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D-Day Gunners (Hardback)

Firepower on the British Beaches and Landing Grounds

Military > Battlefield Guidebooks > Battlefield Guides Normandy WWII > Battles & Campaigns > D-Day & Normandy

By Frank Baldwin
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Battleground: WWII
Pages: 272
Illustrations: 100 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781473834934
Published: 15th 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.

This offering is a good addition to your library and will assist in rounding off your knowledge.

Read the Full Review Here

Armorama

As featured in

Gun Mart Magazine, October 2022

It would be invaluable for anyone touring the D Day battle area but gives food for thought to anyone interested in the theory and practise of combined arms battle in WW2.

4.5 out of 5

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

Frank Baldwin's book about British artillery on the D-Day beaches is a must-read for anyone interested in that seminal and iconic battle.

Books Monthly

This feels like a thoroughly detailed and comprehensive book and in my very humble opinion, this has the look, feel and detail of a really decent book that would sit on the top of anyone's book on the D-Day subject.

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The History Fella

This book also serves as a guidebook for those visiting Normandy - with several different guided tours pointing out significant landmarks. Within these tour instructions are many contemporaneous accounts of the action on the day, and numerous supporting photographs.

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WW2 Today

Over many years I have read hundreds of books on D-Day and the invasion of Normandy in 1944, but I can't recall ever seeing such a well detailed account of the fire plans, the units, and the stories of what happened once the troops hit the ground. Covering the British/Commonwealth units that landed I am now really looking forward to the second part of the story, covering the US units and beaches. This has instantly become one of my specialist D-Day references along with offering some great touring ideas. Absolutely no hesitation in recommending this one.

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Military Model Scene

As a former Gunner Major and author of “Gunners in Normandy: The Regimental History of the Royal Artillery in the Normandy Campaign” there can be few better placed to write the first of a two part work on D-Day Gunners. It is understood that the second volume will focus on the American beaches and landing grounds. This volume is first and foremost a battlefield guide to touring the D-Day beaches and landing grounds against the background of the fire plans, the equipment and the men who served the guns. It focuses on the plans and preparations for D-Day and the events of the 6th June 1944 and the immediate aftermath without straying far beyond the bridgehead. This volume is actually far, far more than a simple tour guide and covers the subject in encyclopaedic detail and yet is very clearly written. This is an exceptional book which in “doing exactly what it says in the title” I am sure will become the “go to” reference on the subject. Given the vital, battle winning role played by the artillery, on both sides in the conflict, this book should be in the library of all serious students of the use of artillery during World War 2 and of the Normandy Campaign in particular. Most highly recommended.

Military Historical Society

Frank Baldwin has delivered an exceptional account of the Gunners in Normandy and I doubt a better book on the subject is available. The detail of fire plans and how the artillery reacted to the pressing demands is totally engrossing. Essential reading to any serious study of D-Day and its aftermath.

Michael McCarthy, Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

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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