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The Defeat and Attrition of the 12. SS-Panzerdivision 'Hitlerjugend' (Hardback)

Volume I: The Normandy Bridgehead Battles 7–11 June 1944


Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 288
Illustrations: 40 photographs and maps
ISBN: 9781636243474
Published: 15th June 2024


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Following the Normandy invasion of 6 June, 1944, Heersgruppe B under German Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel rushed reserves to the newly created bridgehead in order to crush it and drive the Allied forces into the sea. One of these armored reserves was the newly created 12. SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend. Extremely well equipped and at near full strength by mid-1944 standards, it was seen as an extremely capable formation that could defeat any Allied invasion.During this period studied in this volume, 7-11 June 1944, the 12. SS-Panzer-Division attempted to capture and hold the battlefield initiative, and in conjunction with other Panzer-Divisionen, throw what would become the Second British Army into the sea. The main thesis presented will be that despite this division's best efforts, it was defeated by a firm Allied defence that repulsed their offensive operations, eventually robbing the Germans of the initiative in a grinding series of bridgehead battles.This first volume will study combat in the period 7-11 June 1944 in the eastern sector of the Normandy Bridgehead. Chapters will analyze the Anglo-Canadian D-Day assault and the deployment of the division, then analyze in detail the fighting of the Hitlerjugend in the following areas: northern Caen, Putot, Bretteville l'Orgueilleuse, Norrey-en-Bessin, Hill 103, Le-Mesnil-Patry, and finally Rots. Also studied will be contrasting German and Anglo-Canadian tactical doctrine, the influence of tactical airpower, and the war crimes committed by the Hitlerjugend immediately after the invasion.The conclusion will reinforce the thesis presented above and a detailed set of appendices will analyze German personnel, equipment, and armored losses during the battles, and losses inflicted on the Allies. This will be Volume 1 of a planned multi-volume commitment.

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