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Operation Epsom - Over the Battlefield (ePub)

Military > Battlefield Guidebooks WWII > Battles & Campaigns > D-Day & Normandy WWII > Hitler & the Third Reich

By Ian Daglish
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 68.3 MB (.epub)
Pages: 272
Illustrations: 120
ISBN: 9781473816961
Published: 21st June 2007


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Before EPSOM in late June 1944 there remained the chance that a German counter-stroke might seriously threaten the bridgehead. After EPSOM, the Allies retained the strategic initiative through to the liberation of France and Belgium.rnrnThis was a battle in which highly trained but largely inexperienced British 'follow-up' divisions, newly arrived in Normandy, confronted some of the best equipped, best led and battle-hardened formations of the Third Reich.rnrnBeginning with a set-piece British assault on the German lines in dense terrain, the battle developed into swirling armoured action on the open slopes of Hills 112 and 113, before the British turned to grimly defending their gains in the face of concentric attacks by two full SS-Panzer Korps.rnrnThis entirely new study brings together previously unseen evidence to present an important Normandy battle in very great detail. The unfolding action is illustrated using aerial photography of the battlefield and period Army maps.

There has been little published about Operation Epsom as a detailed review of this vital stage of the Liberation of Europe. The author has provided an insightful account with a mass of illustration in the form of maps and photographs. Outstanding. Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here.


Operation Epsom was a British offensive that took place between 26th and 30th June 1944, intended to outflank and seize the German occupied city of Caen, an important Allied objective in the early stages of the invasion of North West Europe. The operation was the first of General Montgomery’s major set piece Normandy battles and marked a turning point in the campaign, after which the Allies retained the strategic objective through to the liberation of France and Belgium.

The book brings together previously unseen material to present an important engagement in some detail. The action is illustrated using aerial photography of the battlefield and period army maps. Some 10 appendices provide background information including orders of battle, analyses of tactics and the lessons learned by both sides are also included.

Stuart Asquith, Author

Operation Epsom is a book in the series Over the Battlefield and this book is a real gem! Chockful with aerial photos showing the locations where the battle ensued, and maps
explaining which units were involved, and where they were or were not. A book to my heart.

Operation Epsom was Monty's first major battle in Normandy after the June landings and fought between newly arrived, inexperienced British troops and some very experienced SS Panzerkorps troops!

Ian Daglish has done a wonderful job researching and describing this operation, including going to the very places where it all happened and making 'now' photos of the various places. He also shows that many things that were taken
for granted during many years, actually may have happened a bit different. Like orders not having gone through in time, units having been in a different place than we assumed until now, and more. Very interesting read.

I particularly like the very detailed accounts of the battles shown in detail on the many aerial photographs of the era, overlayed with unit information like positions and movements. The author gives an overview of the aerial
photography units and operations in Appendix X, very interesting in particular for those not really familiar with this very important part of WW2 warfare...... PR or Photo Reconnaissance!

All in all 272 pages full of very interesting information and great photos and maps!

FSAddon Publishing - François A. 'Navman' Dumas

This book tells the story of Epsom in wonderful detail. I am very impressed with the use of aerial reconnaissance photographs, combined with period maps and location photographs, the combinations of sources means that you can almost locate yourself in the action and 'smell the battlefield'.

Daly History Blog - James Daly

Really interesting book. Very useful in researching my grandfather's regiment.

Amazon Reviewer, Martyn Leigh

Here once again, is yet another successful title from the excellent Over the Battlefield series of books from Pen and Sword. This particular volume covers Operation Epson-the first of Montgomery’s major battles that marked a turning point in Normandy Campaign.

Up until then odds were very much in favour of the enemy launching a counter attack and therefore threatening the allied bridgehead! Although well trained, the British forces, had only recently arrived in Normandy and were relatively inexperienced compared to the much superior enemy they now faced. In fact, many experts actually consider our opponents to have been the best equipped and most experienced combat formations of the German Army. Fighting in dense terrain and on the slopes of Hill 112 and 113, we were however successful and this resulted in the allies retaining the strategic initiative and then going on to liberate the remainder of France and Belgium.

In this new study, the author fully analyses the tactics employed at the time. He also includes a vast amount of detail based on previously unseen information and has used impressive aerial photography and contemporary army maps to fully support his excellent text. In addition, he has included some interesting black and white photographs too which together with the detailed Order of Battle and the very useful bibliography, will prove useful reference tools for those studying the battle in detail or visiting the area.

If you have a specific interest in the Normandy Campaign and the allied liberation of Europe in 1944, this well written volume is a must for your library.

Michael Booker
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