World War Ii

Cassell Military Classics: Before the Storm: The Story of by Robert Jackson

By Robert Jackson

Three bloody years of terrible conflict, of a badly underequipped strength scuffling with an exceptional enemy: that is what British Bomber Command persisted within the early years of global conflict II. almost all these stories, instructed through those that survived, beneficial properties heroes with nearly unbelievable braveness and patience. "...explains with honesty and readability why the strength had such a lot of mess ups and paid so seriously for them...admirably completed and...convincing."--The instances Literary Supplement.

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The American advance had left the center thin, a weakness that Hitler sought to exploit. On 2 August 1944, Hitler condemned the Westheer to total defeat when he ordered the new commander of Army Group B, Field Marshal von Kluge, to launch a counteroffensive to retake Avranches and seal off the American break-out from Normandy. This decision was 38 Essential Histories • The Second World War (6) a strategic blunder that completed the decimation of German forces in Normandy. Although the Germans hastily scraped together the elements of six, albeit much depleted, mechanized divisions, and built up supplies for a few days of sustained offensive action, this was insufficient for success.

To Patton's south, the offensive initiated by Devers' 6th US Army Group on 13 November made even swifter progress. By 23 November, Lieutenant-General Alexander Patch's Seventh US Army had captured Strasbourg, and over the next 14 days it fanned out to reach the River Rhine on a 50-mile (80km) front. Further south, the seven divisions of General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny's First French Army thrust east through Belfort to reach the River Rhine just north of the German-Swiss border by 20 November.

A new attack was necessary to hold German reserves at Caen while the Americans prepared for their break-out bid. However, Montgomery required massive fire support to breach the strong German defenses behind the Orne and it was thus only on 18 July that he attacked out of the bridgehead east of the Orne, which his airborne troops had captured on D-Day. Unfortunately, this bridgehead was so constricted that it proved impossible to preserve surprise and therefore Montgomery had to rely heavily on air bombardment.

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