Each mini-guide allows the reader to get to know more about a region's history, linking historical events with places of interest and sites of note, as well as providing an unprecedented visual feast of contemporary photographs, uniforms, badges and equipment - all in full color. Practical information is included in each mini-guide and itineraries are suggested for those wishing to visit battlefields, monuments, memorials and museums.
In the first few days of June 1944, the Allies prepared to launch one of the most decisive operations of the Second World War: a massive assault on the Normandy coastline. It was a risky enterprise, seeking, as it did, to deliver a mortal blow to German forces in the west whilst the Red Army eliminated those in the east. It was a crucial moment for the Anglo-Saxon allies.
Defeat could spell disaster for the alliance and, just when morale was at its lowest ebb in Britain, would have had incalculable repercussions. Hitler too was well aware of the risks. For him the assault was to be decisive, his victory or his defeat in Normandy would decide the outcome of the war.
It was therefore crucial for the Wehrmacht to beat the Allies within the first 24 hours.