D day the battle for nor.., p.60
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       D-Day: The Battle for Normandy, p.60

           Antony Beevor

  The post-war squabble between Allied generals, claiming credit and apportioning blame in their reports and memoirs, was correspondingly ferocious. That keen observer of human frailty Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke was presumably not surprised. He had once written about a row in June between senior naval officers: ‘It is astonishing how petty and small men can be in connection with questions of command.’

  Montgomery placed himself at the centre of the post-war storm mainly because of his preposterous assertions that everything had gone according to his master plan. He felt that he should be seen on a par with Marlborough and Wellington and implicitly denigrated his American colleagues. Almost single-handedly, he had managed in Normandy to make most senior American commanders anti-British at the very moment when Britain’s power was waning dramatically. His behaviour thus constituted a diplomatic disaster of the first order. Whatever the merits of his arguments at the end of August 1944 about the planned thrust into Germany, Montgomery mishandled the situation badly. He had also provoked the higher ranks of the Royal Air Force, who were even more enraged than the Americans at his lack of frankness over operations in Normandy.

  The usually tolerant Eisenhower refused to forgive Montgomery for the claims he made after the war. ‘First of all he’s a psychopath,’ Eisenhower exploded in an interview in 1963. ‘Don’t forget that. He is such an egocentric that the man - everything he has done is perfect - has never made a mistake in his life.’ It was tragic that Montgomery should have thus diverted attention away from his own undoubted qualities and from the sacrifice of his troops, who had held down the vast bulk of the German panzer formations and faced the greatest concentration of 88 mm anti-tank guns.

  Montgomery’s unplanned battle of attrition, as unplanned as the Americans’ bloody slog through the bocage, had of course been handicapped by the delays caused by the appalling weather in mid-June. Yet British and American alike had gravely underestimated the tenacity and discipline of Wehrmacht troops. This was partly because they had failed to appreciate the effectiveness of Nazi propaganda in persuading its soldiers that defeat in Normandy meant the annihilation of their Fatherland. These soldiers, especially the SS, were bound to believe that they had everything to lose. Their armies had already provided so many reasons for Allied anger.

  The battle for Normandy did not go as planned, but even the armchair critics could never dispute the eventual outcome, however imperfect. One must also consider what might have happened should the extraordinary undertaking of D-Day have failed: for example, if the invasion fleet had sailed into the great storm of mid-June. The post-war map and the history of Europe would have been very different indeed.


  There is an old joke that the collective noun for those in my profession is a ‘mischief of historians’. In my experience, this is certainly not true about historians of the Second World War. Facing many lonely months in foreign archives, it makes an enormous difference to be able to discuss sources and theories with others whose opinions and experience you value. Over the years, the unstinting support of colleagues and friends has been both a comfort and a pleasure.

  Nearly a decade ago, when I was still fixated with the eastern front, the late Martin Blumenson first urged me to take on the subject of Normandy. He too was interested in comparing the Nazi-Soviet war with the campaign in north-west Europe. Sir Max Hastings has been endlessly generous in loans of material and good suggestions. Professor Tami Davis Biddle of the US Army War College has given wise advice on the air war and provided me with books, papers and photocopies of documents. James Holland has also lent many books and material from his own interviews. Sebastian Cox, the head of the Ministry of Defence Air Historical Branch, is another in the circle of friends forming an irregular lunch-time tertulia, discussing the war. Many other historians have helped with advice and material. They include Rick Atkinson, Professor Michael Burleigh, Professor M. R. D. Foot, Professor Donald L. Miller, Claude Quétel and Niklas Zetterling.

  I have been extraordinarily lucky in all the assistance I have received from archivists while researching this book, especially Dr Tim Nenninger, the Chief of Modern Military Records at the National Archives,


  Abbaye Blanche

  Abbaye d’Ardennes

  Abetz, Otto

  Abwehr (German military intelligence)

  Adair, Maj Gen A.

  Airborne assault

  aerial support

  American (map)



  deception measures


  heavy equipment landings


  Allied propaganda

  Allied troops

  British girlfriends

  with Frenchwomen

  relations with Frenchsee also Looting

  AMGOT (Allied Military Government of Occupied Territories)


  Amis, Kingsley

  Andrew, Lt Tom



  Arletty (Léonie Bathiat)

  Arnim, Lt Dankwart Graf v.



  Atlantic Wall

  Aulock, GenMaj Hubertus v.




  Ay, river



  Barton, Maj Gen Raymond O.

  Bavent, Bois de

  Bayerlein, GenLt Fritz


  de Gaulle visits

  liberation of

  Bayeux tapestry


  Beauvoir, Simone de

  Beck, Sdt Eberhard

  Beck, GenOb Ludwig

  Bedell Smith, Maj Gen Walter

  Below, ObLt Nicolaus v.



