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.
By July 1944, despite the launch of Operation Epsom, the British and Canadians were still pinned down before Caen on the eastern section of the front. German troops were, however, tied down here and had to abandon any hope of throwing the invaders back into the sea. German High Command was, meanwhile, overhauled with von Kluge replacing von Runstedt.
To the west the Americans, having seized Cherbourg, were eager to secure the Cotentin peninsula and launch the next phase of the battle for Normandy. This would be a breakout between Saint-Lo and Coutances and would allow the Americans, heading south and then swinging westwards into Brittany, to leave the Norman hedgerows behind. But any such move would have to be quick and decisive or the Germans would succeed in keeping them bottled up.
July would decide the fate of the struggle for Normandy.