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Objective Saint-Lô (Hardback)

7 June 1944 - 18 July 1944

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

By Georges Bernage
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781473857605
Published: 7th June 2017



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This book provides a day-by-day account of the forty-two days of fighting from Omaha Beach to Saint-Lô. Follow Lt. Allsup from the beaches at Hill 108 (the 'bloody hill'), where he was injured, and Lt. Jones, who was among the first to enter Saint-Lô; a town destroyed by bombs, which was to become the graveyard of hundreds of Normans.

On the opposing side, discover the fate of the fearsome 'green devil' paratroopers of General Schimpf and follow in the footsteps of paratroopers Erwin Schmieger and Rudi Frhbeisser, as they defend their armed camp, ensuring that every hedge will only be taken at the highest price.

Objective Saint-Lô takes the reader along the little or un-known routes from the horrors of Omaha Beach to Trvires, La Cambe, Isigny, through the Aure valley to Hill 108, ('Purple Heart Hill') and Hills 192 and 122. As well as authentic eyewitness testimony, the book also acts as a field guide, including maps and both contemporary and modern photographs.

One rather unusual and welcome feature of this book is that it provides an equal amount of detail from both sides, following both American and German units in great detail. This helps us understand that both sides faced serious problems during this battle – the Americans were having to struggle forward through the infamous bocage country, where every hedgeline could be a fortress, while the Germans were soon outnumbered, lacked replacements, and were being constantly worn down by superior Allied firepower. Even successful defensive battles ended up costing them casualties they couldn’t replace.

Read the full review here

History of War

If you want an insight into the tortuous and dangerous business of forcing the Germans back through the countryside in the immediate aftermath of the landings then you should consider this book.

Read the full review here

Stand Easy

As featured by

WWII History magazine, June 2018

George Bernage has produced an excellent book with his Objective St-Lô. The book does not provide a fixed story-line as such, but is rather a collection of eye witness accounts of the heavy fighting that took place in this part of France after the Omaha landings. To me that is the main importance.... the excellent and gripping accounts of the men that actually fought there in the 6 weeks the book covers. And from BOTH sides, too.
I have visited St-Lô numerous times during my Normandy research and travels, but had not yet read such a detailed and realistic account of the battles there, nor did I realize the ferocity of the battles. Most books cover the areas more to the east and cover the actual landings, and battles such as Operation Epsom, the Falaise Gap etc.

The book also has an abundance of interesting photos and is a treasure cove for diorama builders as such.
I for many years have photo 1 of page 241 in my mind when I think of St.-Lô. It is one of the very first photos I saw of the conflict there, and one that I also traced in real life many years ago.

But there was much more, as the book shows. The many weeks BEFORE actually reaching the town were hell for both sides and this books shows that in great detail.

Added to the many photos are quite a few good maps and situational sketches, showing where things took place and allowing us to visit the exact spots now.

This is one of the books that earned a place on my top shelf of the WW2 book case!

FSAddon, Francois A. Dumas

UK interest in the US sector of the Normandy campaign continue to increase as do the number of tours going beyond the American beaches and in to the bocage. This new book narrates the experiences of the US 29th Division through 42 days of fighting centered on Saint-Lo. Lavishly illustrated with sketch maps, then and now images and numerous personal accounts from US and German sources, this is an excellent campaign overview, ideal for tour planning.

Guild of Battlefield Guides

A very complete presentation of the Omaha fights Beach at the liberation of Saint-Lô

VaeVictis, November/December

As a bunch of information, historical facts, unit details, first hand accounts of events that happened at that time, plus maps of all the areas involved for reference, this book succeeds. Its a bit like someone making a scrap book with all sorts of relevant information and not really linking them all up together. The abundant photographs are fantastic and well worth having a look at. I think if i want to recreate any engagements from this part of the war on my battlefield this book will come in very useful.

Read the complete review here.

Colonel Mustard Blog

Bringing to life the bitter fighting that followed the US landing on Omaha Beach as the troops tried to develop their beach head and then fight out to reach Saint-Lo. – An exciting story with insights from those who were there and an amazing collection of photographs, drawing and maps – Highly Recommended.

Read the complete review here.


The book contains many excellent archive photos, and mixes them with some modern day comparisons, maps of localised actions, plus pictures of some surviving memorabilia. In addition to the basic chronology of events it includes the stories of Allied and German troops who were there at the time, telling their stories in relation to the fighting, stories which quite graphically bring the events to life. Some are photographed visiting the area again in more recent days, elderly gentlemen able to meet in more friendly circumstance. It also highlights the civilian casualties and the heavy cost of their liberation from German occupation.

This 253 page hardback book is heavily illustrated throughout and combine perfectly with a well written and well researched account of the events in this battle in the hedgerows of Normandy. Indeed, some modern day comparisons show just how overgrown some of those small roads and paths in the are still are. The book shows how tough a job both attacker and defenders had to work with up to the stage of breakout.

Click here to read the full review

Robin Buckland - Military Model Scene

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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