World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF FRANCE: War and Weather

All along the grey, rainswept Norman front it was bitter, close, bloody fighting for one small position after another; battle so like the grinding attrition of the troop-saturated positional fronts of World War I that it gave some veteran officers a nightmarish feeling of "this is where I came in." It took no topflight strategist to conclude that the invasion of Western Europe was falling farther & farther behind schedule.

The foot soldiers fought across the tiny, cut-up fields, over and down the tough, earth-mound Norman hedges, along the ditches and sunken roads. They fought with hand grenades, shot each...