Jocks, Dragons and Sospans

Through Normandy with 53rd Welsh Division

Jonathan Ware

Date Published :
April 2022
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
c 250 photos, maps
No associated books available.


July 1944: the Battle for Normandy is nearing its height. Thousands of soldiers cower in their slit trenches as huge artillery bombardments roar overhead, small arms fire tears up ground around them and tanks crash through undergrowth. Attempting to push forward around a miserable scrap of ground called “Hill 112” are the British Civilian-Soldiers of 53rd (Welsh) Division, facing the heaviest German tanks imaginable of II SS-Panzer Corps – in what would become an exceptionally brutal battle of attrition. This fascinating dynamic account vividly explores the journey from the pacifistic aftermath of the Great War, to Britain’s forced rearmament and commitment to once more assemble an archetypal 18,000 man Infantry Division from deprived industrial Wales, drawn from a disparate eclectic mixture of conscripts, Terriers and volunteers, as well as a diverse group of Allied nationalities. The character of this near-forgotten Territorial Army Infantry Division is examined as never before, radically challenging the conventional narrative. For the first time the fate of dozens of men are told in their own words, allowing you to get closer to the action than ever before. See the stories of men such as Tasker Watkins VC and Welsh rugby legend Bill Clement evocatively brought to life. Read also a full and fresh study of Montgomery’s July strategy, reexamining the crucial context of Goodwood, with Operations such as Greenline and Pomegranate raised from obscurity. The rapid shift from static warfare to the mobile armored thrusts that characterized the drive on Falaise in August 1944 is completely reassessed thanks due to new evidence. The fighting ability of 9th and 10th SS-Panzer Divisions, as well as the myriad of other German forces that fought in the battle, are also fully scrutinized, illuminating the tactics and strategy as never before. This is essential reading for all those interested in warfare as well as the more serious student of the Normandy campaign. The human cost was exceptional; the suffering unimaginable. This is their story.

About The Author

Jonathan Ware was born in 1988, educated at St Albans School and Swansea University. After discovering the unknown story of 53rd (Welsh) Division, he began to research it further. This interest spiralled; six years and thousands of documents later, this e

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