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History Happy Hour

Episode 198: The Normandy Battle of Villers-Bocage

Guest: Daniel Taylor

Sunday, May 19, 2024

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This Week on History Happy Hour: It is one of the most famous and controversial battles the British fought in Normandy. On June 13, British forces were ambushed at Villers-Bocage by Waffen SS German Panzers, including one commanded by German Panzer ace Michael Wittmann. This kicked off a two-day battle that resulted in a major British withdrawal.

Chris and Rick dig into this story with Daniel Taylor author of Villers-Bocage: Operation Perch: The Complete Account. The debate still swirls: Was it a crushing British defeat, or a compelling recovery from an ambush that was misunderstood by an already nervous high command. And has Wittmann’s role been exaggerated, or was he really the hero the Nazis made him out to be?

Daniel Taylor is the curator of the Kent & Sharpshooters Yeomanry Museum. He has always had a deep interest in the military, in particular the Normandy Campaign of 1944, and served in the Territorial Army (Army Reserve) for a number of years. Daniel writes and researches for a number of specialist publications and Regimental Journals, as well as conducting battlefield tours for both civilian and Army groups. He lives in Kent with his wife and two sons.

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