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D-Day Gunners (Hardback)

Firepower on the British Beaches and Landing Grounds

WWII D-Day & Normandy Battlefield Guidebooks Battlefield Guides Normandy Military

By Frank Baldwin
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Battleground Books: WWII
Pages: 272
Illustrations: 100 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781473834934
Published: 30th June 2022

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Part history book and part travel guide, D-Day Gunners is aimed at anyone interested in the artillery on the D-Day beaches and landing grounds. While the heritage of the D-Day beaches and landing sites is well documented, this rarely includes the artillery story. The author of this book aims to correct this by providing a visitors' guide to the artillery stories associated with the battlefield heritage that remains on the D-Day beaches, mapping the fire-plan for D-Day against the known German locations, and looking at what happened at these places.

There is relatively little explanation about the role of the artillery in general or the deeds of artillerymen, in particular those of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. This book tells of the significance of artillery on D-Day and the part it played in the outcome. Initial reports published stressed that the coastal defences were effectively neutralized by the bombing and that no significant counter attacks developed on D-Day. However, post-war accounts increasingly attributed allied success to allied fire power.

The book tells the story of the men who served the guns on the D-Day beaches, and the effects they had on the outcome of the battles on D-Day and afterwards. This volume is primarily about British Gunners and certain German Kannoniers. The book has been written as a guide to the battlefields on the D-Day beaches and landing grounds, telling the gunners’ stories that are not always commemorated on memorials, interpretation boards, or recorded in more general guides. These poignant stories include war poets and heroes decorated for bravery, or just the tales of some of the men buried in the war cemeteries or commemorated on the memorials. It also provides a guide in lay terms of the technical impact of field anti-tank and AA artillery on the war.

A second volume will tell the story of artillerymen on the American beaches and landing grounds.

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About Frank Baldwin

Frank is a historian and battlefield travel professional. He has led hundreds of battlefield tours, studies and staff rides. A retired Gunner Major, he is a member of the British commission for military history and author of several books and articles on the battlefield of the world wars. He also edits an online blog: www.theobservationpost.com

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