WW2 History books about Caen?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Zarathustra, Nov 19, 2008.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Evening all,
    I've been researching what my Grandad did during WW2, and after going through his records at RHQ I know where he was based and what Battalion he served with and what his job was.

    I know nothing of what he did during the the war however. Except for some old stories he used to tell. I do have however have a map of Caen that he kept complete with markings etc.

    Anyway, i was hoping that there maybe someone here who could recomend some good sources for information about the battle for Caen, i've tried google, but haven't found much detailed stuff.

    If anyone could give me some tips on where to look i would be most grateful
  2. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    You could try the regiment's County Archive and see if they have the battalion's war diary on microfilm. I once stumbled on the war diary of a battalion of the DLI, started when they were encamped on the outskirts of Southampton. I was able to read how, for example, they were the nearest unit in the line to Villers Bocage when Wittmann made his acquaintance with the County of London Yeomanry and how for hours they didn't know where all the cas were coming from.
  3. I am based on the same camp as our Regimental Headquaters, when i was in the archives, i never thought to ask about the war diaries.
  4. Your Google is weak

    Badsey, Stephen. Normandy, 1944, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 0-85045-921-4
    Daglish, Ian. Operation Bluecoat (Battleground Europe S.), Pen and Sword Books Ltd., 2003, ISBN 0-85052-912-3
    Daglish, Ian. Operation Goodwood: Battleground, Leo Cooper Ltd., 2004, ISBN 1-84415-030-5
    Ellis, Major L.F. . Victory in the West: The Battle of Normandy, Official Campaign History Volume. I (History of the Second World War: United Kingdom Military), Naval & Military Press Ltd; New Ed edition (Sep 2004)., 1-84574-058-0
    Ford, Ken. Caen 1944, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 1-84176-625-9
    Ford, Ken. D-Day 1944: Sword Beach & British Airborne Landings, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 1-84176-366-7
    Ford, Ken. Falaise 1944: Death of an Army, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 1-84176-626-7
    Forty, George. Battle Zone Normandy: Villers Bocage. Sutton Publishing, London, 2004. ISBN 0-7509-3012-8
    Going, Chris. Jones, Alun. D-Day: The Lost Evidence (Above the Battle), Crecy Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-85979-097-5
    Hall, Anthony. Operation Overlord---D-Day---: Operation Overlord, Zenith Imprint, ISBN 0-7603-1607-4
    Hart, Russell and Stephen. The Second World War (6): Northwest Europe 1944-1945, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 1-84176-384-5
    Hart, Stephen Ashley. Colossal Cracks: Montgomery's 21st Army Group in Northwest Europe, 1944-45, Stackpole Books,U.S. (1 Feb 2007)., ISBN 0-81173-383-1
    Hastings, Max. Overlord: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy, 1944, Pan Books; New Ed edition (13 Aug 1999),. ISBN 0-33039-012-0
    Hunt, Eric. Mont Pinçon, Pen and Sword Books Ltd., ISBN 0-85052-944-1
    Maule, Henry. Caen: The brutal battle and break-out from Normandy, David & Charles, 1976, ISBN 0-7153-7283-1
    Meyer, Hubet. 12th SS: The History of the Hitler Youth Panzer Division Volume 1 ISBN 0-81173-198-7
    Meyer, Kurt Grenadiers: The Story of Waffen SS General Kurt "Panzer" Meyer , Stackpole Books,U.S., New Ed edition (15 May 2005)., ISBN 0-81173-197-9
    Holmes, Richard. The D-Day Experience: From the Invasion to the Liberation of Paris with Other and Map and CD, Andrews McMeel Publishing (April 2004)., ISBN 0-74074-509-3
    Montgomery of Alamein, Bernard Law. The Memoirs of Field Marshal the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, K.G., Collins (1958).
    Penrose, Jane. The D-Day Companion: Leading Historians Explore History's Greatest Amphibious Assault, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 1-84176-779-4
  5. Aha cheers, looks like i'll need to wait till pay day then
  6. Not seen in the list above:

    BattleZone Normandy: Battle for Caen

    Also check if the museum has a copy of your grandad's division's history.

    A problem is that there was no single 'battle of Caen'. If you can tell us his unit, it might be possible to suggest some more relevant books.
  7. A couple more suggestions:

    D'Este, Carlo. Decision in Normandy: The Unwritten Story of Montgomery and the Allied Campaign. Penguin Books, London, 2001. ISBN 0-141-39056-5. (Classic Military History Series)

    Tout, Ken. A Fine Night for Tanks: The Road to Falaise. Sutton Publishing, Stroud, 1998. ISBN 0-7509-1730-X
  8. He was in 4th Bn Grenadier Guards, who were part of 6th Guards Armoured Brigade
  9. Caen is a bit of a red herring, then. 6 Gds Tk* Bde started on Second Army's right flank at Caumont in Op BLUECOAT.

    The Daglish book on BLUECOAT in old-bloke's list is probably a good overview and easy to get hold of. For more specific stuff, have the museum got:

    Forbes, Patrick - 6th Guards Tank Brigade
    Forbes, Patrick - The Grenadier Guards 1939-1945 Vol I NW Europe (Vol II is Med)
    Martin - The Fifteenth Scottish Division 1939-1945 (whom 6 Gds Tk Bde were supporting in BLUECOAT.

    Then there's Holland and Germany...

    * 6 Gds Tk Bde started as 6 Gds Armd Bde as part of the Gds Armd Div. It became an independent tank brigade when the Armd Divs lost their second armd bdes c 1942. To add to the confusion, the Tk Bdes were called Armd Bdes again from early 1945.
  10. any history of 3 Armd Div will also throw up Caen.
  11. also Panzer Commander by Hanz von Luck will give you a German perspective.
  12. I'm guessing you're in London. If you can afford the time, you can go to see (and photograph) the original War Diaries at Kew in the National Archive / Public Record Office? I can lend you an anorak...
  13. And out of interest for us history buffs any chance you could upload the map? im sure a lot of us would find that interesting.
    Sorry to be a cheeky fcuker but shy kids get no sweets
  14. Go to the Garrison Library (or civvy library) and if they don't have them ask them to order, that's their job.
  15. Im surpprised no mention of Chester Wilmot