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D-Day: The Battle for Normandy Hardcover – October 13, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670021199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670021192
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Beevor has established a solid reputation as a chronicler of WWII's great eastern front battles: Stalingrad and Berlin. In addressing D-Day, he faces much wider competition with historians like Stephen Ambrose and Max Hastings, who also use his method of integrating personal experiences, tactical engagements, operational intentions and strategic plans. Beevor combines extensive archival research with a remarkable sense of the telling anecdote: he quotes, for example, an officer's description of the bloody mass of arms and legs and heads, [and] cremated corpses created by artillery fire as the Germans tried to escape the Allied breakout. He is sharply critical of senior commanders on both sides: Bernard Montgomery's conceit; Adolf Hitler's self-delusion; Dwight Eisenhower's mediocrity. His heroes are the men who took the invasion ashore and carried it forward into Normandy in the teeth of a German defense whose skill and determination deserved a better cause. The result was a battle of attrition: a bloody slog that tested British and American fighting power to the limit—but not beyond. Beevor says that it wasn't Allied forces' material superiority but their successful use of combined arms and their high learning curve that were decisive in a victory that shaped postwar Europe. Maps, illus. (Oct. 13)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

As near as possible to experiencing what it was like to be there... It is almost impossible for a reader not to get caught up in the excitement -- Giles Foden Guardian No writer can surpass Beevor in making sense of a crowded battlefield and in balancing the explanation of tactical manoeuvres with poignant flashes of human detail -- Christopher Silvester Daily Express --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

A regular in the 11th Hussars, Antony Beevor served in Germany and England. He has had a number of books published and his book Stalingrad was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson History Prize and the Hawthornden Prize. Among the many prestigious posts he holds, he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Customer Reviews

It was very well written and easy to read.
jaz
The book does not reveal much new information or break any new ground, but the writing is excellent and the maps are very well done.
G. Nasuti
This book covers the fateful battles of Normandy and the creation of an Allied beach head in Europe.
Andrew Desmond

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

134 of 140 people found the following review helpful By G. Nasuti on August 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Some may simply ignore this book, yet another look at the Normandy invasion that has been seemingly done to death. But what makes it good is that it was researched and written by well-known historian Antony Beevor, author of 'Stalingrad.' Beevor does an incredible job of interweaving the stories of soldiers involved in the invasion along with the decisions made at the top. He finds a good deal of fault with his own countrymen, namely General Montgomery, who he finds reacted much too slowly to German counterattacks and even hints that the Brits may have been suffering from a bit of war exhaustion. Like Cornelius Ryans' classic 'The Longest Day,' Beevor explores the actions and reactions of each side, including the Brits, Americans, Germans, and the French. There was something of a controversy when the book was released in Britain after Beevor asserted that the bombing of Caen by the Brits before D-Day was "very close to a war crime." Many felt Beevor made the statement to help sell books. I don't think that was the case because I don't believe Dr. Beevor will have trouble selling this book, nor do I feel this statement is hardly controversial. Many of the bombings during the war could come close to being considered war crimes, especially when civilians were made to suffer, but each side was guilty of this. Also, with hindsight, this is an easy statement to make. The Brits did have a rough time taking Caen after German panzer reinforcements reached the town and held it against Montgomery's forces. I also enjoyed a section where Beevor discussed the highly controversial replacement system of the American army during the war. Many green soldiers were sent to the front lines simply as "bodies" to fill a space left by a dead or wounded GI.Read more ›
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91 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Teemacs on August 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
There have been many books written about D-Day, starting with Cornelius Ryan's "The Longest Day", and one (this one anyway) wondered whether there would be anything new to say about the momentous events of 6 June 1944. In short, the answer is no. Mr. Beevor relates all the familiar stories of the build-up and the great stories of D-Day - Pegasus Bridge, the Merville Battery, Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach - in relatively abbreviated fashion. The stories are told better elsewhere.

However, what is not told better elsewhere, and what makes this book so different and interesting, is signalled by the subtitle "The Battle for Normandy". Whereas many others stop at the successful establishment of the Normandy beachhead, Mr. Beevor takes us further - much further. He takes us into the hedgerows of Normandy and the bloody and difficult fighting that took place there, to the breakthrough, leading to the great turkey shoot of the Falaise Gap, where the Allied air forces and artillery caused staggering carnage among the Germans trying to escape the closing Allied pincers. The story ends with the liberation of Paris.

Many (myself included) have discounted D-Day and the Western Front as a drop in the bucket, compared to the titanic struggles of the Eastern Front, but Mr. Beevor convincingly shows that the Normandy effort was no mere sideshow. The Allies faced difficult terrain, a determined enemy (including fanatical SS divisions) with often vastly superior equipment (the 88mm gun, the Tiger and Panther tanks and the MG42 light machine gun), and incompetence, one-upmanship and dissension in the Allied upper ranks (the arrogant, difficult, prickly and often downright infuriating Montgomery and the vain, gung-ho, glory-hunting "Blood and Guts" Patton get special attention here).
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By J. Moran VINE VOICE on January 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Beevor's book is well-researched, clear and engaging, but it adds little to what many others have said about the operational history of the campaign. The book is a narrative that ably blends operational history with the "worm's eye view" of those who suffered through the actual fighting (somewhat emphasizing the latter over the former). It does draw attention to seldom explored aspects of the fighting (such as the French experience) or to other factors not so fully discussed by others (such as some issues affecting the British Army).

Beevor's discussion of the French experience has much greater depth than is typical. He gives unusual detail on how much the fighting cost French civilians. The contending armies simply smashed everything and everywhere they fought over without concern for what damage was done to the French or their country. Immense personal and material suffering resulted.

Beevor also illuminates the politics that beset France before and after D-Day as DeGaulle struggled to insure France's national future. DeGaulle strove to control the resistance movement and prevent the strong Communist elements from dominating it. He also insisted on sending French Army units into battle as Allies reporting politically to DeGaulle's "government" (then unrecognized by the US and Britain). DeGaulle was equally adamant that French forces must liberate Paris even if this entailed some risk of major fighting in the city and even if the available forces had to disobey contrary orders from Allied superiors.

Beevor is good at describing the unusually savage (for the West) fighting in Normandy, fighting that produced heavy casualties and atrocities on both sides.
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