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...August 1944, from Casemate Books

The Falaise Pocket...


Title:  The Falaise Pocket

Author: Yves Buffetaut

Publisher:  Casemate Books

ISBN:  978-1-61200-727-4

Another release in the Casemate Illustrated series, an English translation of a French language book originally published by Histoire & Collections back in 2002, and another written by author Yves Buffetaut. A 128-page soft cover book and another excellent addition to the series.
The Falaise pocket marked the end of the fighting in Normandy following the D-Day invasion of 6th June. By August, and following a ailed German counter offensive towards Mortain, the German Armies were caught in a pocket between US forces to the south, and British/Canadian/Polish forces to the north. Following an introductory Timeline of Events, the book is split into 5 parts. These cover The German Army After the Defeat at Mortain: British Pressure on the North of the Front: the Franco-American Envelopment: the Germans Retreat into the Falaise Pocket: the Pocket Closes and the Germans Break Out. It explains the sequence of events along with the units/commanders involved on both sides. Illustrated with lots of archive images, there are also maps to help illustrate the test, along with some neat colour profiles showing the weapons of both sides, welcome for modellers. The levels of destruction inflicted on the German forces that were caught in the pocket, the number of casualties and the loss of valuable panzers is all explained and covered. The Allied air superiority caused havoc, and it was quite a feat that a large number of German troops did manage to escape the pocket, though leaving much equipment behind. The photos do a good job of showing us the devastation that was left inside the pocket.
I think anyone interested in the campaign in NW Europe in 1944 will like this one, and it has a very good selection of archive images. Pictures of the vehicle dumps once the fighting was open are especially interesting images I thought. I remember my own father's comments on what he saw at Falaise, of being able to walk along a road or field was impossible without standing on wreckage and bodies of men or horses. He wouldn't say more than that. Today the countryside is beautiful and well worth visiting, but this book wells us the story of the destruction that took place there all those years ago.

Published by Casemate Books, who kindly provided my review copy.


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