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The Germans in Normandy: Death Reaped a Terrible Harvest

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  790 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
The Allied invasion of Northern France was the greatest combined operation in the history of warfare. Up until now it has been recorded from the attackers' point of view whereas the defenders' angle has been largely ignored.

While the Germans knew an invasion was inevitable, no-one knew where or when it would fall. Those manning Hitler's mighty Atlantic Wall may have felt s
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published November 6th 2006 by Pen & Sword Books (first published October 1st 2006)
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Stuart Whitmore
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Every one of the infantry divisions in France in 1944 relied first and foremost on the horse for transport. The horse pulled field guns, ammunition wagons, anti-tank guns; horse-drawn vehicles in Normandy outnumbered their powered counterparts two to one in the summer of 1944. The poorest divisions in France that year even lacked horses." That they were relying so much on horses, against the machines of the Allied forces, was just one of many eye-openers in this book. As even the Allied forces ...more
I really enjoyed this book as it provides a view of Operation Overlord and the subsequent battles in France from a German perspective. Lots of personal recollections fill the pages, from regular soldiers up to some of the highest officers. I think the part about the Falaise Pocket was the most interesting, and probably the most horrific. Some very interesting information about the failed July 20 plot to assassinate Hitler and how that affected the German command structure as well. Truly a wonder ...more
Thiago S.
The Germans in Normandy superou minhas expectativas. Um trabalho excepcional de pesquisa, muito detalhado, mas sem ser cansativo. O livro coloca o leitor no local de vários personagens do Terceiro Reich, repartindo suas reflexões, angústias, palpites e certezas acerca do front ocidental. Para ser relido e servir de referência. Explica de maneira convincente a derrota alemã na Normandia, e, consequentemente, o fim do Terceiro Reich.

P.S. O autor poderia ter se aprofundado um pouco mais nos motivo
Jeff Dawson
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent account from the German point of view. One is astounded how the German army was able to hold the line for as long as they did against the numerical superiority of the allies. Every day, Rundstedt, Model, Dietrich, Meyer and Rommel knew it was only matter of time before the Americans, Canadians and British would find a weak spot and exploit it to the fullest. No matter how many communiques were forwarded to OKW and Berchtesgaden, the messages returned were, “hold the line.”
For the aver
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2nd-kindle, history
The only thing keeping this from a five star book is the lack of personal accounts. There are plenty of diary entries from young German men who were on the front lines but I would have liked a more personal account like a Studs Terkel interview would give us. This was a great book and had a lot of information that we usually are not given. I have read a lot of WWII books and watched a lot of documentaries but this book revealed fresh information to me because it was told from the German's point ...more
Bruno Di Giandomenico
Second world war : Normandy again

A very good book. Recounts the history of the DDay invasion, with a very cose look at the German viewpoint. The Allied viewpoint is not ignored, but it is more in the background. Let us day that 85% of the tale is from the German viewpoint, and we can read what Rommel thought, but also what the common landser thought and wrote in letters, diaries and other.
The tale is gripping and compelling, and you can feel very strongly how the German soldier went very quickly
Billy Collins
Jan 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book addresses D-day from the other side and gives an interesting perspective on what happened when it was not written by the victor.
 Dr. Michael Galvin
Apr 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
D-Day from the other side.
Nancy Gilliam
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read from the other side

Reading from both sides of the same war is enlightening. The author did a very good job. So well that I just downloaded another of his books.
Alex Giovanniello
great book

Like it. Very informative of the German point of view. Good action stories and real life diaries of the men who fought there
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A good and vividly graphic account of the German Experience in France, starting with the D-Day Invasion, and ending with the fall of Paris after the Falaise Pocket Disaster. Hargreaves tells the story of all four of the services involved, The Wehrmacht, the Kreigsmarine, the Luftwaffe, and the Waffen-SS as the MaterialSchlacht, the "Material War" of the Anglo-American Alliance is unleashed on them. This is the story of the incomplete beach defenses, weak garrison troops, overwhelming Land and Na ...more
Drew Zagorski
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hargreaves provides an outstanding narrative that tells the story from the German side of the Normandy invasion. Think Citizen Soldiers (Stephen Ambrose), but from the German perspective. The story begins with the German military preparations for the invasion through their exit from France. The author brings us into the lives of the soldiers on the front lines, as well as their commanders. Having read deeply on WWII, and especially the European side of the war, I was very interested in this book ...more
Much more coverage of the Western Front outside of Normandy and much less first person accounts than I'd hoped. I understand that some framework is necessary to structure the narrative, but next to other account f the Normandy campaign this one pales. It lost my interest with the 20 page chapter on the Hitler assassination plot and it's aftermath ... none of which was in Normandy.
Bob Allen
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The story of the struggle for Normandy is an appalling one; the battle was, in Erwin Rommel's words, 'on terrible blood-letting'. (from the Introduction)

Both the Allied and German forces put most, if not all of their hopes for ending World War II on the battles over occupied France. Hargreaves does a masterful job of writing the history of D-Day to the final liberation of France from the German perspective. He talks about the logical hopelessness of the German defense, yet portrays the sheer wi
Harry F. Sharp, II

I thought it was a sobering account of the fight for Normandy. The quotes from diaries and survivors made the book interesting and entertaining. The descriptions of conditions and events is very gruesome but it showed that facts are facts.
Donald Luther
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of what I read here was not new, but it was also interesting to read this presentation of events following the Normandy Invasion from the German point of view, without cross references to what the British knew about their situation, thanks to ULTRA. One part of that was confusing. Hargreaves offers a number of reports from German spies in Britain without referencing the fact that many, most, perhaps all of these reports going back to Germany were processed through the XX Committee.

