of Hill 112 and 113, we were however successful and this resulted in the allies retaining the strategic initiative and then going on to liberate the remainder of France and Belgium.

In this new study, the author fully analyses the tactics employed at the time. He also includes a vast amount of detail based on previously unseen information and has used impressive aerial photography and contemporary army maps to fully support his excellent text. In addition, he has included some interesting black and white photographs too which together with the detailed Order of Battle and the very useful bibliography, will prove useful reference tools for those studying the battle in detail or visiting the area.

If you have a specific interest in the Normandy Campaign and the allied liberation of Europe in 1944, this well written volume is a must for your library.

Michael Booker
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