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Liberating Europe: D-Day to Victory in…

Liberating Europe: D-Day to Victory in Europe 1944-1945 (Despatches from…

by John Grehan

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Reviewing this book shows that preconceptions can be wrong. I thought that a book combining six Official Despatches relating to the Second World War in North West Europe would be a waste of money, however, how wrong I can be.

I pay credit to Pen and Sword Military for publishing this collection of six Official Despatches relating the Dieppe Raid in August 1942, the Assault Phase of the Normandy Landings, the Operations of Coastal Command during Operation Overlord, Air Operations by the Allied Expeditionary Air Force, the Final Stages of the Naval War in North West Europe and the land Operations in North West Europe from June 1944 until May 1945.

Some of these are available on-line at no cost, however, to see these six, related Despatches together in one book I have found very useful. The compiling editors have not added or amended the original documents, and apart from a short introduction, they have not added any comment. This does not detract from the purpose of the book, which remains true to the concept.

It is not the type of book to read from cover to cover, it is the type of book to dip in and out of. It does provide a consolidated resource for any student of the war at sea, on the land or in the air in North West Europe from a British perspective from D-Day until the end of hostilities in May 1945. As such, I highly recommend it to interested people. ( )
  RobPALMER | Oct 6, 2014 |
Liberating Europe D-Day to Victory in Europe

2014 was the 70th anniversary of the launch of Operation Overlord and the liberation of Nazi controlled Europe, better known today as D-Day. This book is a reprint of the actual unedited despatches of the British commanding officers of the armed forces. For students of history this is what would be referred to as a book of primary sources without historical interpretation.

Martin Mace and John Grehan have compiled and edited an excellent resource for all students of history. There is no historical interpretation from modern day historians the despatches are able to speak for themselves. We can almost hear the voices of the commanding officers reporting back to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces.

In his report of 16th October to General Eisenhower, Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsey gives a full report of the Naval activities during the invasion period from D-Day on covering from the Naval Bombardment to the delivery of supplies over the following weeks. From landing soldiers on the beaches to the building the mulberrys on the beach heads. There are tables and maps coving the use of merchant shipping to the worry of U-boat attacks, and the thing that delayed the invasion, the weather.

This is a wonderful resource that covers all aspects of the Liberation of Europe by the allied forces. The despatches and reports of the army, navy and air force, all the senior officers reporting back to London, including Monty. The most poignant report is that of the failed Dieppe Raid in 1942 which helped as one of the building blocks of the successful invasion. Showing that we can learn from our mistakes so the we get it right and have a successful invasion force.

This is an excellent resource for any student of history and a must have on the bookshelf. ( )
  atticusfinch1048 | Aug 12, 2014 |
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