6 June 2018

Sword Beach - British 3rd Infantry Division / 27th Armoured Brigade

In this addition to the Battleground Europe series, Major (retired) Tim Kilvert-Jones focuses on the action by 3rd British Infantry Division and attached units at Sword Beach from D-Day 6th June 1944 to the fall of Caen in July 1944. Following the structure of his previous work in the series Omaha Beach, the author draws on both memoirs and extensive interviews with veterans to create a dynamic guide to book this fascinating story of undaunted courage, and dashed hopes.

Caen was the pivotal main objective for General Montgomery's invasion plan.The 3rd Division's failure to capture the city on 6th June lead to major recriminations during and after the war as former allied commanders and other vested interests argued the causes of failure. The truth is as always simpler than the arguments and recriminations.

While still struggling to establish a secure beachhead on D-Day. The division was attached by powerful elements of 21st Panzer division. This was the only effective armoured counterattack mounted by the Germans during the invasion phase. The result was a devastating defeat for the Panzers under the combined arms guns of the 3rd Division, but vital hours had been lost and the Germans were given the time to defend the City.

With the multitude of books relating to the broad story of D Day, titles which focus in depth on the specific beaches - and specifically the British and Canadian beaches - are welcome. If you have an interest in the landings at Sword Beach on 6th June 1944, and are planning a visit to the area to see where the actions took place, then this book is certainly worth obtaining.

Available from:
Pen and Sword

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