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Book Reviews

Merville Battery & The Dives Bridges
Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales
Carl Shilleto

A very significantly updated second edition to Carl Shilleto's "Pegasus Bridge / Merville Battery" battlefield guide. This first book has now been expanded into two volumes, each comparable in size to the original and so containing a great wealth of additional information. Whilst it possesses all that one would desire from a battlefield guide, it seems unfair to regard this as its only purpose as its historical narrative is not content with a vague overview of events, but quotes from reports, veterans accounts and gives specific details of actions which range from the major to the relatively obscure. It is, therefore, quite a comprehensive historical study in its own right, indeed I must say that the original volume was of very considerable use to me when I was carrying out my own research many years ago.
Pegasus Archive ( - Mark Hickman
Pegasus Bridge & Horsa Bridge
Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales
Carl Shilleto

Rated 5 out of 5 stars,
An excellent account,
22 Aug 2011
By Ned Middleton (British professional underwater photo-journalist & author)

I missed this book first time around and, therefore, came to the work without previously having heard of author Carl Shilleto. Now republished as Part 1 of the battleground guide to Normandy (Part Two being Merville Battery and the Dives
Bridges by the same author), the two works compliment each other exactly as they should and are both written in an easy-to-read and energetic style which befits the actions they recount. 

With both books published in the same style and at the same time by Pen & Sword Books Ltd, some of my comments are repeated in my reviews for both works because they both combine to give the most complete account. 

Unlike any novel I might occasionally read (but only `very' occasionally!), I always thumb through a work of non-fiction in order to get a feel for the product before settling down to a serious read. On this occasion, I warmed to the work just as soon as I started my looking. In short, I like the book, the style of writing and the way in which it is presented. 

Said to provide much more information than the original, the work describes in great detail the attack by 2 Oxford and Bucks and the airborne engineers on the bridges over the Caen Canal and River Orne in the early hours of D-Day 6 June 1944. Also covered is part of 7 Para's battle for Benouville village and 13 Para's assault on Ranville - the combination of which actions allowed the historic link-up between airborne forces and commandos on D-Day which formed the bridgehead on the 
eastern flank for Operation Overlord. 

The work itself is profusely illustrated with photographs or illustrations on almost every page and it is quite clear how considerable effort and thought has gone into this aspect of the book. Having formerly served with all three battalions of the Parachute Regiment and 22 SAS (post WW2!), I have read a number of accounts of the wartime actions of these regiments and was most pleased to see so many photographs published here which I had not seen before - especially the one of the German gunboat sunk by a private soldier with a Piat! Most importantly, each illustration has been carefully selected so that the right picture is on the right page in order to reinforce the text you are reading at the time without breaking your natural flow of reading - which always happens when you have to pause to look elsewhere. 

Altogether, an excellent offering and one which I am sure will lead to your purchasing part two of this incredible story... 

British Army major (Retired). 


A Traveller's Guide To:
D-Day and the Battle for Normandy
Carl Shilleto

From The Guardian
Book of the week
A Traveller's Guide to D-Day and the Battle for Normandy, by Carl Shilleto and Mike Tolhurst (The Windrush Press, £9.99)
David Newnham 
Saturday June 17 2000

Imagine! A French party, enjoying a picnic in Normandy, forced to borrow a corkscrew from an English tourist. 
They didn't know I was English, of course - until I spoke. But before long, the wine was fuelling a multi-lingual discussion about the Battle for Normandy. 
One old lady remembered the invasion. Her father survived, she told me tearfully, but the horror had driven him insane. I was reminded that, for countless thousands of her generation, Normandy will never be about cheese and gtes. And I was painfully aware of my own ignorance. 
No excuses now, though. Then-and-now photos and a wealth of practical information make this an ideal compact guide to take along for the ride. But one unusual feature - the inclusion of dozens of eye-witness accounts - sets it apart from similar books. 
They serve as more than text-breakers. They are powerful reminders that here was no picnic.

About this article
This article appeared in the Guardian on Saturday June 17 2000.


The Fighting Fifty-Second Recce
The 52nd (lowland) Divisional Reconnaissance September 1944 to March 1946
Carl Shilleto

Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Historical interest, 
21 Mar 2011
By orang putih 

This is well written book of very special historical interest, particularly to those whom had relatives who were members of this specific army regiment during WWII. In my case, I wanted to read it because my father was in the regiment. I would highly recommend it to others who may have similar interests in the subject matter.


Utah Beach & Ste Mere Eglise
Carl Shilleto
May 24, 2011

Rated 4 out of 5 Stars

by Reds_reads

Very informative, good explanations of who was supposed to be where on D-Day and what actually happened (plus maps, I love maps) and a good idea of the overall plan for the invasion of Utah beach.

Fans of Band of Brothers (like me) would probably find this interesting as although Easy Company features very little, the book does show how their role fitted in with the overall plan and with the other units.

There are several other books in this series covering different battles, I enjoyed this book enough to want to read the rest of them.


Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales
Carl Shilleto
Rated 4 out of 5 stars,
Great if your'e planning a tour,
21 Jan 2008
By Mr. Lm Russell "leemrussell"

I found this book to be an enjoyable and fascinating read on one of the most overlooked aspects of the Normandy invasion.

The book is essentially a travel guide, with a detailed narrative followed by directions enabling you to re-trace the steps of those involved.

The book is written by one of Leger's Battlefields guides and he has written this book to cater for History buffs and people who are planning a trip or have been on a trip to the sites.

I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in WW2.