The Falaise Gap Battles

Normandy 1944

Simon Forty, Leo Marriott

Photographs old and new reconstruct the fighting around Falaise and Chambois in 1944, providing a vivid comparison between then and now.
Date Published :
October 2017
Publisher :
Casemate
Language:
English
Series :
Past & Present
Illustration :
Color and b/w photos throughout
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Paperback
ISBN : 9781612005386
Pages : 64
Dimensions : 9.75 X 7.25 inches
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+
In stock
$16.95

Overview
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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 Armored 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 escape 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.

About The Author
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Simon Forty was educated in Dorset and the north of England before reading history at London University’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He has been involved in publishing since the mid-1970s, first as editor and latterly as author. Son of author and RAC Tank Museum curator George Forty, he has continued in the family tradition writing mainly on historical and military subjects including books on the Napoleonic Wars and the two world wars. Recently he has produced a range of highly illustrated books on the Normandy battlefields, the Atlantic Wall and the liberation of the Low Countries with co-author Leo Marriott.

Leo Marriott has written numerous books on aviation, naval and military subjects including Treaty Cruisers, Catapult Aircraft, Jets at Sea and Early Jet Fighters: British and American 1944-1954. He is now retired after a fifty-year career as an air traffic controller but still maintains his pilot’s licence flying a syndicate-owned Cessna 172. Apart from aviation and naval history, his other interests include sailing, photography and painting.

REVIEWS
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“In short a great book that will be going with me to Normandy next year.”

- Army Rumour Service

"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

“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.”

- GunMart

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