Caen Controversy - The Battle for Sword Beach 1944, Andrew Stewart

Caen Controversy - The Battle for Sword Beach 1944, Andrew Stewart

This is a detailed examination of the battle for Sword Beach, at the same time one of the more controversial and ignored of the D-Day beaches - controversial because of the failure to seize Caen, ignored because the fighting on the beach went very well, and the nearby airborne operations were more dramatic.

The first three chapters look at the Allied aims for Sword Beach, the plans for the landing and the advance inland, the role of the airborne troops on the flanks and the German defensive plans. After that the focus switches to the battle itself, starting with four looking at the airborne attack and the earliest part of the battle on the beaches, a much more detailed examination of the beach landings than is normally the case. It is nice to get that focus on the actual moment of the landing (away from Omaha Beach, which has been analysed in massive detail). We then move onto the advance inland and the German counterattack that followed.

Thankfully the analysis of the controversy is left to the final chapter, rather than permeating the entire book. There is also an acknowledgement that German actions had much to do with the failure to take Caen on D-Day, especially the 21st Panzer counterattack. The analysis of this issue is interesting, but it doesn't dominate the book, which is a good history of this part of the D-Day battle.

Chapters
1 - Invading Europe
2 - The Allies Prepare
3 - Defending Normandy
4 - The Assault Begins
5 - Airborne Prologue
6 - H-Hour - Touch Down
7 - H-Hour - Infantry Assault
8 - Morning - 'Break In'
9 - Morning - Consolidation
10 - Afternoon - Exploitation
11 - Evening - Culmination
12 - 'Caen Controversy'

Author: Andrew Stewart
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 184
Publisher: Helion
Year: 2014


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