Normandy depicts the planning and execution of Operation Overlord in 96 full-color pages. The initial paratrooper assault is shown, as well as the storming of the five D-Day beaches: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. But the story does not end there. Once the Allies got ashore, they had to stay ashore. The Germans made every effort to push them back into the sea. This book depicts the such key events in the Allied liberation of Europe as: 1. Construction of the Mulberry Harbors, two giant artificial harbors built in England and floated across the English Channel so that troops, vehicles, and supplies could be offloaded across the invasion beaches. 2. The Capture of Cherbourg, the nearest French port, against a labyrinth of Gennan pillboxes. 3. The American fight through the heavy bocage (hedgerow country) to take the vital town of Saint-Lô. 4. The British-Canadian struggle for the city of Caen against the “Hitler Youth Division,” made up of 23,000 seventeen- and eighteen-year-old Nazi fanatics. 5. The breakout of General Patton’s Third Army and the desperate US 30th Division’s defense of Mortaine. 6. The Falaise Pocket, known as the “Killing Ground, ” where the remnants of two German armies were trapped and bombed and shelled into submission. The slaughter was so great that 5,000 Germans were buried in one mass grave. 7. The Liberation of Paris, led by the 2nd Free French Armored Division, which had been fighting for four long years with this goal in mind.
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The thing that most people notice first about the region is the quiet, pastoral setting. The slow waters of the Douve and Vire rivers where the cattle come right down to drink and eat the buttercups and mallows. The wagtails, kingfishers, and dragonflies darting among the hedgerows. The tall cornfields in the shadow of the l'abbaye d'ardenne near Caen. It is a region that both time and history seems to have passed by. History, however, would cast its shadow across this region in many strange and terrible ways. It was in the town of Falaise, in 1027, that a young girl named Arlette would give birth to the illegitimate son of Robert the Devil, Duke of Normandy. Despite the circumstances of his birth, young William would embark for the invasion of Britain, destined to meet Harold of England on the fields of Hastings . . . . . . in the summer of 1944, history would again cast it's shadow across normandy . . . and the devil would return to Falaise.
Winston Churchill (in a radio speech to Nazi-occupied France in October, 1940)
". . . goodnight then. Sleep to gather strength for the morning, for the morning will come. Brightly will shine on the brave and the true: kindly on all who suffer for the cause. Vive la france!"
By the spring of 1944, Nazi Germany was in retreat on every front. after many huge and bloody battles on the Russian front, the soviet army had pushed the Germans back to the Polish border. In Italy, the British and Americans had captured Rome. Allied bombers made raids on German industry day and night. Nonetheless, allied planners in London knew that if they were to defeat Germany, they had to cross the English channel and invade the European continent itself. Now, after four 4 years, the "morning" that Mr. Churchill had spoken about was about to dawn.From the Back Cover: “What a glorious book, vivid, accurate, utterly bewitching.” -Alex Kershaw, bestselling author of The Bedford Boys, One American Town’s Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice
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