Normandy 1944: The Fight for Point 103, Tilly-sur-Seulles and Vilers Bocage

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Normandy 1944: The Fight for Point 103, Tilly-sur-Seulles and Vilers Bocage

Post by Cult Icon » 28 May 2021 17:14

Hardcover – August 30, 2021
by Tim Saunders
This is the story of the fighting in Normandy by the veteran desert formations brought back by Montgomery from the Mediterranean in order to spearhead the invasion; 50th Infantry and 7th Armoured divisions, plus 4th Armoured Brigade. Heavily reinforced by individuals and fresh units, their task beyond the beaches was to push south to Villers Bocage with armour on the evening of D Day in order to disrupt German counter-attacks on the beachhead.

Difficulties on 50th Division’s beaches and lost opportunities allowed time for the 12th Hitlerjugend SS Panzer Division and the equally elite 130th Panzer Lehr Division to arrive in Normandy, despite delays of their own caused by allied fighter bombers. The result was 4th Armoured Brigade’s thrust south encountered opposition from the start and was firmly blocked just south of Point 103 after an advance of less than 5 miles.

A major counter-attack by Panzer Lehr failed, as did a renewed British attempt, this time by the vaunted 7th Armoured Division, which was halted at Tilly sur Seulles. From here the fighting became a progressively attritional struggle in the hedgerows of the Bocage country south of Bayeux. More and more units were drawn into the fighting, which steadily extended west. Finally, an opportunity, via the Caumont Gap, to outflank the German defences was taken and 7th Armoured Division reached Villers Bocage. Here the County of London Yeomanry encountered the newly arrived Tigers of Michael Wittmann, with disastrous results. The Desert Rats were forced to withdraw having lost much of their reputation.

There then followed what the battalions of 50th Division describe as their ‘most unpleasant period of the war’, in bitter fighting, at often very close quarters, for the ‘next hedgerow’.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1526784238/?c ... _lig_dp_it

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Re: Normandy 1944: The Fight for Point 103, Tilly-sur-Seulles and Vilers Bocage

Post by Griffin brigade » 28 May 2021 20:32

I'd be very surprised if this book brings anything new to the table , the write up blurb can't even get the basics correct as it was 8th Armoured Brigade not the 4th who supported British 50th Infantry Division .

The definitive book on this fighting and the Battles around Tilly is

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tilly-Sur-Seul ... 2840482606

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Re: Normandy 1944: The Fight for Point 103, Tilly-sur-Seulles and Vilers Bocage

Post by Michael Kenny » 28 May 2021 20:34

Griffin brigade wrote:
28 May 2021 20:32
I'd be very surprised if this book brings anything new to the table , the write up blurb can't even get the basics correct as it was 8th Armoured Brigade not the 4th who supported British 50th Infantry Division .




Check his posts in this thread

viewtopic.php?p=2345805#p2345805

and you will understand what he is trying to do.

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Re: Normandy 1944: The Fight for Point 103, Tilly-sur-Seulles and Vilers Bocage

Post by Cult Icon » 28 May 2021 21:37

It might be derivative of the Tilly book, I bought it not long ago.

A lot of his books are somewhat derivative of previous works, however I appreciate the organization and refreshment. There are added value if the subject matter is of interest. (the 12SS which I recently finished, the Hill 112, EPSOM).

Further it would be interesting if there was more information uncovered about the actions of Pz Lehr, besides those in Bayerlein's writings and the Ritgen's unit history.

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Re: Normandy 1944: The Fight for Point 103, Tilly-sur-Seulles and Vilers Bocage

Post by Sheldrake » 29 May 2021 00:05

Michael Kenny wrote:
28 May 2021 20:34
Griffin brigade wrote:
28 May 2021 20:32
I'd be very surprised if this book brings anything new to the table , the write up blurb can't even get the basics correct as it was 8th Armoured Brigade not the 4th who supported British 50th Infantry Division .




Check his posts in this thread

viewtopic.php?p=2345805#p2345805

and you will understand what he is trying to do.
Tim Saunders on here?

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Re: Normandy 1944: The Fight for Point 103, Tilly-sur-Seulles and Vilers Bocage

Post by Sheldrake » 29 May 2021 00:07

Cult Icon wrote:
28 May 2021 21:37
It might be derivative of the Tilly book, I bought it not long ago.

