The future battle on the ground will be preceded by battle in the air. This will determine which of the contestants has to suffer operational and tactical disadvantages and be forced throughout the battle into adoption compromise solutions… Erwin Rommel


The old adage is that you must do the sum to prove it and Rommel’s is a clear case. He is one the one hand describing the initial German victories of the Second World War and, on the other, describing the recipe for their defeat from 1944 through 1945. These two books cover both the beginning and the end and since most of the operations in between may be considered transitional give a full and complete account as most who are concerned with understanding tank warfare need. Both books are excellent and give an introduction to what shock and awe should be.

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Lightning war : Blitzkrieg in the west, 1940  Ronald Powaski  Hoboken, N.J. : J. Wiley & Sons, c 2003  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xi, 388 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 361-374) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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In Lightning War, historian Ronald Powaski tells the dramatic story of the German defeat of the Allies in northern France and the Low Countries in 1940. This is the first book to cover the campaign as a whole, examining the issues from all sides – those of the French, British, German, and other involved nations. From the Battle of the Meuse to the German drive to the English Channel, from the Weygand Plan to Operation Dynamo, Powaski relates the events through the eyes of the generals, politicians, and servicemen who witnessed and forever shaped a new way of war.

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Fighting the breakout : the German Army in Normandy from COBRA to the Falaise Gap  Rudolf-Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff … [et al.] ; edited by David C. Isby  London : Greenhill ; Mechanicsburg, PA : Stackpole Books, 2004  Hardcover. 255 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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This fascinating volume charts the progress of the Allied breakout of Normandy through German eyes. Beginning with Operation COBRA and ending with the offensive which led to the liberation of Paris, this critical phase of the war in the west is examined and described by senior German officers. These, from staff officers at OKW to divisional generals on the ground, critique their performance, examine Allied efforts, and evaluate their own efforts to contain Allied forces in Normandy.

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They look at such key events as the counter-attack at Mortain, the American offensive, British and Canadian efforts and the sequence of events that led to the fighting around the Falaise gap. The German officers originally submitted the reports presented here to Allied intelligence efforts as part of post-war debriefing sessions.

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The current volume, which follows on from Fighting the Invasion and Fighting in Normandy, consists of carefully selected and edited material. Fighting the Breakout gives a broad picture of German hopes balanced with the realisation that they could not hope to contain the Allied efforts for long. With supplementary material by David C. Isby, Fighting the Breakout is a fascinating glimpse into how a defeated army sought hard to turn the tide of defeat.

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