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Operation Totalize (Paperback)

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

By Major Tim Saunders
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Battleground Books: WWII
Pages: 276
Illustrations: 80
ISBN: 9781526741264
Published: 15th May 2019



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By early August 1944 the Germans fighting in Normandy had been worn down by the battles around Caen, while to the west, the American breakout was finally gaining momentum. Now was the time to launch II Canadian Corps south towards Falaise. With much of the German armour having been stripped away for the Mortain Counter-Attack, hopes ran high that the Corps, reinforced with British tanks, the 51st Highland and the Polish Armoured Divisions, would repeat the success of their predecessors in the Battle of Amiens.

An innovative change of tactics to a night armoured assault and the conversion of seventy-two self-propelled guns to armoured personnel carriers for the accompanying infantry was very successful, but up against their implacable foes, 12th Hitlerjugend SS Panzer Division, the pause for bombing allowed Kurt ‘Panzer’ Meyer to deploy his division. Consequently, when the 4th Canadian and Polish Armoured Divisions were launched into their first battle they made frustratingly little progress. As the Canadians advanced over the following days, the battle degenerated into a costly fight for ground as the Hitlerjugend struggled to contain the inexperienced Poles and Canadians.

Operation Totalize is renowned for the death of SS panzer Ace Michael Wittmann at the hands of Trooper Joe Ekins and the destruction of Worthington Force, the result of a navigational error.

Another book from the Battleground series that perfectly details a bloody two-day battle in what was an attempt to imprison the German forces that remained to defend Normandy.

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Old Barbed Wire Blog

If you are an AFV buff, wargamer or intend to do a battlefield tour of the Operation Totalize battlegrounds, you will find this book very helpful and you will want to bring it with you to Normandy.

Let me finally say that the author, Tim Saunders, has found many great

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Lars Gyllenhall, Blogger

As featured on WW2 Today

WW2 Today

As featured on Argunners


This book is by a former soldier, member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides, historian and presenter of a series of fine DVDs on aspects of the Napoleonic Wars – Very Highly Recommended

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This is a great overview of Operation Totalize & the chapters on visiting the battlefields really good. Excellent maps & illustrations. A worthy new addition to Normandy guidebooks.

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Paul Reed via Twitter

A first-class book that will be valued and appreciated by all who read it.

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Andy Kay, Army Rumour Service, July 2019

This is a well written and presented work that brings the campaign to life. It has piqued my interest into what happened during a most pivotal time in world history. Having visited Normandy in 2015 and wanting to go back, this guide has given me the information to how best plan my visit and has helped me make sense of what actually happened during this time.

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Following the historical account there are Appendices which include an Order of Battle of the units involved as well as a tour (by car) of the of the battlefield. Having been to the area myself, this is a good guide and very handy to have with you if you are planning a visit. The countryside is lovely, and there have been some modern changes such as the modern N158 dual carriageway that cuts through the area. Off this on the country roads, there is still much of the battlefield to see. Another good guide from author Tim Saunders.

Another Battleground guide which is an ideal size to take with you in your car on holiday to France.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

The combination of maps and firsthand testimony, as well as regimental histories, etc, is superb. This is the battle during which Tiger ace Michael Wittman was put out of action by radio-op turned gunner Joe Ekins. It's very vividly portrayed, making for an exciting and compelling read.

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A Question Of Scale, Seb Palmer

A very good guide book from Tim Saunders. Good narrative, choice of images and good maps. A comprehensive overview of Operation Totalize. The tour route is spot on; stand at Point 122 and marvel at the defensive position the Germans enjoyed. Then look behind at the area where Wittmann met his end. Recommended.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Major Tim Saunders

Tim Saunders is a former Army officer and author of thirteen Battleground titles on a wide range of Second World War battles. Tim is now also a script writer, programme maker and presenter for Battleground History TV.

In addition he regularly leads battlefield tours, including to the scene of Glider Pilot actions in Sicily, Normandy. Arnhem and the Rhine.

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