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Battle of the Odon (ePub)

Military WWII > Battles & Campaigns > D-Day & Normandy WWII > German Forces & Weaponry

By Georges Bernage
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 33.9 MB (.epub)
Pages: 287
ISBN: 9781473858602
Published: 17th October 2017


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The Battle of the Odon evokes the clash between the British Army and the II SS Panzer Korps as they attacked across the Odon Valley during Operation Epsom, in June 1944. The offensive was intended to outflank and seize the German-occupied city of Caen, an important Allied objective for D-Day, but which would remain in German hands until mid-July.

The resources committed by Montgomery were extensive, especially considering the enemy only numbered a few hundred infantrymen, who were supported by an hundred or so panzers. Yet the German defence was skilful and ferocious, and the Odon River, which joins with the Orne River at Caen, would prove to be a more significant obstacle than expected.

Using contemporary photographs and documents, this book provides day-by-day details of the operation that formed just one part of what is commonly referred to as the Battle of Normandy.

In Normandy on the 26th June 1944, the 2nd British Army launched Operation Epsom with the objective of securing a foothold over the River Odon and quickly outflanking the strongly-held and pivotally important town of Caen. What would become known as the First Battle of the Odon, after a promising start, ultimately ended in failure with heavy losses on both sides, as the advance was gradually brought to a halt by the repeated and determined counter-attacks of the II SS Panzer Korps. Yet this and other offensives like it nevertheless succeeded in forcing the Germans to engage in a relentless battle of attrition which inevitably resulted in the collapse of their line. This is a beautifully presented and thoroughly researched book which describes the various phases of the offensive from both sides, brought further to life with a considerable number of maps, veterans accounts, and photographs, including images of key areas of the battlefield as they appears today.

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Pegasus Archive

This book is the right tribute to all the violent fightings in this part of Normandy known as the Odon Valley.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

The book was originally published in French by Heimdal, and this is a welcome English language version, which faithfully follows the high standards of Heimdal publications.

Read the complete review here.

Recollections of WWII, Matthew Smaldon

This is a very detailed account of what was a part of a larger operation during the Allied attempt to break out from the beaches at Normandy. The photographic coverage is very good and down to identifying individual tanks...usually German..and who crewed them. There are numerous side bars giving a short biography of various officers involved, mostly SS men. The text flows well but does at times show it was translated into English from French, but that is a minor difficulty. Over all it gives a full coverage of the battles...mostly from the SS view point. The numbers of tanks available in most actions is usually given...but mostly from a German perspective. While it seems obvious that the author is rather keen on the Nazi's and does not like Field Marshall Montgomery or the British, it is none the less a quite full and detailed cover that is quick to point out Allied errors, but not Nazi ones. If you can read it with an independence of mind, then it will prove a valuable source of information on this action.

Malcolm Wright, Australian Maritime Artist & Author

I have no hesitation in highly recommending this excellent book.

Read the complete review here.

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

About Georges Bernage

The historian Georges Bernage is one of France's premier experts on the 1944 Normandy Invasion. He has published over forty books on the subject since 1978.

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