16 April 2019
There have been many works written about D-Day and the infamous German gun battery at Pointe Du Hoc, however, this sizeable volume, one of two written by historian Gary Sterne, is a very admirable entry into the fray.
Author: GARY STERNE
Reviewed by: Duncan Evans
There have been many works written about D-Day and the infamous German gun battery at Pointe Du Hoc, however, this sizeable volume, one of two written by historian Gary Sterne, is a very admirable entry into the fray. Four years of painstakingly detailed research has produced a two-book series which stands head and shoulders above all previous efforts at documenting the events surrounding the Battle of Pointe Du Hoc. It’s not merely another attempt at the de-bunking of military myth (which has sadly become the theme with many such works on the subject), nor the trampling of ground which has already been covered, but an extensive, clear and coherent revelation of fact brought about in unison with the recent release of documents which have remained classified since the end of World War II, plus the author’s own expert archaeological analysis of the actual ground the 2nd and 5th US Army Rangers fought over.
Skilfully filling in many gaps where previously only assumptions existed, the author explains why a battalion commander was removed just hours prior to the D-Day landings, why the Rangers were not briefed on their actual D-Day missions plus the extraordinary role that Lt. Col Rudder played at Pointe du Hoc. This work allows the reader to follow in the footsteps of the 2nd and 5th US Army Rangers from their formation, their arrival in England, training and planning for the D-Day operations. The book is graced with a plethora of photographs, secret documents many of which are appearing in print for the first time, along with highly detailed maps and aerial photographs, providing a work which is not only a fine tribute to the men whose history the author has sought to preserve, but clears up many facts that have become blurred and confused over the years since the end of World War II. An easy to understand narrative serves to complement a volume, which has to be the most comprehensive ever produced on this subject.
• Pen & Sword
• 492 pages • Hardback
As reviewed in The Armourer May 2019.
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