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Tonight We Die As Men: The Untold Story of Third Batallion 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment from Toccoa to D-D (General Military) [Kindle Edition]

Ian Gardner , Roger Day
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The exploits of the 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment have long been overshadowed by those of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion. Yet the actions of the 3rd Battalion during the D-Day landings were every bit as incredible. This is the astounding story of how, after suffering many immediate casualties on landing, the surviving paratroopers fought on towards their objective against horrendous odds. Using fascinating first-hand accounts of the soldiers and the French civilians who witnessed the Normandy campaign, and illustrated with black and white photographs and maps throughout, the authors offer a unique and comprehensive account of the experiences of the 3rd Battalion from training through to D-Day and beyond.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Featured in World War II Magazine and The Daily Mail.

"
British authors Ian Gardner and Roger Day have set out to tell the story of the 3rd Battalion of the famed 101st Airborne Division's 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The objective of the battalion was to capture and secure two wooden bridges built by the Germans over the Douve River east of Carentan, as access to what became known as Utah Beach. Despite the successful achievement of this important objective by the 3rd Battalion, accomplished with heavy losses, the authors found that little had been written about the battalion. In fact, they call the 3rd a "forgotten battalion," as opposed to the 2nd Battalion of "Band of Brothers" fame." -James C Roberts, The Washington Times (June 2009)

"The men of the Third Battalion fought the same tough war in Europe as their far famous Band of Brothers comrades of the E Company of the Second Battalion, but their stories were largely untold until Tonight We Die as Men. This is very much unjustified. HBO may never pick up this book as the basis for the next WW2 mini-series, but I recommend any WW2 history enthusiast, particularly those interested in airborne troops or the Normandy invasion, to check out this book. The new material presented in this book is refreshing considering many other works on Normandy are largely regurgitate existing research, while the descriptive narrative makes it, however cliché, a page turner." -Peter Chen, ww2db.com (April 2009)

"The two British authors take the reader back to Toccoa, Georgia, and the initial training received (some would say endured) by the men of the 506th PIR, commanded by Col. Robert F. Sink, then on to airborne training at Fort Benning and Camp Mackall. They also flesh out the personalities mentioned in the book so that by the time the regiment is in England and preparing for its baptism of fire in Normandy, the reader has developed a fondness for each trooper... It will be hard to find a better book about a single airborne battalion in World War II." -Mason Webb, World War II History

"Any military library strong in World War II history will find that Tonight We Die As Men fills in many gaps in literature, offering a narrowed focus on the 506th Parachute Infantry's actions and the four companies of the 3rd Battalion whose efforts were beyond the call of duty. Journal entries supplement the historical overview in this historical survey." -California Bookwatch

"Together, Gardner and Day have reconstructed the battalion's experiences, from training in Toccoa, Georgia, until the end of the Normandy campaign.  The book is based on legions of interviews with veterans, new photographic evidence from the Air Photo Archive at Keele University, many battlefield visits, and a meticulous accounting of the battalion's key actions in Normandy." - John C. McManus, Military History Quarterly

"...focuses on a single airborne battalion in World War II and provides an in-depth look by two British authors who consider their training, experiences, and personalities. Their entire stories come to life using first-hand accounts of the soldiers and the French civilians who witnessed the Normandy campaign and makes for a strong acquisitions for any collection seeking a personal approach to World War II experioences." -The Midwest Book Review

Review

Featured in World War II Magazine and The Daily Mail.

