By Anthony Tucker-Jones
The destruction of the trapped German forces within the Falaise pocket in August 1944 is among the most famed episodes of the Normandy crusade. yet myths have grown up round money owed of the conflict, and its effect at the process the struggle is typically misunderstood. during this meticulously researched and perceptive examine Anthony Tucker-Jones dispels misconceptions in regards to the conflict, describes the wrestle in picture aspect and reassesses the end result within the context of the crusade to disencumber Europe.
he's taking a vast view of the series of operations that culminated within the conflict at Falaise, tracing the process the crusade ordinarily from the German perspective. for 2 bloody months the Germans held the Allies at bay following the D-Day landings, yet then they have been blocked in at Falaise and the realm turned a killing flooring.
Some liken the development to Hitler's defeat at Stalingrad, whereas others argue the victory was once improper simply because such a lot of German troops escaped.
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Additional resources for FALAISE: The Flawed Victory - The Destruction of Panzergruppe West, August 1944
Kuntzen and his staff would play a very belated and minor role in the Normandy campaign. Conflict in the High Command To defeat an Allied invasion, C-in-C West favoured the ‘crust-cushion-hammer’ concept, the crust being formed by the static sea defences, the cushion by infantry reserves and the hammer by the armoured divisions held further back. Schweppenburg, commander of Panzergruppe West, agreed with Rundstedt in believing the panzer divisions should be kept inland, ready to encircle the Allies as they tried to advance on Paris.
The geography on the left wing of Panzergruppe West consisted of the restrictive Normandy hedgerow terrain known as the bocage. East of the Orne in the Caen–Falaise sector it was largely open and therefore more suited to fluid tank operations. Rommel understood the Allies had to be stopped from reaching this ground at all costs. A series of prominent geographical features south of Caen provided the Germans with an ideal stop line, here the panzers could make a stand. While the German Navy was in no position to contest control of the English Channel and the Luftwaffe was distracted by the Eastern Front and defence of the Reich, Hitler’s panzer forces constituted a very real threat to the mainly-inexperienced American Army and the weary British Army once they were ashore.
The Allies deliberately blinded the Germans along the Channel by knocking out their radars, though this had to be done in such a selective manner as not to alert the Germans as to the true location of the amphibious assault. RAF Typhoon fighter-bombers played a key role in this, striking sites from Ostend to Cherbourg and the Channel Islands. To help foster the illusion that the Pas de Calais was the most likely crossing point, some radars in this area were left alone. Along the coast, out of ninety-two radar sites only eighteen were operational by the time of the invasion, and they were to be further misled by dummy invasion fleets.