The battle of the Falaise Pocket, in August 1944, was the turning point in the Normandy campaign. By early August the German Army was in turmoil: while it was managing to hold back the Allies, the defense involved resources that could not be replaced, and the Allies ruled the skies above. In late July, American troops broke through the American lines and pushed south and east, while British and Canadian troops pushed south. Although unable to counter these offensives, Hitler refused to permit the commander Army Group B, Field Marshal von Kluge, to withdraw. Instead he was ordered to launch a counteroffensive at Mortain, the result being that the Germans ended up further into the Allied envelopment. On 8 August Montgomery ordered that the Allied armies converge on the Falaise area—by 21 August the Allies had linked up and sealed the pocket, trapping around 50,000 Germans inside. While many soldiers did eventually escape the encirclement, the losses were catastrophic and by the end of the month Army Group B had retreated across the Seine, ending the battle of Normandy. This illustrated account examines the battle from the failed offensive at Mortain, looking at both German and Allied perspectives, using maps, diagrams and profiles to complete the story.
Yves Buffetaut. 128 pages. 10″ x 7″. Soft cover. English text. 120 photos plus colour profiles and maps.