"
British authors Ian Gardner and Roger Day have set out to tell the story of the 3rd Battalion of the famed 101st Airborne Division's 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The objective of the battalion was to capture and secure two wooden bridges built by the Germans over the Douve River east of Carentan, as access to what became known as Utah Beach. Despite the successful achievement of this important objective by the 3rd Battalion, accomplished with heavy losses, the authors found that little had been written about the battalion. In fact, they call the 3rd a "forgotten battalion," as opposed to the 2nd Battalion of "Band of Brothers" fame." -James C Roberts, The Washington Times (June 2009)

"The men of the Third Battalion fought the same tough war in Europe as their far famous Band of Brothers comrades of the E Company of the Second Battalion, but their stories were largely untold until Tonight We Die as Men. This is very much unjustified. HBO may never pick up this book as the basis for the next WW2 mini-series, but I recommend any WW2 history enthusiast, particularly those interested in airborne troops or the Normandy invasion, to check out this book. The new material presented in this book is refreshing considering many other works on Normandy are largely regurgitate existing research, while the descriptive narrative makes it, however cliché, a page turner." -Peter Chen, ww2db.com (April 2009)

"The two British authors take the reader back to Toccoa, Georgia, and the initial training received (some would say endured) by the men of the 506th PIR, commanded by Col. Robert F. Sink, then on to airborne training at Fort Benning and Camp Mackall. They also flesh out the personalities mentioned in the book so that by the time the regiment is in England and preparing for its baptism of fire in Normandy, the reader has developed a fondness for each trooper... It will be hard to find a better book about a single airborne battalion in World War II." -Mason Webb, World War II History

"Any military library strong in World War II history will find that Tonight We Die As Men fills in many gaps in literature, offering a narrowed focus on the 506th Parachute Infantry's actions and the four companies of the 3rd Battalion whose efforts were beyond the call of duty. Journal entries supplement the historical overview in this historical survey." -California Bookwatch

"Together, Gardner and Day have reconstructed the battalion's experiences, from training in Toccoa, Georgia, until the end of the Normandy campaign.  The book is based on legions of interviews with veterans, new photographic evidence from the Air Photo Archive at Keele University, many battlefield visits, and a meticulous accounting of the battalion's key actions in Normandy." - John C. McManus, Military History Quarterly

"...focuses on a single airborne battalion in World War II and provides an in-depth look by two British authors who consider their training, experiences, and personalities. Their entire stories come to life using first-hand accounts of the soldiers and the French civilians who witnessed the Normandy campaign and makes for a strong acquisitions for any collection seeking a personal approach to World War II experioences." -The Midwest Book Review

Product Details

  • File Size: 13473 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (July 19, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0058Z9CYW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,541 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tonight We Die As Men May 11, 2009
Format:Hardcover
After a lifetime of researching my Uncle Jim, who was killed in Normandy, I have purchased the book written by Ian Garnder and Roger Day. I was overwhelmed by the depth and first hand accounts of this history. I learned how my uncle was killed....which was not how his mother and sister thought he had died. They thought he was killed before even hitting the ground. In reality not only had he landed safely near his drop zone, he made his way to the bridges (which we now know where they REALLY are) and was killed in the process of leading others safely to the bridge. Whenever I read D-Day accounts, I always put a book down after the boys jumped from the plane, thinking there was no point to read any further because Uncle Jimmy would be dead, but by reading on I found out so much more, and even though he did die (no matter how many times I re-read it, hoping for a different outcome) I could follow his buddies through the end of he war. This is a definite read. Definite!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
This book is a crisp and engaging mix of historical detail and personal narratives that moves at a brisk pace. The story of the 3rd Battalion, 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment is one of sacrifice, tragedy and bloody triumph. Personal asides and humor keep the account on a human scale, which the authors manage to balance with a bird's eye view of the hard realities of vigorous training and combat. An overall narrative emerges as the account progresses, without being forced. The narrative threads really come together with the events of June 6, 1944 and the following days, as eyewitness accounts of veterans and French civilians are interlaced with careful analysis of the 3rd Battalion's mission to hold the bridges on the Douve River and subsequent actions in Normandy. Gardner and Day illustrate how these well trained enlisted men, non-coms and junior officers quickly adapted to a grim and chaotic situation, where most of the battalion's leadership were killed or captured.
Tonight We Die As Men is an important addition to the airborne canon and stands alone as a fine World War 2 read.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
In September 2010 Osprey Publishing released the paperback version of Tonight We Die As Men. Of course, it was another battalion from this same regiment that was made immensely famous in Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers.

