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“Everything was lost for Germany after the defeat at Mortain”
Kurt Dittmar, Wehrmacht General, 25 April 1945.
Barely two months after D-Day in Normandy, Operation Cobra had enabled the Allies to reach the gates of Brittany in record time. Deeply penetrated on its left flank, the German front in Normandy was on the edge of collapse. Still stunned by the 20 July attempt on his life, Hitler had not yet decided to withdraw his troops from this theatre of operations. Against the advice of his generals, all by himself, the Führer planned a sizeable Panzer counter-attack – under the code name of Operation Lüttich – in order to cut off the American armoured forces that’d advanced beyond Avranches from their rear. In the case of success, the 3rd US Army under Patton would have found itself isolated or even torn to pieces. On the Western Front, the German army would have been able to redress and stabilize its positions in order – according to Hitler – to throw the Allies back into the sea. At dawn on 7 august 1944, more than 300 German armoured vehicles were launched westwards through the lines of the VII US Army Corps. On both sides on the Normandy front, Mortain became the keystone where everything was going to be played out! There the Allied staffs’ spotlights were trained on the 30th US Infantry Division which, during six days of fierce fighting, bore the brunt of Lüttich. For a short while, Mortain was nonetheless the epicentre of one of most decisive battles of WWII.
A specialist of the Mortain fighting, Anthony Paysant has made very instructive discoveries on the battle recently. With Stéphane Jacquet, a specialist of the Battle of Normandy, they propose a rigorous and detailed account of the Battle of Mortain, day by day and hour by hour, for the reader. They allow us relive this titanic fight – the GIs against the elite of Hitler’s armoured troops – inviting us to return to the battlefield more than 75 years later. Accompanied by maps, the text is based on the units’ logbooks and eye-witness accounts – mostly unpublished – also presenting hundreds of photos.
|Format||21 x 27,5 cm|
|nombre de pages||254|
|Author(s)||S.Jacquet - A.Paysant|