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Attack on the Scheldt (Paperback)

The Struggle for Antwerp 1944

Aviation > WWII Maritime > Naval Military WWII

By Graham A Thomas
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 20 b/w illustrations
ISBN: 9781526781482
Published: 14th September 2020



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During the Allied advance across northwest Europe in 1944, the opening up of the key port of Antwerp was a pivotal event, yet it has been neglected in histories of the conflict. The battles in Normandy and on the German frontier have been studied often and in detail, while the fight for the Scheldt estuary, Walcheren and Antwerp itself has been treated as a sideshow. Graham Thomass timely and graphic account underlines the importance of this aspect of the Allied campaign and offers a fascinating insight into a complex combined-arms operation late in the Second World War. Using operational reports and vivid first-hand eyewitness testimony, he takes the reader alongside 21 Army Group as it cleared the Channel ports of Calais, Boulogne and Dunkirk, then moved on to attack the Scheldt and the island stronghold of Walcheren. Overcoming entrenched German resistance there was essential to the whole operation, and it is the climax of his absorbing narrative.

This book is interesting and well worth reading.

World Ship Society - Marine News

As featured by

Modellbouw magazine, January/February 2019

A most interesting book, well researched and very well documented.

Read the complete review here.


"Attack on the Scheldt" provides a very detailed report of the battle that took place in North-West Europe – a battle of which not much literary information can be found. The role of the navy is underexposed in the book, but the reader does get a good picture of what the Allies had to undergo in order to chase away the Germans from the banks of the Wester Scheldt. However, the reader doesn’t get any answers to the two questions the author asked himself. That is a somewhat strange conclusion after finishing reading the book. Even stranger is the fact that these questions aren’t difficult to answer. You only have to go beyond some sacred cows. Although Graham A. Thomas with "Attack on the Scheldt" produced a sound historical work, he didn’t dare answer the questions himself.

Read the complete review here.


This book gives us an interesting account of the significant operations required to enable Antwerp to be brought back into use to support the Allied advance into Germany and the book is clearly assisted by well kept Canadian War Diaries made at the time. The fighting was a hard slog, in cold, wet winter weather that needed to be endured as much as the defensive efforts of the German army, but one that was effectively carried through.

Read the full review here.

Military Model Scene

The author has provided a graphic account of the vital struggle for Antwerp, a story that has received very little previous coverage. The text is clear and graphic. The illustration captures the essence of the battle – A Rewarding Read, Recommended.

Read the full review here.


About Graham A Thomas

Graham A. Thomas is a historian specialising in the history of the British army and air force in the Second World War and Korea. He is currently the editor of the British Army Review, a quarterly journal on the doctrine and history of the British army. His publications include Furies and Fireflies Over Korea, Terror From the Sky: The Battle Against the Flying Bombs and Firestorm: Typhoons Over Caen. He has also written several books on naval and maritime history, including Pirate Hunter: The Life of Captain Woodes Rogers and Blackbeard: The Hunt For The World's Most Notorious Pirate.

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