Operation Bluecoat-Over the Battlefield
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After seven weeks of bitter fighting there was a desperate need to break out of the Normandy bridgehead. In late July 1944 Lieutenant-General Sir Miles Dempsey's Second Army moved two entire corps from the Caen sector to the relatively quiet countryside around Caumont. Here, the British XXX Corps prepared to give battle, with VII Corps advancing in support on the right flank between XXX Corps and the American first Army.
The offensive did not go to plan. While the XXX Corps attack stalled, VIII Corps surged ahead. With the experienced 11th Armoured and 15th Scottish Divisions in the lead and Guards Armoured close behind, a deep penetration was made, threatening to take the pivotal city of Vire and unhinge General Hausser's German Seventh Army.
The main narrative of this book will span the initial break-in from Caumont on 30 July, through the armoured battles of the following days, to the desperate German counter-attacks of 4 – 6 August, the no less desperate German defence of Estry up to the middle of the month, and the final withdrawal from Normandy.
The book also examines Monty's refusal to seize Vire, the disputed Anglo-American border and the Operation's impact on the German Mortain offensive.