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This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Jemima Fawr Jemima Fawr 3 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #46752
    Whirlwind
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Which is the most comprehensive book on the Normandy Campaign for covering the basic facts: which units were where each day, what were they doing, what losses did they suffer, what damage did they claim to have done etc.?

    Or is there a combination of books which would give this?

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #46756

    Fredd Bloggs
    Participant

    Not that I know of, and it would likely be huge if it did exist.

    #46757
    PatG
    PatG
    Participant

    I enjoy Anthony Beevor – his book D-Day: The Battle for Normandy would be of interest to you.

    Can you clarify exactly what you are looking for? It’s a massive area of study at many different levels. I can point you in the direction of a couple of Canadian Regimental war diaries which go into an excruciating level of detail but then you would need the German ones as well to get the full picture. If you are looking for Divisional level history, then there are a lot more of those about.

    Give us a bit more detail of what you want to get of the books and we can make better focused recommendations

    #46758
    Whirlwind
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Well, ideally what I would like is:

    The location of bn-level units each day and what (in very general terms) they were doing

    What losses they suffered and what replacements in men or equipment they received (and an analysis of the accuracy and effect of this, including what they thought had inflicted the damage)

    What kills/damage/etc. they claim to have inflicted (and an analysis of the accuracy of this)

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #46763
    PatG
    PatG
    Participant

    Ok so I would suggest you start with an honours BA in history, with a minor in stats, work through your masters in 20th century Military History then after completing your doctorate in WWII Operational Science, get a squad of undergrads to do the digging as part of a research project. That’s about the only way I can see such a single book being written. Either that or being Warren Buffet and hiring a squad of History Doctorates to do the digging for you….

    Seriously though, I would find the official European theatre war history for the country you are interested in and start there.

    #46764

    Silurian
    Participant

    A single book with that information would be wonderful.

    It is surprising, with the mass of books published on Normandy, that there is not one.

     

    As a start, I have a series of four books, published by Ravelin, and by different authors entitled: “Order of Battle: Operation Overlord”

    Excellent OOBs, maps, and a great summary of what everyone got up to on the day its self. Thoroughly recommended.

    #46795
    MartinR
    MartinR
    Participant

    The Battle for Normandy involved multiple Army sized formations composed of millions of men fighting for three months. Tracking the daily location, status and combat reports of every battalion sized unit (even assuming the records had survived , and were accurate) would be a monumental task and even if it was possible, certainly wouldn’t fit into a single volume.

    Such a thing does not exist.

    You are better off looking at individual unit histories, or existing accounts/histories of particular operations.

    It partly depends what you want it for.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #46798
    Whirlwind
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    The Battle for Normandy involved multiple Army sized formations composed of millions of men fighting for three months. Tracking the daily location, status and combat reports of every battalion sized unit (even assuming the records had survived , and were accurate) would be a monumental task and even if it was possible, certainly wouldn’t fit into a single volume.

    Ah, yes, I realise this, I was stating my ideal rather than expecting it to actually exist and I’m happy to go with closest fit (appreciating that closest might be pretty distant).

    What I want is a data companion so that when I’m reading the various histories of the Normandy operations, I can see precisely what authors mean, or think they mean, by “heavy casualties” and “many destroyed” and so on.  Ideally I’d like some analysis as well, comparing claims and losses, casualty figures reported and prisoners taken etc.

     

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #46820
    Jemima Fawr
    Jemima Fawr
    Participant

    As others have said, there is no ‘one-stop shop’.  You’d be talking about a minimum 20-volume set of books if there were.

    The ‘Battlezone: Normandy’ series of battlefield guides (Sutton Publishing) are an excellent start: Concise, with orbats and excellent maps.  They’re also cheap and can often be found discounted or in bundle deals.  The ‘Battleground Europe’ series of battlefield guides (Leo Cooper/Pen & Sword) are also generally good and cheap, though can be a little hit & miss in quality.

    I’d avoid Beevor for the sort of detail that you’re looking for.  He’s great for the campaign overview (though I profoundly disagree with his views on Monty), though wherever he goes into detail he drops appalling clangers re organisations and equipment.

    Zetterling’s ‘Normandy 1944’ is probably THE source for raw TO&E/orbat data on the Germans in Normandy, though there are some errors here and there (mainly caused by inaccurate strength returns in the primary sources).

    George Bernage’s ‘The British Soldier Vol.2’ and ‘The Canadian Soldier’ are excellent organisation, equipment and painting guides for the British and Canadian armies in NW Europe.  His ‘The Panzers & The Battle of Normandy’ is also excellent, but only goes up to mid-July 1944.  He’s still not gotten around to writing the second volume, sadly.

    Eric Lefebvre’s ‘The Panzers in Normandy’ is a little dated now and has been superceded by more recent research (e.g. Bernages), though is still very good if you can find a copy.

    Ludovic Fortin’s ‘British Tanks in Normandy’ is an excellent overview of all the British armoured formations and units.  He also did some ‘Osprey Campaign’-style books for Histoire & Collections on various Normandy battles which are very good.

    Ken Ford’s ‘Over the Battlefield’ books on Ops Goodwood and Bluecoat are second-to-none studies on those operations.

    Hubert Meyer’s two-volume history of the 12th SS is highly recommended.  The 12th SS fought virtually everyone on the British/Canadian side of the bridgehead and Hubert Meyer (who was a staff officer in the division) also did a great deal of research on the British and Canadian sides of those battles.  It also includes excellent maps.

    Patrick Delaforce’s series of British divisional/brigade histories is also very worth getting.  They can be a bit hit & miss, though can often be found discounted.  My favourites are the 43rd (Wessex) Div and 53rd (Welsh) Div books.  However, Delaforce didn’t really do any research on the German side beyond what was recorded in British intelligence logs, so German unit IDs are frequently wrong.

    If you’re ok with the French language, the companies Heimdal and Editions Ysec do some cracking books in French.  Very occasionally they do an English edition of their most popular titles, though some of their books (such as Perrigault’s superb history of 21st Panzer Division) have an English précis at the back, as well as bi-lingual picture captions.  Occasional books (such as George Bernage’s wonderful ‘Gold Juno Sword’ and Stephane Jacquet’s brilliant ‘Tilly-sur-Seulles’) are completely bi-lingual throughout.  Most of their books have at least bi-lingual picture captions.

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

    #47022
    NTM
    NTM
    Participant

    Ken Ford’s ‘Over the Battlefield’ books on Ops Goodwood and Bluecoat are second-to-none studies on those operations.

    Excellent books but actually by the late Ian Daglish there is also a third volume on Epsom.

    #47034
    Jemima Fawr
    Jemima Fawr
    Participant

    Cheers NTM, yes I was having a brain-fart.  I always mix those two up for some reason, despite having met Ian!  Yes, I haven’t got the Epsom volume yet, though it’s on my must-buy list.  Sadly the poor sod was killed when he crashed his plane a few years ago, so there won’t be any more books from him. 🙁

    My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/

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