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Caen was a “day one” objective for the British 3rd Infantry
Division’s landing on D-Day, but as we know that was not to be achieved.
In fact it took over a month before the city was captured due to the dogged
resistance of German forces. Montgomery has often been criticised for
this failure, and for the slow progress of the repeated attempts to take
the city in the next few weeks.
Ken Ford sets out the history of these attempts, and the change in strategy which saw them used as a deliberate magnet for German forces that would otherwise have faced the US Army and hindered its breakout from the bridgehead. The story is very clearly set out here, with excellent maps, bird’s-eye views and photographs to show the terrain that favoured the German defence.
There’s also a good selection of photos of the men and machines, with colour plates showing them in action.