Covers D-Day, Villers-Bocage, Cherbourg, St. Lô, Caen, Avranches, and other battles in hedgerow country
Erwin Rommel, Michael Wittmann, and Kurt Meyer appear
Drawing on letters, diaries, firsthand accounts, and official documents, The Germans in Normandy paints a vivid and frequently horrific picture of life for the men who held Hitler's vaunted Atlantic Wall when the Allies invaded France in June 1944 and who put up a bitter but ultimately hopeless defense throughout that summer. These are the German soldiers who manned the pillboxes on Omaha Beach, fired the machine guns across farmfields, and commanded the Tiger tanks. To read about the war from their point of view is sobering and informative.
19 b/w photos & 2 maps
19 b/w photos & 2 maps
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Richard Hargreaves, a newcomer to the genre, has done a masterful job in knitting together a variety of primary sources that provides for the first time the definitive account of the Normandy Campaign from the viewpoint of the ordinary German soldier, or Landser. Though there have been previous attempts to cover the fighting from the German perspective, such as Paul Carell's "Invasion - They're Coming!" and many individual unit histories, this one hits all the bases - expertly weaving each man's story into the overall background of the fighting as well as providing the necessary context that outlines the course of the campaign. The hope, the determination, the fear and the final crushing discouragement that marked each stage of the German soldier's experience are extremely well portrayed here, made all the more compelling by the author's translations that lend weight to the genuine "feel" of each account. Especially illuminating were excerpts from the recent book by Heinrich...
"Death Reaped a Terrible Harvest," is the sub-title of Richard Hargreave's amazing book, "The Germans in Normandy," that lucidly tells the story of the Germans' buildup and defense of Normandy to the D-Day invasion in June 1944, through the breakthrough by the Allies and the carnage of the Falaise Gap, to the retreat to the Reich in August 1944.
The story is comprehensively told, apparently for the first time, primarily from the point of view of the German defenders, especially the common soldiers on the ground, the "Landser" (German enlisted men). (For those wanting strictly a more strategic viewpoint, a more lofty and ponderous view can be found in "The German Army at D-Day", a collection of post-war reports by captured German generals for their American captors that is rife with fingerpointing and based solely on their selective memories.)
Perhaps more importantly, the story is clearly told in an engaging and informative writing style that pulls the reader in...
I've had this book on my Amazon wish list for over a year now, and it is about time it is available. Now, will TOTENKOPF by Trang ever show up in print?
Though many books have been written on D-Day this is one of very few from the German side. The letters and other writing extracts from the German participants offer clearer insight to what many of the German participants were thinking, planning, and enduring.
Though the book highlights many aspects, one of the more important is the role that allied air power played in subduing the German attempt to counter our landings, especially concerning the Panzers. Each day the 'lansers' would look to the sky, asking "where is our airforce", for throughout the battle the Luftwaffe was missing over Normandy. Daily shelling from the allied navies, and land artillery, combined with complete lack of any countering German airpower, the Germans were not only being pushed back, but also began to realize they were not going to win...
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