The Battle for Caen from June–August 1944 was a battle between Allied forces of the mainly Anglo-Canadian Second Army and German forces of Panzergruppe West during the Battle of Normandy. The Allies aimed to take the French city of Caen, one of the largest cities in Normandy, on D-Day. Caen was a vital objective for several reasons. Firstly, it lay astride the Orne River and Caen Canal; these two water obstacles could strengthen a German defensive position if not crossed. Secondly, Caen was a road hub; in German hands it would enable the enemy to shift forces rapidly. Thirdly, the area around Caen was relatively open, especially compared to the bocage country in the west of Normandy. This area was valued for airfield construction.
On D-Day, Caen was an objective for the British 3rd Infantry Division and remained the focal point for a series of battles throughout June, July and into August. The battle did not go as planned for the Allies, instead dragging on for two months, because German forces devoted most of their reserves to holding Caen, particularly their armoured reserves. As a result German forces facing the American invasion thrust further west were spread thin, relying on the rough terrain of the back country to slow down the American advance. With so many German divisions held up defending Caen, the American forces were eventually able to break through to the south and east, threatening to encircle the German forces in Normandy from behind.
The old city of Caen—with many buildings dating back to the Middle Ages—was largely destroyed by Allied bombing and the fighting. The reconstruction of Caen lasted until 1962. Today, little of the pre-war city remains...
(more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_for_Caen)
Battlefield is a documentary series initially shown in 1994 that explores the most important battles fought primarily during the Second World War and the Vietnam War. The series employs a novel approach in which history is described by detailed accounts of major battles together with background and contextual information.
Production.- The series provides a comprehensive narrative of the war; in addition to traditional tactical details, subjects such as personalities and motivations of the leaders, technological developments, management of war economies, strategic contributions of smaller battles, etc. are explored in terms of their contribution to particular turning points. The narrator (Tim Pigott-Smith) speaks throughout the series, with no interviews of actual battle veterans. The show is entirely made up of archive footage and 3D graphics. Rare archive film, including rare colour footage specific to each battle is included.
Detailed analysis of the battle including leaders, commanders, soldiers and weapons is presented. Events preceding the featured battle are presented, as well as some aftermath details. The political and military situation before each battle. Explanations of weapons and tactics. Detailed analysis of the cause of each battle. The action in the context of the war as a whole. Informative maps and graphics.
Episodes consist of two hour (100 minute) programs. Each episode of Battlefield is divided into segments. A typical sequence is as follows:
Prelude to Battle / Order of Battle / The Leaders / Strategy for Offense / Strategy for Defense / The Commanders / The Opposing Forces / Weapons / The Men / The Eve of Battle / The Battle, several Phases / The Battle Won / After the Battle..
(more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlefield_(TV_series))