The Forgotten Battle: Overloon and the Maas Salient, 1944-45 - A. Korthals Altes & N. K. C. A. in't VeldEdison: Castle Books, 2001, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little faded at the spine of the dust wrapper.
Includes: Black & white photographs; Maps; List of sources;
From the cover: “Certain battles of World War II became famous at the time — and legendary since — because a spectacular victory was achieved by one or another of the opposing sides.
At Overloon and the Maas Salient, no such strategic laurels can be claimed. This was the other side of World War II in Europe — a bloody slugging match between equally skilled opponents that comprised the reality of the broad front strategy.
When the western Allies cracked open Normandy in August 1944, a headlong rush across France took place that promised an early end to the war. The German armies — defeated, outflanked, disorganized — fell back as best they could, often without their equipment, and with many of their best men left dead in the fields of Falaise.
In mid-September, three full divisions of airborne troops dropped behind the German front in Holland, to seize bridges that would vault Allied armoured across the Rhine. But as the front drew nearer to the Third Reich, the Allied High Command slowly came to realize that, by this time, the Germans were no longer retreating.
Young German paratroopers — Fallschirmjager — formed the backbone of the enemy defence in southern Holland. Companies of Panther tanks, roaming the battle area like feudal forces of a bygone era, lunged against the Allied corridor. Finally, a large German bridgehead over the Maas (Meuse) River remained — sticking like a thorn into the Allied side.
For months, both British and American forces assaulted this Maas Salient,centred on the Dutch village of Overloon, but could not eliminate it. The Germans responded with a counter-stroke: enemy panzers suddenly appeared out of the October morning mist, nearly overrunning the American 7th Armoured Division in what amounted to a preview of the Battle of the Bulge.
All this time, Dutch civilians watched as the foreign armies swirled back and forth across their land, leaving their houses and towns nothing but smouldering heaps of rubble. The liberation that once seemed so near became postponed, and then postponed again.
The Forgotten Battle has remained alive and vivid in the minds of its thousands of participants. There were no great prizes won here — no strategic conquests that could fuel the writers of newspaper headlines. What took place was a deadly day-to-day hammering of American and British forces against a German army that simply refused to break — and could deal back death equally in return.”