Jocks, Dragons and Sospans (New 53rd Welsh Division History)

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by Swiper, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Out March 2016

    Jocks, Dragons and Sospans


    July 1944: the Battle for Normandy is nearing its height. Thousands of soldiers cower in their slit trenches as huge artillery bombardments roar overhead, small arms fire tears up ground around them and tanks crash through undergrowth. Attempting to push forward around a miserable scrap of ground called "Hill 112” are the British Civilian-Soldiers of 53rd (Welsh) Division, facing the heaviest German tanks imaginable of II SS-Panzer Corps - in what would become an exceptionally brutal battle of attrition.

    This fascinating dynamic account vividly explores the journey from the pacifistic aftermath of the Great War, to Britain's forced rearmament and commitment to once more assemble an archetypal 18,000 man Infantry Division from deprived industrial Wales, drawn from a disparate eclectic mixture of conscripts, Terriers and volunteers, as well as a diverse group of Allied nationalities.

    The character of this near-forgotten Territorial Army Infantry Division is examined as never before, radically challenging the conventional narrative. For the first time the fate of dozens of men are told in their own words, allowing you to get closer to the action than ever before. See the stories of men such as Tasker Watkins VC and Welsh rugby legend Bill Clement evocatively brought to life.

    Read also a full and fresh study of Montgomery's July strategy, re-examining the crucial context of Goodwood, with Operations such as Greenline and Pomegranate raised from obscurity. The rapid shift from static warfare to the mobile armoured thrusts that characterised the drive on Falaise in August 1944 is completely reassessed thanks due to new evidence. The fighting ability of 9th and 10th SS-Panzer Divisions, as well as the myriad of other German forces that fought in the battle, are also fully scrutinised, illuminating the tactics and strategy as never before. This is essential reading for all those interested in warfare as well as the more serious student of the Normandy campaign.

    The human cost was exceptional; the suffering unimaginable. This is their story.


    Thought it was worth popping up on its own. Been a long time coming, many thanks to all forum members (and many others) who have assisted with this project over the last few years.
    Heimbrent, Drew5233, dbf and 2 others like this.
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Good show
  3. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Looks impressive! How many pages?
  4. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    Congratulations Jonathan - now, get Duncan to invite me to the launch, and give me a review copy!!
  5. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I'd better save some of my Christmas money - if I get any.
  6. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Cheers all, greatly appreciated! Final page count is not finalised yet. That'll be sorted by the time pre-orders open!
  7. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    TTH and stolpi like this.
  8. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    I've saved some of my money for this one; but still no page count?

    ... will there be a follow up of this volume? Battle in Belgium, Holland, Ardennes and Reichswald??
  9. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Final stages of editing I'm afraid/selection of final photos...

    There will be, but I don't want to commit on publication dates of potential sequels, originally conceived of as a three-parter. Should be other publications in the interim however!
    stolpi likes this.
  10. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Just saw the FB page, looks good.

    Say, is this the same book about the 53rd that someone mentioned to me not long ago in another thread? I am very glad to see someone else tackle an ordinary line infantry outfit. I look forward to reading the book, keep up the good work.
  11. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Swiper - If you ever need assistance with your chapter on the Ardennes, just give me a shout.
    Swiper likes this.
  12. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Will do... the coverage of the Ardennes will be rather more than a Chapter however!

    Its probable, there is recent book out, 'In My Father's Footsteps', which borrows heavily from CN Barclay for the overall narrative, and the father's reminiscences are the best bits.
  13. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Swiper - I have spoken/corresponded with many 53rd Welsh veterans who were in this battle and visited the Hotton - Marche-en-Famenne area with some of them.

    Did a lot of research on the 30 Corps actions in the Ardennes.

    Tried to send you a PM but apparently your box is full. Messages are not coming through.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
  14. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Hello J

    is all on track for August release

  15. Robert Duerr

    Robert Duerr Member

    Hi, I'm hoping to find out more about the engagements at Gavrus on 16th July, and another forum member said that this subject is covered in this book. Does anyone know where I might find a copy please?
  16. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Was this ever published?
  17. Robert Duerr

    Robert Duerr Member

    Yup, I'm still wondering too. I can't see any way to buy it if it ever was....Swiper, can you let us know?

Share This Page