Villers-Bocage remains lodged in the imagination of many readers as a costly and controversial defeat for the British Army in Normandy. This point of view is entirely reliant on just ten minutes of fighting plucked from a two-day battle. This account sets out to rectify that view.
Based on prolific first-hand information, including extensive interviews with veterans of the battle, this book explores every facet of the available information, subjecting it to in-depth analysis. Far from being the crushing defeat popularised in many histories, which tend to rely on German propaganda, Villers-Bocage can, in fact, be viewed as a remarkable and compelling recovery from an ambush. The shortcoming was that much of the territory gained in the advance was relinquished, so the first telling of the story was given to the Germans who, quite legitimately under wartime conditions, made the most of their advantage.
In this book, Daniel Taylor provides a minutely detailed examination of the course of the fighting, exploring both sides of the debate, allowing the reader to evaluate the strength of the argument. Dozens of first-hand accounts are brought together and placed into a comprehensible and accurate time-line. Both German and British official histories and personal accounts have been pieced together providing an astonishing level of corroboration.
Accompanying the written history is extensive mapping and an unprecedented quantity of photographs, from multiple sources, which add definition and visual verification. This book lays to rest the myths built up around the battle.
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Manufacturer/Publisher: Pen & Sword
Author: Daniel Taylor