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Americans in Brittany 1944: The Battle for Brest [Hardcover]

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Item description for Americans in Brittany 1944: The Battle for Brest by Jonathan Gawne...

Capturing the harbor at Brest in Brittany was crucial for securing the flank of the Normandy landings in the summer of 1944. The U.S. 4th and 6th Armored Divisions were detailed for the task. Facing them were such units as the Germans could throw at them, but stiffened by Bernhard Ramke's elite paratroopers

The author of Spearheading D-Day draws on eyewitness accounts to tell the story of a hard-fought battle on the flank of the Normandy landings, including unpublished period photographs, definitive unit organization charts, maps, and photos of uniforms and equipment.

In the same way his bestselling book, Spearheading D Day was quickly recognized as the best book on the subject, this new title will quickly earn the same recognition. ?

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Item Specifications...

Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 12.44" Width: 9.06" Height: 0.71"
Weight:   2.56 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Histoire and Collections
ISBN  2913903215  
ISBN13  9782913903210  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jonathan Gawne

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Jonathan Gawne currently resides in Framingham, in the state of Massachusetts.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Europe > England > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Europe > France > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Europe > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Military > General
5Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II > General
6Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War I

Reviews - What do customers think about Americans in Brittany 1944: The Battle for Brest?

Fantastic presentation  Feb 13, 2003
This oversize book is packed full of photos and sidebars, but it fully tells the history of the Brittany campaign. Gawne gets into the neat details of the story, but also recounts the grueling struggle for Brest as well. I was interested in this book because my grandfather fought in this campaign and I was surprised to learn that his battalion was at one time cut off behind enemy lines! The few stories he told were always war-lite. My main quibble with the book is that the maps don't have a scale on them, so it's hard to understand the scale of, say, the battle for hill 111. Great book with a great packaging.
Truely Forgotten Campaign Examined.  Oct 1, 2002
Jonathan Gawne has followed up his successful _Spearheading D-Day_ with another of what could be categorized as the tables of organization, uniforms and equipment genre of military history. This time around, he presents the least appreciated backwater operation of the entire war in Europe: the Brittany campaign.Gawne's forte is unit organization, military hardware, and uniforms and equipment. His audience are the veterans of the Second World War, specifically, those that participated in the battles and campaigns of which he writes (Gawne's own father fought throughout the campsign as a company commander in the 28th Infantry, 8th Division). To a lesser extent, the author targets collectors and re-enactors. Author/Historians with experience in working with veterans will attest to their tendency to complain bitterly if their unit is slighted by not being mentioned in a text dealing with a campaign or battle in which they had participated. Gawne is well aware of this fact and has developed a reputation for going above and beyond the call to include every American unit from the obvious to the obscure (the 23rd Special Troop, a tactical deception unit that operated in Brittany, is a case in point). This style may have its advantages, however, like the writer of a good movie script whose drama gets buried in the myriad of special effects, _Americans in Brittany_ leaves one intoxicated with sensual overload.Nine of the book's fifteen chapters are devoted to individual armor, infantry, and ranger units plus a chapter on artillery. Each page (of only 160-pages total) attempts to cram photos, side bars of people, places, and other interesting tid-bits, computer generated maps, models displaying uniforms, and numerous tables of organizations, not to mention a text font so small it blurs even the sharpest of visions. The photos, however, are impressive (some in color), many of which are contributed by veterans and family members. Particularly noteworthy are the photos offered by the family of Hermann Bernard Ramcke, the German commander of Fortress Brest, which are seen here for the first time. It is here that Gawne displays his expertise in captioning, oftentimes pointing out minute details that could otherwise escape the untrained eye.Like the military units he dipicts, however, when too many columns vie for a limited amount of space, something has to give. In this case,it's Gawne's narrative. Gawne tries his best to chronical a campaign that possesses a multitude of intertwining themes that are ripe for the picking. All of the factors that make for good military history are contained within the Brittany Campaign. Some of these themes include: logistics, professional military education, the so-called "war of the generals," armor and cavalry doctrine, its uses and abuses, and a much neglected aspect, the role of French civilians and armed resistance in the American effort. Due to what I believe are strategies of the French publishers, Gawne was limited in scope and forced to gloss over many of these important concepts with a broad brush stroke. In addition, the absence of even a "selected" bibliography or endnotes hinders what otherwise could have been a great reference work.For those seeking a more scholarly treatment of this truly forgotten campaign, this book may leave some wanting. Yet, Gawne's labor of love has certainly reached his intended audience, the veterans and their families.I strongly recommend it for anyone truly interested in the war in the European Theater of Operations (ETO).
Excellent description of little-known Brittany Campaign.  Aug 24, 2002
When the Brittany Campaign took place in August of 1944,
it was big news: Patton had broken out of hedgerow country
and was making unbelievable progress into German-occupied France.

However, as the destroyed port of Brest became a lower priority
than the drive directly east toward Germany, this initial thrust
to the south and west of Normandy (yes, west; look at a map)
became somewhat forgotten and has been overlooked in
post-WW II histories.

Author Gawne has done a wonderful job of researching this
campaign and gathering previously unpublished photos and
personal recollections into a well-illustrated and very
readable account. My own father served through this
campaign with the 6th Armored Division, and I was very
happy to see an entire chapter devoted to this important
but relatively unpublicized unit. Gawne's own father (to whom the
book is dedicated) served in the 8th Infantry Division, yet
the author devotes equal, detailed attention to all units
without unduly focusing on the Division which must be of
most personal interest to him.

He even devotes time to the French (FFI) and German units
that the Americans faced, an aspect often overlooked in
war histories.

This book should find a place on the bookshelf of any
student of WW II in the E.T.O.


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