Over the Battlefield: Operation Goodwood, Ian Daglish

Over the Battlefield: Operation Goodwood, Ian Daglish

Operation Goodwood was a two-day battle late in the Normandy campaign notable at the time both for the massive heavy-bomber bombardment preceded the battle and for involving a large British tank attack on an unusually narrow front. It was soon clear that the attack was not going to achieve it's hoped for success, and the attack was cancelled.

Despite the short duration of the battle it later came to fascinate British and NATO planners who saw it as an example of the sort of battle that their forces might have to fight against the Warsaw Pact, in which a thin NATO line would play the part of the Germans and the Soviet sledgehammer the part of the Allies (despite Goodwood being just about the only case when a thin German line held against such an overwhelming attack).

I have read and was very impressed by Daglish's similar volume on Operation Bluecoat, but if that book had a weakness it was a general failure to deal with the bigger picture. That isn't the case here, where the overall development of the battle is much easier to follow (partly because it was a rather less complex battle). As with the Bluecoat volume Daglish had carried out a great deal of original research, and has made a determined attempt to find the earliest authentic source for each part of the battle. The text is supported by a large number of aerial photographs taken during the battle, and a good selection of related pictures, which often help to explain some of the more obscure elements of the battle.

This is a detailed, meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated account of a two-day battle that had a long-lasting fascination for NATO generals throughout the Cold War.

Chapters
1 - July 1944: The Opponents
2 - Mid-July: The Approach to Battle
3 - 18 July, Dawn: The Bombing
4 - 18 July, Morning: The British Tank Run
5 - 18 July, Morning: The German Response
6 - 18 July, Mid-Morning: Things Fall Apart
7 - 18 July, Midday: The Ridge & The Cauldron
8 - 18 July, Afternoon and Evening: Twilight of Ambition
9 - 19 & 20 July: The End and the Reckoning

Appendices
I - The Goodwood Battleground
II - Army Maps and Map References
III - Telling the Time
IV - Armour in Combat during Goodwood
V - Lessons Learned from Goodwood
VI - 11th Armoured Division, Goodwood Order of Battle
VII - 21.Panzerdivision, Goodwood Order of Battle
VIII - Bombing the Goodwood Battlefield
IX - The Question of the Cagny '88s'
X - Mike Wetz

Author: Ian Daglish
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 272
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2005


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