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  1. This is a slightly-dramatised audiobook by a German WW2 'journalist' = writer for Signal, etc. A fascinating story: Eckhertz went to write a puff piece about the Normandy fortifications in 1944, but it was never published. After the war (1950s) he searched out people from the units he had visited, including finding one guy he'd actually talked to, and got their memories of D Day, and sometimes their other war service. He intended to publish a book but unfortunately died. His grandson found the papers recently and edited them and published them in book form. This is the 6 hours audiobook interviewing 5 German soldiers who fought on D-Day and it mentions some of the previous article as well. Worth the listen – didn't seem that long I found this absolutely fascinating and vivid. Unlike some memoirs written decades after the events, this seems very accurate to me. The Germans had been taught vehicle and aircraft recognition very well, so their observations are really good “I identified the attacking Jabos as Thunderbolts. I was surprised that they were silver, and not painted with camouflage. Every aircraft had black-and-white stripes on the wings.” The Funnies The Funnies get mentioned quite a bit, because these were a complete surprise and amazement to the Germans, and we get a good idea of how effective they were – one of the Germans thinks that the DDs was a kind of tank/submarine which rose out of the water onto the beach (obviously with its skirts up swimming he didn't notice it, lots of things were going on at the time :-)). AVREs, Flails, crocodiles – terrifyingly effective, and several mentions of Sherman DDs. Chapter 4 (the Engineer Officer in charge of Goliaths), and Chapter 5 (the gun command officer at the Merville Battery – I think he's in Casemate 4 which held out the best) were the most interesting, although the whole thing is worth listening to. Incidentally the Merville officer says they were expecting 21cm guns, and were a bit ashamed of the stop-gap ex-Czech 100mm they had. Most accounts say the allied intel was 150mm ish, so clearly if they had the artillery the battery was designed for, it could have made a nasty dent in Sword Beach. I've tried not to give any spoilers. Warning: some of this is very grim and grisly. I've always thought of the Merville attack as a tremendous piece of Para elan and tactics under adverse circumstances, but it seems quite different from the perspective of the poor Germans trapped in a bunker unable to respond to the attack. One question: one of the soldiers talks about being strafed by aircraft “of the Hurricane type”. That's the only thing I wondered about, as Hurris had been withdrawn as fighters, could these be IID or IVD ground attack aircraft with 40mm cannon?
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