Retreat to the Reich: The German Defeat in France, 1944

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The Allied landings in Normandy on June 6, 1944, marked the beginning of the German defeat in the West. Military historian Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr. vividly recaptures the desperation of the Wehrmacht as the thin gray line in Normandy finally snapped, the 5th Panzer and 7th Armies collapsed, and the survivors fled the Allied steamroller in a mad dash back to the Reich. From the reactions of soldiers in the field to military decisions at the highest levels, this is the story of the Reich's unraveling told from a German perspective. Fighting hedgerow to hedgerow in the pitted Normandy landscape would delay the Allied Advance and make each small victory a costly one. Western forces would achieve their first strategic objective, the port of Cherbourg, but they would find it reduced to rubble, a result of the best-planned demolition in history. Still, the Allies did benefit from an ongoing anti-Hitler conspiracy that relayed false information to Berlin. While German forces would finally bring the Allied juggernaut to a halt on the borders of the Reich itself, this brief success would only delay the inevitable. With colorful descriptions and informative details, Mitcham recounts the German military retreat and the erosion of Germany's stronghold on Europe-as viewed through the eyes of a defiant, but ultimately defeated Wehrmacht.