|About the Book|
The city of Caen was perhaps the greatest major obstacle in the path of the Allied advance inland after their landings in Normandy, June 6th, 1944. Consequently it was a key objective for 3rd British Division, landing on Sword Beach. The Allies were unable to capture the strategically important city on D-Day, however, in the teeth of armored counter-attacks from 21st Panzer Division. Renewed attempts by 3rd Canadian Division on June 7th-8th were foiled by 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend, as were 7th British Armoured Divisions thrusts towards the city on June 11th-14th. On June 25th Operation Epsom was launched to take Caen. Preceded by RAF Bomber Command attacks, further British and Canadian assaults on July 4th stalled before the whole of the city could be taken. On July 7th Operation Charnwood forced the Germans to withdraw from northern Caen. A much heavier bombardment opened Operation Goodwood on July 18th, in the course of which the Canadians finally managed to liberate the rest of Caen, by now largely demolished after five weeks of intensive fighting.