Here we take a look at a book highlighting the gunners and their positions during D-Day from Pen and Sword.


The following introduction is taken from the Pen and Sword website: 

Part history book and part travel guide, D-Day Gunners is aimed at anyone interested in the artillery on the D-Day beaches and landing grounds. While the heritage of the D-Day beaches and landing sites is well documented, this rarely includes the artillery story. The author of this book aims to correct this by providing a visitors' guide to the artillery stories associated with the battlefield heritage that remains on the D-Day beaches, mapping the fire-plan for D-Day against the known German locations, and looking at what happened at these places.

There is relatively little explanation about the role of the artillery in general or the deeds of artillerymen, in particular those of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. This book tells of the significance of artillery on D-Day and the part it played in the outcome. Initial reports published stressed that the coastal defences were effectively neutralized by the bombing and that no significant counter attacks developed on D-Day. However, post-war accounts increasingly attributed allied success to allied fire power.

The book tells the story of the men who served the guns on the D-Day beaches, and the effects they had on the outcome of the battles on D-Day and afterwards. This volume is primarily about British Gunners and certain German Kannoniers. The book has been written as a guide to the battlefields on the D-Day beaches and landing grounds, telling the gunners’ stories that are not always commemorated on memorials, interpretation boards, or recorded in more general guides. These poignant stories include war poets and heroes decorated for bravery, or just the tales of some of the men buried in the war cemeteries or commemorated on the memorials. It also provides a guide in lay terms of the technical impact of field anti-tank and AA artillery on the war.

A second volume will tell the story of artillerymen on the American beaches and landing grounds.


This offering from Pen and Sword is a hard backed book authored by Frank Baldwin. The book is presented in portrait style, with the story relayed to us over 272 pages and offering 100 images throughout the title. The contents of this release are laid out in the following chapters:

Chapter    1   The Background to D_Day

Chapter     2   The Royal Artillery in 1944

Chapter     3    The Germans

Chapter     4    Preparing for D-Day

Chapter     5    Overview of D-Day

Chapter     6    Orne Bridgehead D-Day

Chapter     7    Sword Beach

Chapter     8    Juno Beach

Chapter     9    Gold Beach

Chapter    10   After D-Day

Chapter    11   Touring the D-Day Beaches

The actions and role of Artillery on the battlefield is reasonably well known. However, the story of the men who served in the Artillery units on all fronts tends to be forgotten due to the fact I believe that they fired from behind the lines into the area of conflict, which counter battery fire and aircraft attack being their likely issues. The fact that these men were rarely on the front line as such means that they do not get the recognition or coverage they deserve and their effectiveness warrants. This book by Frank Baldwin, looks to remedy some of that by covering the actions of Artillery units on D-Day. The maps and diagrams throughout the title, will give the visitor to the D-Day beaches the chance to find the location where guns were dug in as despite the near 80 years that have pasted the scars of warfare still exist. The images of the men in the field bring to life the books contents, and give s you cause to stop and think. Especially so as very few of the people who took part in the D-Day landings or have a living memory of it are alive today.


In the belief that readers want a well rounded knowledge of all elements of World War II this release from Pen and Sword offers the reader a chance to look into an aspect of World War II that tends to be overlooked, due to this book This offering is a good addition to your library and will assist in rounding off your knowledge. For the gunners since world War II, it gives you a chance to see how the role has changed and progressed and in many ways how it hasn’t.



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