Book Review Normandy 1944: The Fight for Point 103, Tilly-sur-Seulles and Villers Bocage

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by Ramiles, Jul 7, 2021.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Normandy 1944: The Fight for Point 103, Tilly-sur-Seulles and Villers Bocage - Tim Saunders

    Normandy 1944

    Tim Saunders
    Pen and Sword Military, 30 Aug 2021 - History - 336 pages
    0 Reviews
    This is the story of the fighting in Normandy by the veteran desert formations brought back by Montgomery from the Mediterranean in order to spearhead the invasion; 50th Infantry and 7th Armoured divisions, plus 4th Armoured Brigade. Heavily reinforced by individuals and fresh units, their task beyond the beaches was to push south to Villers Bocage with armour on the evening of D Day in order to disrupt German counter-attacks on the beachhead. Difficulties on 50th Division’s beaches and lost opportunities allowed time for the 12th Hitlerjugend SS Panzer Division and the equally elite 130th Panzer Lehr Division to arrive in Normandy, despite delays of their own caused by allied fighter bombers. The result was 4th Armoured Brigade’s thrust south encountered opposition from the start and was firmly blocked just south of Point 103 after an advance of less than 5 miles. A major counter-attack by Panzer Lehr failed, as did a renewed British attempt, this time by the vaunted 7th Armoured Division, which was halted at Tilly sur Seulles. From here the fighting became a progressively attritional struggle in the hedgerows of the Bocage country south of Bayeux. More and more units were drawn into the fighting, which steadily extended west. Finally, an opportunity, via the Caumont Gap, to outflank the German defences was taken and 7th Armoured Division reached Villers Bocage. Here the County of London Yeomanry encountered the newly arrived Tigers of Michael Wittmann, with disastrous results. The Desert Rats were forced to withdraw having lost much of their reputation. There then followed what the battalions of 50th Division describe as their ‘most unpleasant period of the war’, in bitter fighting, at often very close quarters, for the ‘next hedgerow’.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2021
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  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    There is now a preview to this book - available here...

    Normandy 1944

    Not mentioned in the description, but there are a few refs in it to the 24th Lancers... i.e. ...

    Normandy 1944
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2021
  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Doubles as a "spot the difference" too ;-)

    TTH likes this.
  4. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Looks like it's a much expanded version of his Battleground guide. Should be a useful summary.
    SDP and Ramiles like this.
  5. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Temptation won!

    Ordered online from W H Smith's for £20 with free delivery. It's not often there's a chance to make a little dent in Amazon's dominance.
  6. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    14/264 and Ramiles like this.
  7. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    It is two photos with the Pz IV flipped horizontally. Screenshot_160.jpg Screenshot_159.jpg
    ecalpald, stolpi and Ramiles like this.
  8. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY


    And a chapter on "Tiger Hill" and references etc. to the "seeming intractable issue" - hence the quotation marks on "Tiger Hill"...

    Normandy 1944

    Edit: I found that the order of the 8th Armoured Brigade's Regiments though seem (perhaps?) to have been put there transposed ... putting the SRY in the "middle"... which could lead to future confusion(s)... since as middle Regiment the SRY would have been expected to have the yellow tac markings and have been "995" rather than the Blue "996"... ;-)

    Last edited: May 15, 2022
    stolpi likes this.
  9. Always beware of secondary sources: this plate also has mistakes: AoS Serial for 147 Fd Regt RA was 1177, not 1147 as depicted. 1147 was 86 Fd Regt RA.

    The Formation sign for the other units is also incorrectly shown as round and separate from the AoS Flash, whereas it should be rectangular and right above it.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2021
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  10. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I'm not sure why I still have a tendency to "default" back on...


    As I am/was aware of the other issues with it ;-)

    So I am always careful to point out only the 995 - Yellow / 996 - Blue - issue.

    I've had my eye out for something rather more correct that is available online - as there surely must be something, somewhere... possibly there are some more recent books that have "got it" ? Or I'll find a link one day perhaps to something better :) ;-)

    Last edited: Jul 9, 2021
  11. PaulE

    PaulE Senior Member

    Has anyone read this book yet who could give us a review , does it contain anything new ?
  12. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

  13. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    You can see a preview here...

    Normandy 1944

    I can only give a perspective re. what there appears to be re. the 24th Lancers and I didn't see a great deal (new) in it about the 24L.

    Mainly seems, from what I could see, to reference prior sources such as : 24L War Diary, None Had Lances (Regimental History of the 24L), and the Diary of the MO of the 24L.

    Normandy 1944

    All the best,

    PaulE likes this.

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