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Attack on the Scheldt (Hardback)

The Struggle for Antwerp 1944

WWII World War Two Aviation Naval

By Graham A Thomas
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 212
ISBN: 9781473850675
Published: 8th March 2017



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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 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, Robin Buckland

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 British naval and maritime history in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He has also written on aerial warfare 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 Terror From the Sky: The Battle Against the Flying Bombs, Firestorm: Typhoons Over Caen, Operation Big Ben: Spitfires Dive-bombing V2 sites (with Craig Cabell), Pirate Hunter: The Life of Captain Woodes Rogers, Pirate Killers: The Royal Navy and the African Pirates and, with Craig Cabell and Allan Richards, Captain Kidd: The Hunt for the Truth.

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