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Clash of Arms: How the Allies Won in Normandy

Russell A. Hart
Clash of Arms: How the Allies Won in Normandy
ISBN: 978-1-55587-947-1
2001/469 pages/LC: 00-042208
Art of War

"Russell Hart has put it all together: the culture, history, society, politics, and ideas that undergirded four separate armies and their combat performance in a single campaign, along the coast of Normandy in France, from June through September 1944.... Clash of Arms is an outstanding example of contemporary military history."—Arden Bucholz, Journal of Modern History

"Russell Hart has written a masterful account of the effectiveness of the Anglo-Canadian, American, and German forces, not only in Normandy in 1944 but also throughout the interwar and early war periods."—Major James P. Gates, Air & Space Power Journal

"As a result of [Hart's] work, historians are a step closer on their long journey to understand how armies adapt and innovate, both in peacetime and in war."—Steve R. Waddell, Army History

"This work is the most comprehensive, academically grounded and logical evaluation of the relative combat capabilities of the four armies in Normandy to date.... Every page ... contains information useful to professionals."—Major Robert Bateman, ARMOR

"Hart understands the complexity of his subject and skillfully pieces together the institutional development of the military forces with the political, economic, social, and cultural values of the societies that produced them. The result is an outstanding comparative study that blends the so-called new military history with traditional operational history. This is one of the most original and important studies of the war to appear recently."—Choice

"Hart demonstrates massive research and a clear, forthright style. He does not hesitate to analyze problems and to describe both successful solutions and failures.... His book is a masterly presentation."—David Eggenberger, History: Review of New Books

"The scholarship underlying this work is absolutely astonishing."—Bruce Gudmundsson

"A seminal volume."—Dennis Showalter


A Choice Outstanding Book!

Clash of Arms examines how the Western Allies learned—on the battlefield—to defeat the Nazi war machine.

Beginning with an investigation of the interwar neglect that left the Allied militaries incapable of defeating Nazi aggression at the start of World War II, Hart examines the wartime paths the Allies took toward improved military effectiveness. He also explores the continuous German adaptation that prolonged the war and increased the price of eventual Allied victory. Central to his comparative study is the complex interplay of personalities, military culture, and wartime realities that determined how accurately the combatants learned the lessons of war, and how effectively they enhanced their battle capabilities.


Russell A. Hart is assistant professor and specialist in modern military history at Hawaii Pacific University. He is coauthor of German Tanks of World War II, Weapons and Fighting Tactics of the Waffen-SS, Panzer: The Illustrated History of Germany's Armored Forces in World WWII, and German Soldier in World War II.


  • Foreword—D. Showalter.
  • Introduction.
  • PREPARATION: 1919-1944.
  • The Interwar Period.
  • The U.S., 1941-1944: The Leviathan Awakens.
  • Britain, 1939-1944: Toils and Troubles.
  • Canada, 1939-1944: The Politics of Neglect.
  • Germany, 1939-1944: Blitzkrieg Unleashed.
  • NORMANDY 1944.
  • A Campaign Overview.
  • The U.S.: Leviathan Triumphant.
  • Britain: Montgomery's Best Batsmen Fail.
  • Canada: Learning the Hard Way.
  • Germany: Niedergang of the Westheer.