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RETRO REPORT; Maps show why Hitler lost the war.

MAY 29, 2000 - How we covered...

AMAP discovered in a small town bookshop could hold the key to how Hitler lost World War II. The map, found in the Terence Wise specialist military bookshop in Knighton, near Llandrindod Wells, forms the basis of a new book out tomorrow called The Fall of France - Acting with Daring.

Its author, Martin Silverstone, is a regular customer at the Terence Wise shop, and he had been flicking through the bookseller's catalogue when he came across the maps. They turned out to be part of the private collection of a British soldier who took part in the liberation of France.

Mr Wise bought the maps after the death of the map collector. He believes the original owner of the maps had found them while taking part in the Allied invasion of Europe, and brought them home as a souvenir. They are believed to be the ones used by Hitler and his generals during the 1940 battle at Dunkirk. The faded maps show the terrain faced by Hitler's panzers as treacherously marshy and unsuitable for heavy tanks. While Nazi frontline commanders could see solid ground before them, Hitler, from his base 150 miles behind the lines, envisaged only impassable marshland and death by mud.

Hitler ordered his troops to halt on May 24, which gave the all-but-doomed Allied forces the time they needed to escape and maintain their fight for victory.

Mr Silverstone has spent two years researching and writing The Fall of France and, with the help of the maps, he believes he can explain the reason for the German downfall. He said: "It was fascinating to be able to piece together what really happened and the key to Hitler's otherwise baffling behaviour which probably cost him the war."

Edited by Tony Woolway
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:May 29, 2012
Words:299
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