Cherbourg 1944: The First Allied victory in Normandy

Posted: July 6, 2015 in Books, World War II

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In Cherbourg 1944: The First Allied Victory in Normandy, Steven Zaloga offers up a study of the first major Allied operation in Normandy after the D-Day landings – the capture of Cherbourg. Blending analysis, artwork and maps, this book tells the story of the bitter struggle to capture this vital point. Cherbourg was recognized by both the German and Allied High commands as crucial to the Allied foothold in Normandy – it was the nearest major port and was desperately needed by the Allies for major logistical operations to support their forces on long stretches of open beach. Hitler, on the other hand, declared Cherbourg to be a ‘Festung’ (fortress), a designation everyone knew to mean that its defenders were to fight to the last man. After a grueling struggle that involved several distinct tactical phases to overcome the different elements of Cherbourg’s defence, the campaign resulted in a bittersweet Allied victory, the drama and significance of which are explained in full in this work.

Osprey “battle books” are usually great, and this one is no exception.  The maps and photos are above average even for Osprey, and the book starts of by introducing all of the key players really clearly – something that a lot of history books seem to stumble with.  The key manoeuvres of the battle are also brilliantly illustrated and are super-easy to follow.

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The specially commissioned artwork to accompany this book is of a very high standard – very evocative.

All in all this is a great summary/overview, covering all aspects of the battle.  Perfect for both wargaming and academic research.

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