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Gunners in Normandy

Gunners in Normandy

Will Townend and Frank Baldwin
ARRSE Rating
4 Mushroom Heads
'Gunners in Normandy' is the official account of the Royal Artillery on the Normandy Campaign. It is the latest volume in the 'Blue Book' series of histories of the Royal Regiment begun by General Farndale in the 90s. It had a torturous route to publication; tragically Will Townend, the original author, who had been project officer for the Gunner's Firepower museum in Woolwich and had also been secretary of the Royal Artillery Historical Society, died in 2010 before he could complete it. Frank Baldwin, another former Gunner officer, agreed to take on the task and complete the book and deserves full credit for finishing such a difficult task.

The book really is a treasure trove of all things Artillery: it covers all aspects of the Gunner's Normandy campaign, including activities and actions as well as descriptions of the equipment used. The appendices at the back of the book include listings of all the Gunner regiments that served in the campaign, a Roll of Honour and a list of dead by their unit.

The book's biggest weakness is its poor editing which is frustrating. Whilst some of this might be due to its unusual dual author provenance, a good editor should have spotted where material has been used twice and the book appears not to have been proof-read at all (either that or the proof-reader needs to return their fee...). That being said, the typos do not detract that much from what will become the definitive account of the Royal Artillery in the three months after D-Day.

This is a must-buy for students of Gunner history and every Regiment should have one to aid Battlefield Study preparations.

Although relatively expensive in hardback (£24), it is only £6.64 on Kindle and, unbelievably, available for free on Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon product
First release
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Good balanced review of the book