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Major John Howard’s coup de main is without doubt one of the most famous and most spectacular commando-type operations of D-Day or indeed of the whole war. After a bold, short glider landing, the swing bridge over the canal from Caen to the sea was captured in a lightning attack made by several dozen soldiers from the 6th Airborne Divi- sion. From then on, twenty minutes after midnight on 6 June 1944, the bridge at Bénouville with its rather charac- teristic silhouette became “Pegasus Bridge” and entered history and over a few decades acquired worldwide fame. Five miles away in the direction of the coast was a German artillery battery that was also attacked a few hours later... But what linked the two events – now inseparable in the story of the Normandy Landings ?
In this, his seventh book in his D-Day series, the success- ful author, Helmut Konrad von Keusgen, offers a new, and well-founded, version of the events that took place on the Pegasus Bridge and at the Melville Battery, a version which differs from all that has been written up until now, mainly from the British point of view. Seventy years after the Allied
Landings in Normandy, and after four decades of patient research, Baron von Keugsen recounts these events mainly from the German point of view, with accurate, astounding and matching eye-witness accounts which have remained in the background until now (for example, those of the Kanonier Hans Stab, a server with a flak battery at Melville, or those of Obergrenadier Helmut Römer, an infantryman on guard on the Bénouville bridge, on the night of 5-6 June 1944). Enhanced with twenty maps and detailed plans, as well as 270 photos, the point of view adopted by the author is very interesting from beginning to end, telling the story of the airborne troops’ actions accurately, then those of the British commandoes on Sword Beach and in the bridgehead to the east of the Orne River and the north-east of Caen, on D-Day, and during the following days.
Looking more closely at one of the Landing zones which he had not already published something about, the author reaches the very gripping and disturbing conclusion: have the 6th Airborne Division’s airborne operations always been the downright successes paid for dearly, as has been claimed ? This book gives the beginnings of an answer which will make its mark.
|Format||21 x 29x7 cm|
|nombre de pages||248|
|Author(s)||Helmut Konrad von Keusgen|