A lot of his books are somewhat derivative of previous works, however I appreciate the organization and refreshment. There are added value if the subject matter is of interest. (the 12SS which I recently finished, the Hill 112, EPSOM).

Further it would be interesting if there was more information uncovered about the actions of Pz Lehr, besides those in Bayerlein's writings and the Ritgen's unit history.
To be kind to Tim, he has always been interested in this particular battle and is revisiting it. No one makes their fortune writing Battleground Europe series. Even Deliveroo pay more per hour...

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Re: Normandy 1944: The Fight for Point 103, Tilly-sur-Seulles and Vilers Bocage

Post by Cult Icon » 29 May 2021 00:25

Sheldrake wrote:
29 May 2021 00:07
To be kind to Tim, he has always been interested in this particular battle and is revisiting it. No one makes their fortune writing Battleground Europe series. Even Deliveroo pay more per hour...
Seems like Battleground Europe fulfills a similar role as the Osprey product line. I think these have valued added even if it is a reorganization, clarification, and summary of existing sources. It saves a lot of time, I always read the ospreys first and then move on the far longer books that they (often) reference.

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Re: Normandy 1944: The Fight for Point 103, Tilly-sur-Seulles and Vilers Bocage

Post by Sheldrake » 29 May 2021 00:29

Cult Icon wrote:
29 May 2021 00:25
Sheldrake wrote:
29 May 2021 00:07
To be kind to Tim, he has always been interested in this particular battle and is revisiting it. No one makes their fortune writing Battleground Europe series. Even Deliveroo pay more per hour...
Seems like Battleground Europe fulfills a similar role as the Osprey product line. I think these have valued added even if it is a reorganization, clarification, and summary of existing sources. It saves a lot of time, I always read the ospreys first and then move on the far longer books that they (often) reference.
The Battleground books are written as battlefield guides. They are not short histories or overviews.

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Re: Normandy 1944: The Fight for Point 103, Tilly-sur-Seulles and Vilers Bocage

Post by Cult Icon » 27 Jul 2021 15:46

The Jacquet book is outstanding however it is really missing quite a lot. The combat is pretty focused on cherry picked actions (Points 102, 103, St. Pierre, Cristot etc) covered in with exceptional detail and good personal accounts however the rest of the conflict is not included. It's not comprehensive. The book is from the British perspective, with little focus on the German side. For that side I re-read Ritgen's history, and noticed gaps even from the cursory coverage.

Certainly if the missing gaps are covered by Saunders, and the history of the XXX Corps sector being better organized and more comprehensive than in Jacquet then it would add value.

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Re: Normandy 1944: The Fight for Point 103, Tilly-sur-Seulles and Vilers Bocage

Post by Howling Wolf » 18 Aug 2021 19:04

Cult Icon wrote:
27 Jul 2021 15:46
The Jacquet book is outstanding however it is really missing quite a lot. The combat is pretty focused on cherry picked actions (Points 102, 103, St. Pierre, Cristot etc) covered in with exceptional detail and good personal accounts however the rest of the conflict is not included. It's not comprehensive. The book is from the British perspective, with little focus on the German side. For that side I re-read Ritgen's history, and noticed gaps even from the cursory coverage.

Certainly if the missing gaps are covered by Saunders, and the history of the XXX Corps sector being better organized and more comprehensive than in Jacquet then it would add value.
Thanks cult for your review of the "The definitive book on this fighting and the Battles around Tilly". I hope the new Saunders book brings more to the table.

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Re: Normandy 1944: The Fight for Point 103, Tilly-sur-Seulles and Vilers Bocage

Post by Cult Icon » 21 Aug 2021 16:33

Howling Wolf wrote:
18 Aug 2021 19:04

Thanks cult for your review of the "The definitive book on this fighting and the Battles around Tilly". I hope the new Saunders book brings more to the table.
No problem...

I found this book on accident, referenced via a footnote. It seems to be unpopular despite it being one of the best WW2 combat & environment books I've ever read. I think it should be much more widely distributed, this Saunders book looks like a half-way measure.

For the German side there is an osprey booklet that covers one of the armor actions (Cromwell vs Jagdpanzer IV) and two Pz Lehr unit histories (Kurkowski and Ritgen).

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