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WX
10-17-2009, 06:21 AM
I'm reading D Day by Antony Beevor. Brilliant book, anyone else reading it or has read it?

WX
10-18-2009, 12:39 AM
Bump, so no one has read it or has an opinion on it?

Syed
10-18-2009, 12:43 AM
The burden now is on Gary, to tell us about it.;)

bucheron
10-18-2009, 01:25 AM
I do not like the title.

It reinforces the belief that the term D-day signifies the landings in Normandy in WW2. Seeing as millions of people believe that, I have probably lost the campaign to make people believe differently.

I only use the term to signify the first day of a military operation.

I have enjoyed a couple of Beevor's previous books and I will read this one.

GregW
10-18-2009, 01:36 AM
I've read most of Anthony Beevor's books, all have been excellent.

Funny you should mention him, I just noticed this evening that he'll be speaking here next week, an event I plan on attending.

WX
10-22-2009, 12:31 AM
In a nutshell the Americans copped it bad with the landings at Omaha but they managed to get a toehold and hung in there. The Brits and Canadians got ashore with relatively few casualties but over the following weeks had a very hard slog and found themselves up against the majority of the SS divisions. The Germans believed the main Allied offensive would come via the British sector. Both sector became bogged down in fierce and brutal fighting in the Bocage...an area of small fields surround by thick hedges and sunken laneways. The Canadians and the SS fought particularly brutal battles with both sides shooting prisoners.
Montgomery and Dempsey launched a number of offensives to take the city of Caen, most of which were handled very badly. Bomber Command and the US 8th Airforce were used to bomb the city however the Polish brigade in suffered quite a number of casualties when on at least 2 ocassions the bombs were dropped short. The positive side is the Germans suffered so many casualties that the US forces were able to breakout with much heavy fighting and swing round behind the Germans and make for Paris.
The Allies missed a golden opportunity when they failed to close the gap on the Falaise Pocket and allowed substantial German forces to escape and regroup later on.
70, 000 French civillians died during the war from Allied bombing and the battles fought on french soil...that's more than all the British civillain dead from German bombing.

The Bigfella
10-22-2009, 12:53 AM
Collateral damage....

My uncle, in his autobiography, described an Intruder raid he did on France, which was before D Day, where he bombed a French power station from his Mosquito. He didn't comment, but the station would obviously have been manned by the French.

It isn't nice when you need to attack your allies.

bucheron
10-22-2009, 07:18 AM
Collateral damage....

My uncle... described an Intruder raid .... where he bombed a French power station from his Mosquito. He didn't comment, but the station would obviously have been manned by the French.

It isn't nice when you need to attack your allies.

It could be said that France was not an ally. The French government (Vichy, so-called) had broken off diplomatic relations with the UK after the Royal Navy attacked their fleet in 1940. The "Free French" were regarded as completely illegal by the Vichy regime.

I am intrigued by the fact that Operation Overlord was and is often described as an invasion. I would have thought the British and USA would stress that it was a "liberation" of Europe from Fascist domination.

This would be hard to appreciate by the workers in the power station and the inhabitants of the towns, villages and farms flattened in the course of the battles.

I will be interested to read about the murder of prisoners by both sides you have mentioned.

George.
10-22-2009, 07:28 AM
I read his books on Stalingrad, Berlin, and the Spanish Civil War. Excellent, all. Also, less Anglo-American centric than 99% of the literature out there.

Tom Hunter
10-22-2009, 10:43 AM
Like George I have read some of his other books and enjoyed them a great deal. I'll look for this one.

WX
10-22-2009, 10:20 PM
I will be interested to read about the murder of prisoners by both sides you have mentioned.It wasn't just the Canadians and the SS either, it was right across the board. There are times in combat when you can't take prisoners, not pleasant to hear but it is fact. An example would be a small combat team under attack with nobody available to stand guard.
One of the reasons usually given for shooting enemy soldiers that have or are trying to surrender was payback for a mate who had been killed.
As for aircraft, the Germans had a saying, if it's British you ducked, if it was American everybody ducked and if it was the Luftwaffe nobody ducked...probably because it was so rarely seen.