It is part of the Battleground Europe series published by Pen and Sword in Hill is a low hill almost imperceptibly standing above the open arable land around the city of Caen. Far less well known than the D-day landings or the more, perhaps, glamorous airbourne operations, the ferocious and bloody battles around Caen were hugely important in terms of the overall allied invasion strategy.
- Normandy: Hill 112 - Battle of the Odon by Tim Saunders (Paperback, 2000)!
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They also arguably represent the last time the SS fought in such strength the Germans being completely and exhausted by the time of the Ardennes offensive. The June and July battles around Tilly Sur Seulles, Carpiquet, Hill , Rots, etc are rapidly falling from both living and cultural memory and it is scant testimony to the appalling losses that so few books are written on this aspect of the liberation of Europe. That you are reading this review suggests that unless you have a family connection to the battle, you have more than just a general interest in the battle of Normandy.
However Tim Saunders is good enough of a writer that the book will be a vivid and compelling read even for the general reader. Tim Saunders sets the battles in their strategic and tactical context well, and places them in the general time frame of the Normandy campaign. He also does a fine job of demonstrating the effect of the battle on both the German and British ability to fight and the strategic outcomes of the battles.
The book is arranged chronographically with sections on travel to the France and directions for a battlefield tour bookmarking the description of the battle. The book is clearly and concisely written and does a fine job presenting personal accounts while not getting overwhelmed by military details.
The battles themselves were absolutely ferocious In the midst of this carnage was a hugely impressive level of professionalism and tactical excellence by both the British and German forces. Neither side missed a beat and with the full range of modern weaponry at their disposal losses were of course dreadful. One is humbled by the understated bravery of the British tanker going forward to face the deadly and German Tiger and Panther tanks, or the German SS Mann facing down such overwhelming material superiority.
The book features an impressive collection of photos and period maps. The photos are also mostly relevant to the action which is a rarity in WW2 books. My copy is about an A5 size, while this works fine for the text it makes maps quite hard to use, and though the author has used period maps I would have welcomed the addition or a modern map or two to orient myself on the ground. I would also have liked more detail on the included maps.
I would also have appreciated pauses in the narrative to reorientate myself, I would have also liked graphic depictions of troop positions, losses and so on at the end of significant periods, 5th Dorset's retreat from Maltot for example.
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This is a fine well balanced piece of military history which neatly strikes a balance between drama and detail. I highly recommend the book to those interested in WW2 and the Normandy Battles. I have visited the site in Normandy and it is a large and poorly signed area especially compared to the D and J day sites, this book would have greatly enriched the experience and in fact I would say it is invaluable to getting the most out of one's stay. I will certainly look to buy more books in this series. I am always angered by the 'donkies' in the army who resisted Hobart's efforts to develop the tank.
That and the pitiful news coverage reflected by Youtube which made Montgomery look weak and indecisive when this book clearly demonstrates the fierce fighting that took place which prevented a German breakthrough. It also demonstrates that like the first world war firepower is not always the crucial be-all end-all solution to warfare with a determined professional enemy. I really didn't understand the positive reviews for the following reasons: 1.
Too much focus on naming every unit in long lists that no one will remember, put it in the notes and keep the flow. This was about a long battle with huge resources thrown at it, yet it felt like it was over in a matter of a couple of days in little more than a sideshow.
Having read the books D-day through German eyes, the perception of overwhelming and terrifying force through combined naval, army and air force is clear and there is no doubt about the victory of the allies. This book focuses too much on purely the army angle and misses the impact of combined operations. Too heavily sanitised. Misses the horror and brutality that the above books communicate very clearly. In the kindle version, many photographs are not in sequence and so not related to the particular events especially at the beginning.
Photos of people who were not that noteworthy, too many pictures of generic soldiers walking through corn fields. Travel advice on how to get there which presumably was largely out of date as soon as it was printed. As a conclusion, too much focus on being comprehensive at the cost of being very boring. I chose this book,as I had never heard of this particular action. I had heard of operation Jupiter and Goodwood. I liked the fact that there are, comments from allied soldiers and German soldiers.
Also entries from the war diaries of the British units involved. So the reader gets the views of the ordinary soldiers, and the official view of the battle. The book contains some picture's of the battle. I also liked the order of battle list for the British army units that took part in this battle. Another useful piece of information,is the SS insignia of rank and the equivalent in the British and American army.
All in all I feel it's worth a read. See all 85 reviews.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item? Go to Amazon. Unlimited One-Day Delivery and more. Sigmond Publishing: New hardback copies. Publisher: Louisiana State University Press: Hardback; very good in very good dustjacket. Schwend; a draftee - from basic traning, to the campaigns in the ETO during By: Cheall, B. Cheall, P. Publisher: Panzerwrecks: With colour illustrations by Felipe Rodna. Publisher: Heimdal: French text. Hardback; very good in lightly scuffed pictoral boards. Signed by the Author, Robert Hilton. A history from formation, and its role in Operation Market Garden.
Publisher: Casemate: Casemate Illustrated series. New paperback copies at a reduced price.
Hill The Battle of the Odon on Apple Books
Historical background. Battleground Europe: Normandy. Paperback; good in creased card covers. JIG Sector and West. By: Dunphie, C. By: Stavropoulos, D. Number By: Tanter, J. Publisher: Editions Ch. Corlet: Booklet; stain to one page otherwise good in card covers. Text in French, English and German. Publisher: Airlife: By: Bollen, H. Publisher: Uitgeverij Terra Zutphen: Hardback; wrinkle to pages throughout, but text clean and tidy; in yellowed and stained dustjacket.
A good reference copy. Dutch text. Paperback; good in lightly creased card covers. First edition. By: How, J. Publisher: J. Fedorowicz Publishing: Excellent study by one who fought there. Reprint of edition. Publisher: Orep Editions: New copies. With summary of D-Day hour-by-hour. The other side features a photograph from D-Day.
Hill 112: The Battle of the Odon
Publisher: Orep Editions:. Allied order of landing is shown.
With brief account of the landing and the assault on Pointe du Hoc.