Eagles and Bulldogs in Normandy, 1944, Michael Reynolds

Eagles and Bulldogs in Normandy, 1944, Michael Reynolds

This book takes a different approach to the much-studied fighting in Normandy on and after D-Day, picking one British and one American division to follow during this crucial campaign. The British 3rd and American 29th Divisions both landed on D-Day, and took part in much of the campaign that followed. The choice of divisions means that Reynolds is able to look at two of the most iconic elements of the fighting after D-Day - the struggle to capture Caen in the east and the fighting in the bocage in the west.

Reynolds displayed a refreshing willingness to acknowledge that the skill of the German soldier played a significant part on the slow progress after D-Day, while not over-stating the case. I was particularly interested to learn why the Allies were not expecting the 'hedgerow country' of the bocage, why as a result they had not prepared any techniques for fighting their way through it, and how the 29th Division trained to fight in the hedgerows after it arrived in France.

Perhaps the main thing to emerge from this study are the similarities between the British and American experience in Normandy, with both armies suffering from many of the same problems, seeing officers removed from their posts, limited liaison between the infantry and tanks, and making much slower progress than had been hoped for.

I - The American 29th Infantry Division
II - The British 3rd Infantry Division
III - The Big Picture 1944
IV - The Ground and the Objectives
V - The Enemy
VI - Morale, Weapons and Tactics
VII - Plans for D-Day
VIII - D-Day on OMAHA - the Reality
IX - D-Day on SWORD - the Reality
X - The Big Picture and the End of D-Day
XI - The Iron Division - 7 and 8 June
XII - The Iron Division - 9 to 11 June
XIII - The Blue and Gray - 7 and 8 June
XIV - The Blue and Gray - 9 and 10 June
XV - The Blue and Gray - 11 June to 6 July
XVI - The British and Canadian Sector - 10 June to 6 July
XVII - The Iron Division - 12 June to 11 July
XVIII - The Blue and the Gray - 7 to 19 July

A - Organisation of the US 29th Infantry Division
B - Organisation of the US 743rd Tank Battalion
C - Organisation of the UK 3rd Infantry Division
D - Organisation of the UK 27th Armoured Brigade
E - Organisation of the German 716th Infantry Division
F - Organisation of the German 352nd Infantry Division
G - Les Moulins beach defences
H - Organisation of the 21st Panzer Division
J - Organisation of the 12th SS Panzer Division (HJ)
K - Sequence of Events in the 3rd Division Sector on D-Day
L - Organisation of the German 3rd Parachute Division

Author: Michael Reynolds
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 250
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2010 edition of 2003 original

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