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Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris; June 6 - Aug. 5, 1944; Revised Paperback – June 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (June 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140235426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140235425
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #450,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

John Keegan's innovative approach to the invasion of Normandy correctly observes that the invasion, while colossal, was merely the beginning of a series of furious battles in northern France, and Keegan accordingly tackles not only the actions of June 6, 1944, but the subsequent Normandy campaigns by five Allied nations and their German opponents. Focusing on specific actions, such as the U.S. 101st Airborne night drop into France and the British infantry battles surrounding the city of Caen, he provides an exciting chronological account of the action in Normandy with considerable depth about tactical decisions.

Keegan is a skilled writer and his battle accounts are stirring. But beyond the vivid battle stories, this is also a book that will engage intellectually those who study battles and tactics, as well as the diplomatic activity that was necessary for the Allied victory in the Second World War's European theater of operations. --Robert McNamara

From Library Journal

Keegan's 1982 volume is being reissued to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy. At the time of its debut, LJ's reviewer commented that it was more for "serious students of the period" than the casual reader (LJ 7/82). This edition contains a new introduction.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Mr. Keegan is a writer and historian of the first rank.
cdumm@pacifier.com
His account culminates with the liberation of Paris, making this book a history of a campaign rather than of a battle or of the D-Day landings.
Nicholas E. Sarantakes
This book is why I think that John Keegan is one of the greatest historians of our times.
Del

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on November 23, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Few contemporary authors have had such an illustrious or successful career so late in life as had British scholar and historian John Keegan. Mr. Keegan, much like his American counterpart, Stephan Ambrose, has become a sort of one-man cottage industry pouring out literate tomes on a variety of historical subjects, dealing in the main with the subject of 20th century war and its warriors. In each case, Keegan brings a singular understanding of the nature of war itself as well as what it means for the soldier on the ground. Thus, while other authors tend to concentrate more exclusively on what national and military leaders do and how each of the associated counties strategize, Mr. Keegan tends to emphasize the meaning of these conflicts and circumstances as they apply to the man in the field, and this refreshing approach to be more realistic and more relevant to the experience of the common man makes him both entertaining and educational to read. This particular book, "Six Armies In Normandy", represents a superb effort to summarize the events surrounding the Allied invasion of France in June 1944 and its aftermath all the way to the liberation of Paris later that year.
As such it presents a thrilling and wonderfully readable account of how one of the most momentous clashes of the century began and unfolded on the beaches, along the coastline, and then on into the bucolic fields, villages, and countryside of France itself. Like an afternoon's excursion into Hell itself, one quickly becomes embroiled in the vision of battle across the face of Normandy, watching as a cauldron of murder and mayhem pours itself onto the face of France, witnessing the Allies as they successfully beat back the counter-offenses by the German panzer divisions.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By cdumm@pacifier.com on August 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
I would scarcely have believed that a detailed account of a single campaign could be so moving and so detailed simultaneously. His account of his wartime childhood in the West Counties is heartbreakingly poignant, and at the same time keenly insightful; this first chapter is among the most evocative and beautiful personal accounts of the war which I've ever read.
His analytical method (I hesitate to call it a 'device' because it is not the least bit artificial or awkward) compares the national historical character of each combatant nation with the decisive phase of the campaign in which each struggled. He compares the dashing (and desperate) courage of American paratroopers compares to the savage, sacrificial bravery of the Free Polish tank corps, in a way that no historian I've read has done before.
Mr. Keegan is a writer and historian of the first rank. Each of his many books is among my all-time favorite works of non-fiction; my only regret is that his erudite, rigorously scholarly output cannot possibly meet my voracious demand!
Keegan's contribution to the field of history (the weight, variety, and evenly superb quality of his work) makes one compare him inevitably to Sir Kenneth Clarke. Perhaps those in charge of making Britons into 'Sirs' will take notice of this fact and reward him accordingly.
Three cheers for Sir John!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Del on June 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is why I think that John Keegan is one of the greatest historians of our times. As I write this, the 56th anniversary of the landings is but two days away and we are also very close to the opening of the D-Day memorial. This book, written in Keegans wonderful narative style shows us what all of these celebrations are really for. While Keegans writing style does not use the same overly dramatic touches that Stephen Ambroses' style does, he always manages to keep you entralled in the subject that he is presenting. And the subject that he is presenting is done infinitely better than in any other contemporary novel. He not only gives us the normal tales of the Americans and British and Germans, but we also get to see the contributions of the Free Polish and French divisions that landed after the intial wave. Being an American, I am used to seeing D-Day memorials to the British, Canadian and American forces involved. We tend to forget that other countries also had a hand in the victory involved there, and Keegan shows us this magnificently. He does this in the best way possible. He has devoted an entire chapter to each country, which gives us a chance to see each countries story presented uninterrupted and in my opinion paces the book wonderfully. This book is a must read for anybody who really wants a good, unbiased look at one of the pivotal moments in the worlds history. Highly recommended.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Civil War Librarian on May 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris, June 6 - Aug. 5, 1944, John Keegan, Penguin Books, 366 pp., notes, bibliography, index, b/w illustrations,maps, revised edition, 1994, $16.00.

Noted military historian John Keegan doesn't offer a comprehensive narrative of the Normandy invasion and the six armies progress to Paris. The chapters at times stand alone and offer aspects of the inception, planning, command and control of the armies, air forces and navies. There are some fine descriptions of personalities and combat. There are some digressions that tell incomplete stories, in particular regarding French, Polish and Canadian troops.

Keegan at times reveals his background knowledge of British military history. For some readers it may be a distraction. Also, it at times is British-centric and carries a bit of condescension towards the French and Americans. But Six Armies is a fine narrative that readers with a background in the European Theatre may enjoy. First time readers in the field may put this aside as being dense.
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More About the Author

John Keegan's books include The Iraq War, Intelligence in War, The First World War, The Battle for History, The Face of Battle, War and Our World, The Masks of Command, Fields of Battle, and A History of Warfare. He is the defense editor of The Daily Telegraph (London). He lives in Wiltshire, England.

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Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris; June 6 - Aug. 5, 1944; Revised
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