Looking for books on operations in NWE, 1945

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by Chris C, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Hi all,

    I am looking for books focused on individual 21 AG operations in 1945 - such as Battle for the Roer Triangle by Gootzen and Connor (about Op Blackcock), but hopefully more easily available than that. e.g. Blackcock, Veritable, and Plunder. Any suggestions?
  2. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

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  3. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

  4. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    The Noise of Battle by Tony Colvin - covers three battles fought south of Goch between 27th February & 2nd March 1945.

    Theirs the Strife: The Forgotten Battles of British Second Army and Armeegruppe Blumentritt, April 1945 by Jack Russell - not released yet but believe this is an updated version of No Triumphant Procession.
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  5. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    Thanks for the plug hucks 216! Not just updated NTP but NTP on steroids! My new book is the result of years more research and in addition to the operations by XII Corps, it now covers the operations by VIII Corps formations (11th Armoured, 6th Airborne, 1st Commando Brigade) to cross the Weser, Leine and Aller rivers, all written with the same level of detail as NTP (ie most of the narrative is at battalion level and below). It has two contextual chapters on the German and British forces involved, it covers actions in the air and the epilogue analyses why many Germans fought on with the end so clearly in sight. The book is supported by 75 maps, 25 figures and approx 100 illustrations. It is due to be published by Helion and Company this Spring, although I have a sneaking suspicion it will be delayed by corvid 19 confusion and difficulties. It’s on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Theirs-Strife-Forgotten-Armeegruppe-Blumentritt/dp/1913118568

    Just noticed ‘Jack’ Russell. Nearly right but I’m neither a wicket keeper nor a small, usually white and black, terrier!

    Best wishes

  6. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    Hi Chris C - have you read The Long Left Flank by Jeffrey Williams, which covers First Canadian Army’s gruelling campaign in the Low Countries?
  7. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    You could also try 'Cinderella Army' by Terry Copp for an account particularly from the Canadian perspective. But I particularly recommend 'Rhineland: The Battle to Win the War' by the Whitakers, which I thought was a very good read. Maybe a bit dated now, but excellent mix of primary sources and oral accounts.


  8. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Whoops, I didn't reply to some questions. I did read Cinderella Army (and Fields of Fire) a few years ago. I don't have my own copy, and maybe having a copy of my own would be useful!

    I haven't read The Long Left Flank, no... BUT: Cinderella Army vs The Long Left Flank vs Rhineland!? Then again they may give different perspectives. edit: I might have just ordered cheaper copies of Cinderella Army and Rhineland... so much for financial restraint!

    (I wasn't looking specifically for Canadian accounts, mind you... I need more for the British!)
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
  9. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    The battles that took place after the Rhine Crossing in March 1945 are not well covered ... the unit histories/war diaries probably will give you most of the details, otherwise you will have to delve into local histories, but these tend to be written in the Dutch and German language.

    Re the German studies I would recommend: Günther Wegmann, "Das Kriegsende zwischen Ems und Weser 1945" (still in print but in German)
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  10. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    The Battle for the Rhineland (Reginald W. Thompson) covers both Blackcock and Veritable.
  11. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    Attached is the list of published books that I used during writing Theirs the Strife. I have highlighted those which I think are particularly good/useful and should also be the more easily obtainable. Many of the unit histories resided in gloomy corners of military libraries and may be difficult/expensive to obtain. Anyway, I hope this list will provide a useful start point for you.



    Attached Files:

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  12. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Thank you very much, John! I am looking forward to your book, by the way.

    The Toronto Public Library has a very odd smattering of British regimental histories in the back stacks so ... who knows what I might be able to look at, if it comes to that. edit: and I stumbled across a copy of With The Jocks a couple of years ago and snapped it up - fantastic account!
  13. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    Pleasure. There’s no shortage of time to get into some serious reading! :rolleyes:
  14. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Try the old Purnell/Ballantine volume by Peter Elstob, The Battle of the Reichswald.
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  15. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Chris - Have you tried the 21 AG reports on the "Liberation Campaign of North West Europe" written by Harris?

    I have a narrative report for 21 AG for the period of Aug - Sept 44 (CAB 44/254) which I once obtained from WW2talk member 'Horsapassenger'. The copy I have is Vol. V. from a series of reports - I guess there must be similar reports for the later part of the war (March & April 1945).

    Edit: found them
    Browse records of other archives | The National Archives

    CAB 44/256 "The Winter Campaign":
    Section D, chapter VI: operations of 21 army group 1944 Oct.1-1945 Mar. 10; book II, the... | The National Archives
    CAB 44/257 "The battle for the Rhineland": Section D, chapter VI: operations of 21 army group 1944 Oct. 1-1945 Mar. 10; book III... | The National Archives
    CAB 44/258 "The battle for the Rhineland": Section D, chapter VI: operations of 21 army group, 1944 Oct. 1-1945 Mar. 10; book III... | The National Archives
    CAB 44/260 "Crossing the Rhine & Advance to the Baltic": Section D, chapter VII: final phase in the liberation campaign, 1945 Mar. 11-May 8; book... | The National Archives
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
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  16. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Falling into the category of rare oddities, VIII Corps produced a pair of histories of which the second might be relevant: The River Rhine to the Baltic Sea.
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  17. Tolbooth

    Tolbooth Patron Patron

    Assault on Germany, The Battle for Geilenkirchen, Ken Ford.
    Have to admit it's been sat on my 'To Read' pile for about a year so, apart from the fact it mentions the Lothians and has some good photos, can't tell you much - yet !
  18. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    It's an excellent book and the sort of thing I would like to read about more operations.
  19. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Not digitised, though? :( I bet those are good.
  20. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Very "not cheap" though! One copy in the Arnhem library but that's some... distance away. :) I noticed on worldcat.org that some universities in Ontario have copies of Elstob's book so when the current crisis passes, I might be able to borrow a copy through interlibrary loan.
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