  Berghof (Berchtesgaden)

  Berlichingen, Oberst Freiherr v.


  Bidault, Georges

  Billotte, Col Pierre

  Bingham, Maj S. V.

  Birks, Col Hammond D.

  Bittrich, Gruppenführer

  Bletchley Park; see also Ultra intercepts

  Blumentritt, Gen der Inf. Günther


  artillery observation

  battle of the


  fighting in

  lessons of fighting in implemented

  Boegner, Pastor Marc

  Boineburg-Lengsfeld, GenLt Hans Freiherr v.

  Boissieu, Cpte Alain de

  Bombing operations

  the airborne assault



  the crossing

  Omaha beach

  Operation Cobra

  Operation Goodwood

  Operation Totalize

  Operation Tractable

  Saint-Lô, 6 June

  sealing off invasion area (Operation Transportation)


  Bon Sauveur, convent of the


  Botsford, Lt Gardner


  Bradley, Gen Omar N.

  and Montgomery, Gen Sir Bernard L.

  and Patton, Gen George S.



  Brest peninsula




  British Army

  combat exhaustion



  infantry shortages

  lack of mechanization

  manpower crisis

  reluctance to help other arms

  replacement system


  tank design

  tank-infantry cooperation

  UK defence force


  British Army, 21st Army Group

  British Army, Armies

>   Second Army

  Eighth Army

  British Army, Corps

  I Corps

  VIII Corps

  XII Corps

  XXX Corps

  British Army, Divisions

  Guards Armd

  3rd Inf

  6th Airborne

  7th Armd

  11th Armd

  15th Inf (Scottish)

  43rd Inf (Wessex)

  50th Inf (Northumberland)

  51st Inf (Highland)

  British Army, Brigades

  1st Special Service Bde

  3rd Para Bde

  4th Armd Bde

  5th Para Bde

  Guardsh Tank Bde

  8th Bde

  8th Armd Bde

  9th Bde

  22nd Armd Bde

  29th Armd Bde

  33rd Armd Bde

  56th Bde

  69th Bde

  129th Bde

  130th Bde

  131st Armd Bde

  185th Bde

  SAS Bde

  Special Air Service

  British Army, Armd Regiments

  1st Northants Yeomanry

  2nd Welsh Guards

  3rd Royal Tank Rgt

  3rd Scots Guards

  4th Coldstream

  4th County of London Yeomanry

  4th/7th Dragoon Guards

  5th Inniskilling Dragoon Guards

  11th Hussars

  13th/18th Hussars

  22nd Dragoons

  23rd Hussars

  44th Royal Tank Rgt

  East Riding Yeomanry

  Fife and Forfar Yeomanry

  Household Cavalry Rgt

  Inns of Court

  Royal Scots Greys

  Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry

  Staffordshire Yeomanry

  Westminster Dragoons

  British Army, Infantry Battalions

  1/4th King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

  1/5th Queens

  1st Dorsets

  1st Grenadiers

  1st Hampshires

  1st King’s Own Scottish Borderers

  1st Norfolks

  1st Rifle Brigade

  1st South Lancashire

  1st Suffolk

  1st Tyneside Scottish

  2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

  2nd Devons

  2nd East Yorks

  2nd Essex

  2nd Glasgow Highlanders

  2nd King’s Shropshire Light Infantry

  2nd Middlesex

  2nd Ox and Bucks Light Infantry

  2nd South Wales Borderers

  2nd Ulster Rifles

  2nd Warwicks

  4 Commando

  4th Dorsets

  4th Somerset Light Infantry

  5th Black Watch

  5th Coldstream

  5th Dorsets

  5th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry

  5th East Yorks

  5th Wiltshires

  6 Commando

  6th Duke of Wellington’s Rgt

  6th Durham Light Infantry

  6th Green Howards

  7th Norfolks

  8th Durham Light Infantry

  8th Para

  9th Durham Light Infantry

  9th Para

  12th Para

  13th Para

  Royal Engineers


  Brooke, FM Sir Alan (later Viscount Alanbrooke)

  Brotheridge, Lt Den

  Browning, Lt Gen Sir Frederick (‘Boy’)

  Bruce, Col David

  Bucknall, Lt Gen Gerard

  Buhle, Gen d. Inf Walter

  Bull, Maj Gen Harold R.

