Objective Falaise - 8 August 1944-16 August 1944, Georges Bernage

Objective Falaise - 8 August 1944-16 August 1944, Georges Bernage

This book focuses on two largely Canadian attacks in Normandy, Operations Totalize and Tractable, both of which were launched to capture Falaise and help close the Falaise gap. Totalize was a rather complex operation that began with a night attack and made some progress before being stopped by the Germans. Tractable was a rather more straightforward attack, which got the Canadians close enough to Falaise for a followup attack to take the town.

In both cases we get good details of the original plans (both of which had to be produced at high speed), the actual course of the battle and the German reaction to it, all supported by plenty of eyewitness accounts from both sides. Some incidents are covered in great detail, such as the battle in which the famous tiger ‘ace’ Michael Wittman was killed, where we get detailed maps, aerial photographs and a variety of theories about exactly what happened.

One minor flaw is that the text stops rather abruptly on the day before the Canadians entered Falaise, which seems a bit odd (unless there is a sequal planned on the final closing of the Falaise gap, but even so I’d have liked the story to have been taken to its immediate conclusion), but this is a very minor quibble.

The book is very heavily illustrated, with pictures taking up about half of the space. These include contemporary pictures from the battle and more recent photographs showing the area as it is now and a mix of memorabilia from the battle, with notes about who they relate to. I would guess that the text is split about 2-1 between the narrative of the battle and the eyewitness accounts, a good balance that means we get a good feel for how the participants saw the battle, but also a good idea of the overall course of events.

Chapters
Part One: Operation Totalize
Part Two: Operation Tractable

Author: Georges Bernage
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 176
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2018 edition of 2011 oroginal


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