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Here’s an excellent book about the post-invasion campaign in Normandy. Most published work has either been rather general or has focussed on the D-Day landings or on Operation Cobra. Here, however, is the co-ordinated story of what happened after the consolidation of the beachhead and the stalling of the initial breakout attempts. British, Canadian, Polish and US forces all get due attention though the French Resistance is not included and the Free French 2me Division Blindée is only mentioned in passing.
It is often assumed that Montgomery was responsible for the decision to launch armoured attacks on his section of the front, pinning German forces to allow the eventual US breakout. Here we learn that it was actually Eisenhower’s decision, so perhaps the criticism of Montgomery for the heavy casualties in his attacks should actually be directed at the Supreme Commander.
The plan worked, with most German armour being sucked into the eastern sector, and allowed the US Army to break out through the weaker western sector and swing north to eventually link up with the Poles and close the Falaise pocket. The fighting was intense all through the campaign, and all significant actions are described.
Excellent maps and birds’-eye-views allow you to follow the actions. It’s worth noting that Osprey has re-arranged the captions to the birds’-eye-views to run consecutively instead of being scattered around the edges of the views. This makes it much easier to use them, well done Osprey! The plates are good, though more atmospheric than usable for reference, and the photographs are well chosen though again not intended for modelling reference.