  Bülowius, Gen d. Flieger

  Bushey Park (SHAEF headquarters)

  ‘C’ see Menzies, Sir Stewart



  attack, 7 June

  battle for

  bombardment of

  bombing ofJune


  cholera threat

  Civil Affairs entry into

  civilians in

  de Gaulle visits

  envelopment attempt

  failure to seize on first day

  final shell falls on

  German attack, 10 June, cancelled

  and the landings



  victory parade

  Caen Canal





  Canadian Army

  advance into Caen

  battles for Carpiquet airfield

  landing Juno

  First Canadian Army

  II Canadian Corps

  Canadian Army, Divisions

  2nd Inf

  3rd Inf

  4th Armd

  Canadian Army, Brigades

  7th Bde

  8th Bde

  9th Bde

  Canadian Army, Armd Regiments

  1st Hussars

  British Columbia

  Fort Garry Horse

  Grenadier Guards of Canada

  Sherbrooke Fusiliers

  Canadian Army, Infantry Battalions

  1st Para


  Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada

  Black Watch of Canada

  Calgary Highlanders

  Canadian Scottish Rgt

  North Nova Scotia Highlanders

  North Shore Rgt

  Queen’s Own Rifles

  Régiment de la Chaudière

  Regina Rifles

  Royal Winnipeg Rifles

  Canham, Col Charles D.


  Capa, Robert


  Carpiquet airfield


  airborne assault

  Army Group B total

  battle of the bocage



  combat fatigue and shock


  Falaise Pocket

  first aid treatment

  French civilians

  Juno beach


  Omaha beach

  Operation Cobra

  Operation Epsom

  Operation Goodwood

  Operation Totalize

  Operation Tractable



  Sword beach


  totals toJune

  treatment of

  Utah beach



  Cerisy, Forêt de


  Chaban-Delmas, Jacques


  Channel Islands


  Chef du Pont


  advance on

  bombing ofJune

  capture of(map)


  coastal batteries

  conditions afterwards

  supplies through

  Cherbourg peninsula see Cotentin peninsula


  Chevallerie, Gen d. Inf Kurt v..

  Choltitz, GenLt Dietrich v.

  Christopherson, Lt Col Stanley

  Churchill, Winston S.


  Civil Affairs

  Clark, Gen Mark

  Coastal defences

  Colette, Sidonie Gabrielle



  treatment of


  Collins, Maj Gen J. Lawton

  Colville, John (‘Jock’)

  Combat fatigue and shock

  Combined Operations Beach Reconnaissance and Assault Pilotage Parties (COPP)

  Comité Français de Libération Nationale

  Commander-in-Chief West (OB West)

  Communist propaganda

  Communists see French Communist Party

am, Air Marshal Sir Arthur

  Conseil National de la Résistance

  Conspiracy theories, Nazi

  Cook, Maj Gen Gilbert

  Cooper, Sir Alfred Duff

  Corlett, Lt Gen Charles

  Cota, Brig Gen Norman D.

  Cotentin peninsula (map)

  Coudehard, heights of

  Coulet, François




  Crerar, Lt Gen Henry


  Culin, Sgt Curtis G.

  Dannhauser, GenLt Paul

  Daure, Marianne

  Daure, Pierre

  DD Sherman tanks

  De Gaulle, Gen Charles

  arrival in Britain

  and Eisenhower

  first visit to Normandy

  and Leclerc

  and the liberation of Paris

  relationship with Churchill

  and the Resistance

  and Roosevelt

  victory procession in Paris

  visit to Caen

  De Guingand, Maj Gen Sir Francis

  De Wavrin, André see Passy, Col

  Deception operations see Plan Fortitude

  Défense Passive

  Dempsey, Lt Gen Sir Miles

  Dieppe raid

  Dietrich, Obergruppenführer Sepp

  Dio, Col Louis

  Dives, river

  Doane, Lt Col Leander L.

  Dollmann, GenOb Friedrich

  Dönitz, Großadmiral Karl

  Double Cross Committee

  Douglas, Capt Keith

  Douve, river


  Dronne, Cpte Raymond


  Eastern front

  Eberbach, Gen. PzTr Hans


  Ecouves, Fôret d’

  Eddy, Maj Gen Manton S.

  Eden, Anthony

  Ehrenburg, Ilya

  Eisenhower, Gen Dwight D. (‘Ike’)

  approves Falaise-Argentan gap plan

  and Caen

  and de Gaulle

  and Montgomery

  and Operation Dragoon

  and Operation Epsom

  and Patton

  visits airborne embarkation


  Elfeldt, GenLt Otto

  English Channel, crossing

  Eon, Col

  Erskine, Maj Gen George (‘Bobby’)




  Exercise Tiger


  Falaise-Argentan gap

  Falaise Pocket (map)

  Falley, GenLt Wilhelm

  Farmbacher, Gen d. Art Wilhelm

  Fegelein, Gruppenführer Hermann

  Female snipers

  Feuchtinger, GenMaj Edgar

  FFI (Forces Françaises de l’Intérieur)


  Fontaine l’Abbé




  Fortitude see Plan Fortitude

  Fouquer, Rev Père Roger

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