Bocage: The Battle for Normandy
By Arve Robert Pisani
On June 6, 1944, Allied forces launched the greatest invasion in history against Nazi-occupied Europe. More than 150,000 troops landed on the coast of France as part of Operation Overlord, and for seven weeks they fought inland across fifteen miles of le bocage—the deadly maze of hedgerows, fields, and woodlands that comprises the Norman countryside. On July 25, they finally broke Germany’s defensive line with a decisive strike at Saint-Lô.
Bocage tells the story of the Normandy campaign from the point of view of the men who experienced it. For forty years Arve Robert Pisani collected first-hand accounts from more than 300 World War II veterans on both sides of the conflict. Through interviews, telephone conversations, personal correspondence, and primary documents he crafted an intimate narrative of their time in Normandy. Many of these stories, both unique and familiar, have never before been told. The account is enhanced by extensive research of primary sources—including after action reports, combat interviews, small unit studies, and unpublished documents—to add strategic depth and historical analysis. The result is an uncompromising account of the summer of 1944.