Further Reading

Recommended History Books

Below are a selection of books I can recommend prior to your tour to get some background understanding of the tour content. These are mainly 'overview' books due to space constraints. My library contains over 2500 books so if there are any particular areas of interest please contact me for further details.

Six Armies in Normandy – John Keegan

NORMANDY - An excellent overview of Operation OVERLORD, the D-Day Landings and the subsequent Battle of Normandy dealing with each nation in detail. Written whilst many of the men involved were still alive Keegan puts together an excellent volume of events from the viewpoint of the six main nations involved - The French, The German, The British, The American, The Canadian and The Polish. Critically acclaimed and found in numerous bibliographies.

Overlord – Max Hastings

NORMANDY - Another very good overview of Operation OVERLORD. The planning, execution and subsequent Battle of Normandy all in one accurate, well-written volume. This was written during the early eighties when, like Keegan, many of the men involved were still alive. This alone is what sets Keegan and Hastings apart from similar works by d'Este and Beevor, neither of which in my opinion, match-up.

Snow & Steel – Peter Caddick-Adams

THE BULGE - Excellent account of The Ardennes Offensive - 16 Dec 1944 to 25 January 1945. A well-written and researched publication that looks at this famous battle from both the German and Allied viewpoint. From senior commanders to the private soldier this book looks at every aspect of what became known as The Battle of The Bulge that raged through the harsh winter of 1944-45.

Arnhem 1944 The Airborne Battle – Martin Middlebrook

MARKET GARDEN - An outstanding account of The Battle of Arnhem as part of Operation Market-Garden - 17 to 26 September 1944. It was literally "A Bridge Too Far". This book consists of interviews, research of British and Polish Airborne forces involved in Arnhem, German forces and Dutch civilians caught up in the battle. The book also covers the wider scene of the American Airborne landings and the attempt by ground forces of XXX Corps to reach Arnhem.

Operation Market Garden – John Buckley and Peter Preston-Hough

MARKET GARDEN - This book is the result of a major international conference held at the University of Wolverhampton in September 2014. The contributors are drawn from a body of historians, military professionals and researchers who met to re-evaluate the operation after the passage of 70 years. It highlights many new areas of interest and forces us to rethink our understanding of this pivotal period of the Second World War.

D-Day with the Screaming Eagles – George Koskimaki

NORMANDY - This book is the 'bible' in terms of the actions of the US 101st Airborne Division in Normandy. Written by George Koskimaki who himself was present on General Taylor's HQ staff it draws from over 500 first hand accounts compiled by Koskimaki in the first 25 years after the war.

Pegasus Bridge – Stephen Ambrose

NORMANDY - A good account of the British 6 Airborne Division's 'Coup de Main' operation to take the Bénouville and Ranville bridges in what turned out to be the first actions of D-Day. This work was overseen by Major John Howard - the British officer-in-command - and the German Major (later Colonel) Hans von Luck which greatly improves the accuracy, often sadly missing in Ambrose's other works. This has always ranked as one of, if not the, most successful actions of D-Day.

Omaha Beach – Joseph Balkoski

NORMANDY - An accurate and detailed account of the American D-Day landings on Omaha Beach covering the first 24 hours. With clear maps, official after action reports and first-hand accounts Balkoski chronologically steers the reader through those harrowing early stages of the landings culminating in the lines held above and beyond the beach at nightfall.

Utah Beach – Joseph Balkoski

NORMANDY - An accurate and detailed account of the American D-Day landings on Utah Beach and the airborne landings by the US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions covering the first 24 hours. As with Balkoski's Omaha Beach there is an abundance of clear maps, official after action reports and first-hand accounts. These two books cover in some detail the American involvement on D-Day and read together will provide an excellent basis for touring the American sector.

Juno Beach – Mark Zeuhlke

NORMANDY - An accurate and detailed account of the Canadian D-Day landings on Juno Beach and the subsequent six-mile push inland. This book, the first of 3 volumes written by Zeuhkle covering the Canadian Normandy campaign, uses official sources as well as first-hand accounts to chronologically lead the reader through the first 24 hours. The other two volumes, Holding Juno and Breakout from Juno are also worth reading to give the full picture of the Canadians in Normandy.

The First Day on the Somme – Martin Middlebrook

WW1 THE SOMME - This book arguably remains the best overview of 1 July 1916 - The opening day of the Battle of The Somme. There are literally hundreds of books on The Somme but this gives an excellent overview in terms of preparing the reader for a battlefield tour. Other works continue the story and cover the days, weeks and months ahead.

The German Army on the Somme 1914-1916 – Jack Sheldon

WW1 THE SOMME - Jack Sheldon is currently one of the foremost authorities on the German Army during WW1. Recently a great deal of interest has grown about the previously lesser well-known part the Germans played during the conflict. This was due in part to the lack of information readily available to authors but also the public's general lack of interest - the same of which could also be said, until recently, of WWII. However, to tour the battlefields it is important to get a balanced view and Sheldon has achieved this very well.

A Storm In Flanders – Winston Groom

WW1 YPRES SALIENT - A decent overview of the Ypres Salient during WW1. Five major battles took place in the same area and this covers each - known as 1st Battle of Ypres 1914, 2nd Battle of Ypres 1915, Passchendaele 1917, 4th Battle of Ypres 1918 and then the final Allied push as 5th Battle of Ypres 1918. This gives the reader a good overview prior to visiting the area.

The German Army at Passchendaele – Jack Sheldon

WW1 YPRES SALIENT - As with his work on The Somme Jack Sheldon has written an excellent account of the German Army during the 3rd Battle of Ypres, more commonly known as The Battle of Passchendaele. This work allows the reader to get to grips with how the Germans prepared and fought during this horrendous campaign and once again gives the perspective from 'the other side of the wire'.

The Dieppe Raid – Robin Neillands

DIEPPE - Robin Neillands gives a decent overview of the ill-fated Operation JUBILEE in August 1942 when Allied forces landed in and around the port of Dieppe. This was designed as an exercise to test the possibilities of mounting an amphibious assault on a deep-water port in enemy occupied territory. Comprised mainly of Canadian troops the operation was a disaster leading to almost 50% of the troops becoming casualties and catastrophic losses at sea and in the air.