But beyo
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My interest in Operation Overlord and WWII was piqued by a recent trip to the American Cemetery and the beaches in Normandy, so I decided to do more reading on the subject. It's easy to find many sources of the Allied efforts in this world-changing battle, but books written from the Germany perspective are not so numerous. Hargreaves has brought together in this volume a lot of research and resources that summarize the strategy and tactics of the Third Reich. Each chapter is generously footnoted ...more
"Wo ist die Luftwaffe ?". The million mark question on the lips of every man from the beach to Falaise. It's sobering to see how the one element from the other side's point of view that every single book on Normandy bothers to include can be so dominant in German memory.

The sensation of being grounded by industrial overkill is paramount, with WWI-style barrages by Montgomery and blood-curling accounts of Jabos grinding up entire convoys. The focus switches deftly from underneath the foliage hid
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Death did reap its harvest. The battle for Normandy exists in our popular belief from the side of the victors. After all, history is written by those who win wars. In this work, Richard Hargreaves gives us an in depth depiction of what it was like for the German soldier facing the Allied assault in the summer of 1944. Imagine waking up on June 6th, and staring out to see the largest armada ever assembled. One cannot escape the humanity described by the writings of the German soldiers themselves. ...more
Doug Tabner
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nearly every book about the Normandy invasion contains a chapter or two about the Atlantic Wall and the defenses that the Allies faced. This, however, is the first full book on the Normandy invasion and campaign told from the perspective of the Wermacht.
Well written and fast-paced, The Germans in Normandy belongs on every WWII student's bookshelf.
Matt Bradfield
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book from a different perspective. Great in depth view of the challenges the Wehrmacht faced against the massive Allied manpower and material superiority. The book provides a great insight from the General to the landser including their morale, what they thought they were fighting for and their really astonishing accomplishments. Great story I'd never read from the perspective of the vanquished.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting take on D day

Enjoyed reading about the invasion of Europe from the German perspective. Learned a number of things I had not seen in other accounts, ex the total control of the sky's over the battle field was one of the key points in the battle.
creig speed
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a good account of the common German soldiers

This book is written from the perspective of the common German soldiers. They never stood a chance in the west. If only Staphenberg had succeeded killing Hitler so many lives would have been saved. The common landser was betrayed by their leaders. In the end he fought for what every soldier fights for and that's the man next to him.
Dennis E. Flynn
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Little is known about the German army's in Norm as Andy.

A very good insight as to what the German army's faced both from the Allies and from their leaders. They fought on without any effective leadership , dwindling supply and tremdius odds, they continued on in spite of it all, many to their death. A great story of human endurance. Well written and factual.
Robert E. Pooley
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
German viewpoint of battle in Normandy

I got better insight into the conflict from the German perspective. I had not realized before reading this book how horrific the situation was for the Germans. In some ways it is a wonder that the conflict did not end sooner.I recommend the book to anyone with an interest in D day and the year following.
Neal C Sutton

. Good read, it is interesting to see things from the German perspective. Not amazing though. It may have been better if it focused on just a unit or 2 rather than the whole of Normandy
Chaplain Stanleigh Chapin
A must read!

There are numerous accounts, both written and film of the Normandy battle from the Allied side. This is by far the most accurate and documentation from the German side. It presents a whole different perspective.
Mike Goodson
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How German soldier' s felt

I've read how the war affected the American soldier but never thought about the German. In reading this it gives the reader a face and names to understand, both sides suffered.
joseph gill
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A insightful look

A surprising look at the pivotal Normandy invasion,and a study of the German soldier and with more men and supplies the results may have been different

Joe Baltimore
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting perspective

The denial of the situation in Normandy by top command in Germany boggles the mind. The reality distortion fields were the death knell of the Reich.
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“It was too much for Adolf Hitler. In the summer of 1944, he began to vent his anger at the Luftwaffe for its failures from the Battle of Britain to Stalingrad and now Normandy. ‘Goering! The Luftwaffe’s doing nothing,’ he railed at the Reichsmarschall during one conference. ‘It’s no longer worthy to be an independent service. And that’s your fault. You’re lazy.’ Tears rolled down the Reichsmarschall’s cheeks. He reported himself ‘sick’ for future conferences and ordered his generals to deputize.” 1 likes
“Death reaped a terrible harvest’... The hideously charred body of a German soldiet, trapped in his vehicle at Falaise.” 0 likes
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