Villers-Bocage Through the Lens

Villers-Bocage Through the Lens

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Villers-Bocage Through the Lens




Author:Daniel Taylor
Language:English Text
Format:Hardcover
Dimensions:12" x 8.5"
Pages:88 pages
Photos:150 photos
Maps:Some maps
Publisher:After the Battle
ISBN:9781870067072
Item No. ATB BK-032



Villers-Bocage has, for years, been the battle that confirmed the reputation of Germany's greatest tank ace, Michael Wittmann. In this book the battle is analysed in depth for the first time through detailed examination of the images taken by war photographers after the town was captured by German forces. The claims made of the battle are re-appraised, and the arguments set out in dozens of published accounts have been compared with primary evidence never utilised before, and evaluated anew. Perhaps the two most striking revelations come from German sources. First graphically, by the study of the 100 photographs taken by the Germans the day after the battle. Secondly, from Wittmann's own account of the battle made hours after its conclusion in which many of the claims of historians attempting to glamourise the action are actually refuted by Wittmann himself.

The battle of Villers-Bocage came only one week after D-Day and a vital phase in the Allied build-up. The thrust by the 7th Armoured Division, the famous 'Desert Rats'. was hoped to be a dashing and audacious move to outmanoeuvre the cream of German panzer forces lined up before Caen - a D-Day objective. Although the opportunity to send Britain's best-known tank division into the heart of German defence was a piece of military opportunism, the move fitted perfectly with Allied grand strategy in that it was designed to destabilise the German front before sufficient reinforcements were in place to hold the invaders. Its failure at Villers-Bocage has led to criticism of British generalship, the commanders in the field, and the willingness of the fighting men to continue their sacrifices into a fifth, bloody year of war.