The Falaise Gap Battles

Normandy 1944

Simon Forty, Leo Marriott

Photographs old and new reconstruct the fierce fighting around Falaise and Chambois in 1944, providing a vivid comparison between then and now.
Publication date:
October 2017
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Language:
English
Series :
Past & Present
Illustration :
130
Format Available     Quantity Price
Paperback
ISBN : 9781612005386

Dimensions : 248 X 184 cm
-
+
£9.99

Overview
-

• Perfect battlefield guides offering an accessible overview of important battles, divisions and places
• Highly illustrated with specially commissioned present day aerial views alongside photos contemporary with the events described
• Concise explanatory text offering an ideal introduction

The denouement of the battle of Normandy, the fighting around Falaise and Chambois in August 1944 and the pursuit of the retreating German armies to the Seine provided the Allies with an immense victory. After ten weeks of hard attritional fighting, the Allies had broken loose from the bocage and the Germans' deep defenses around Caen: by the end of September they would be close to the German border. As US First Army and British Second Army squeezed the western and northern edges of the German salient, so Third Army rushed headlong eastwards and then north to create the lower of two pincers—the other formed as the Canadian First Army and the Polish 1st Armoured Division pushed south of Caen. As could be expected, the Germans did not simply give up: they fought furiously to keep the pincers from closing. When they did, attacks from inside the pocket to break out and outside the pocket to break in led to fierce fighting between Chambois and Argentan. When the dust settled, between 80,000 and 100,000 troops had been trapped by the Allied encirclement. Estimates vary considerably, but it seems safe to say that at least 10,000 of the German forces were killed and around 50,000 became PoWs. The rest, however, escaped, but without most of their equipment, destroyed in the battle or abandoned in the retreat over the Seine. Those that did were subsequently to reform, rearm and conduct an effective defense into late 1944.

The Past & Present Series reconstructs historical battles by using photography, juxtaposing modern views with those of the past together with concise explanatory text. It shows how much infrastructure has remained and how much such as outfits, uniforms, and ephemera has changed, providing a coherent link between now and then.

REVIEWS

The area is a lovely place to visit these days, very different to the death and destruction that once lay there. I can recall my own father's comments on his shock at what he saw, and as pointed out in the book, especially by the number of horses used by the German army at this late stage of the war. Many died still in their harnesses. Next time I visit the area I will certainly take this one with me. Good value at an RRP of just £9.99 too.
Military Model Scene

In short a great book that will be going with me to Normandy next year.
Army Rumour Service

This series of books have been planned and executed by Casemate with panache...They would make ideal Christmas presents for younger history buffs because each volume offers just about enough in a single sitting. I cannot fault them.
War History Online

The titles in the 'Past & Present' series are very much worthwhile having on the bookshelf, as a reference work, or to be enjoyed as a general read.
Gun Mart

The latest array of titles in Casemate's Past and Present series offers a superb mix of maps and photographs, supplemented by brief but informative text…Outstanding value in terms of both quality and price." *Winner of the 'Miniature Wargames Recommends' award for January 2018*
Miniature Wargames - Chris Jarvis