History benefits from the publication of Tonight We Die As Men not simply because of the new attention paid to the equally deserving Third Battalion, but because the scholarship was approached with such care. Local historian Roger Day lives a few miles outside the English village of Ramsbury, which is where Third Battalion was stationed in the build up to the Normandy invasion. Coauthor Ian Gardner is a retired British paratrooper. Their personal connections granted a passion and an interest that might be lacking in other authors. In addition to their textual research Gardner and Day interviewed multiple Third Battalion airborne veterans as well as English and French civilians who encountered them during the war. These individual perspectives are what really make the book.

The airborne veterans recount stories of training in the States and life in England, including charming anecdotes of their pre-invasion antics. I was especially interested to read of the paratroopers' interactions with the people of Ramsbury, because I wrote about my own grandfather's relationship with Bristol residents before his assault on Utah Beach in my book Longshore Soldiers: Life in a World War II Port Battalion. In Normandy the mission of the Third battalion was to secure a pair of bridges. The battle narrative reminds readers that confusion and frustration can be a part of the reality of combat. Several of the veterans had been captured by the Germans. Some escaped, while others spent the duration of the war as prisoners.

Tonight We Die As Men is a valuable addition to the greater WWII airborne saga and a darn good read.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-Own D-Day Title! May 2, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Nearly everyone knows the exploits of the "Band of Brothers" of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. This book covers the much less exposed Third Battalion of the 506th PIR.

Combining personal, first-person recollections of surviving veterans with details unearthed in several years of research, authors Ian Gardner and Roger Day cover the Third Battalion from training in Georgia and England, into action in France.

Written in an easy to read style, the story is not burdened with footnotes to draw away the reader's attention but instead utilizes frequent pull-quotes. These attributed quotes provide the referential validity that supports the accuracy of the narrative. There is also a short bibliography at the end. Six sections of photographs cover the entire timeline of the story. Clear and concise maps provide geographic context for the action.

This book will appeal to a broad range of readers from those casually interested in history, to D-Day enthusiasts, to serious historians seeking a clear and accurate account of a specific unit within the massive D-Day universe.

I highly recommend this book - you will want it in your D-Day collection!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Ian Gardner & Roger Day's TONIGHT WE DIE AS MEN: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THIRD BATALLION 506 PARACHUTE INFANTRY REGIMENT FROM TOCCOA TO D-DAY focuses on a single airborne battalion in World War II and provides an in-depth look by two British authors who consider their training, experiences, and personalities. Their entire stories come to life using first-hand accounts of the soldiers and the French civilians who witnessed the Normandy campaign and makes for a strong acquisition for any collection seeking a personal approach to World War II experiences.
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Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but disappointing
Too little sense of the larger battle that was going on and the role the units were playing. Excellent close-up view of individuals in combat. Interesting but not compelling.
Published 1 day ago by Bob Potter
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and well researched collection of interviews
An interesting and well researched collection of "soldiers in the field" interviews. As such, the overall read is rather fragmented given the greater context of the event,... Read more
Published 2 days ago by RD Sellers
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very interesting
Published 7 days ago by LindaK
4.0 out of 5 stars Fill in on the history of Normandy 6 of June
I have become interested in WWII or again interested since I read a lot of the books available when I was younger, prior to the currant "Greatest Generation" and "Band... Read more
Published 7 days ago by turtle
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
story about some very young brave men
Published 15 days ago by Gerald Haley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Tons of good information on the D-Day invasion. Decently written.
Published 22 days ago by the preacher
4.0 out of 5 stars ... of the Normandy parachute assault this is a really excellent book....
If you are into the nitty gritty of the Normandy parachute assault this is a really excellent book. The author decided to present the same series of events from the point of view... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars This book did not disappoint and is a good contribution to telling...
Having read, (and seeing the series about the Band of Brothers) I wanted to learn more about other units in the 101st Airborne. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Spark
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story
Tells the story from the foxhole rather than the rear. Nice that some of the stories not related to combat were included.
Published 2 months ago by Juliet Phelps
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived
Arrived
Published 2 months ago by Michael R. Callan
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