Published to mark the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, Stephen E. Ambrose's D-Day: June 6, 1944
relies on over 1,400 interviews with veterans, as well as prodigious research in military archives on both sides of the Atlantic. He provides a comprehensive history of the invasion which also eloquently testifies as to how common soldiers performed extraordinary feats. A major theme of the book, upon which Ambrose would later expand in Citizen Soldiers
, is how the soldiers from the democratic Allied nations rose to the occasion and outperformed German troops thought to be invincible. The many small stories that Ambrose collected from paratroopers, sailors, infantrymen, and civilians make the excitement, confusion, and sheer terror of D-day come alive on the page. --Robert McNamara
--This text refers to the
From Publishers Weekly
Ambrose's account of the D-Day fighting on the Normandy beaches and bluffs is unsurpassed for detail, emotion and suspense. Quoting liberally from the recollections of participants, he reveals how the massive cross-Channel effort stretched back two years and involved millions of people. He describes the choice of the site and date of the landings, the planning and special training, ship loading and embarkation, and finally the amphibious assault itself--that moment when "the Western democracies made their fury manifest." Ambrose, director of the Eisenhower Center at the University of New Orleans, interprets events as the narrative unfolds and much of what he has to say is bracing. He concludes, for example, that German military leadership was abysmal that day, even at the small-unit level; that Allied elite units such as Airborne, Rangers and Commandoes were superior in fighting ability to those the enemy had in the field; and that the German reliance on fixed defensive positions, the so-called Atlantic Wall, was one of the greatest blunders in history. Among the spate of books marking the 50th anniversary of D-Day, Ambrose's overview will likely stand as definitive. Photos. 100,000 first printing; BOMC and History Book Club main selections; Reader's Digest Condensed Books selection.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.