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Two Sides of the Beach: The Invasion and Defense of Europe in 1944 Hardcover – April 1, 2001

3.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Edmund Blandford's book, 'Two Sides of the Beach' offers the reader an interesting insight into the British and German soldiers who were involved in the attack and defence of the Normandy beaches in 1944. This book is mainly a collection of first hand accounts provided by front line soldiers, officers and members of the General Staff. The accounts detail the fighting from the invasion on June 6th 1944, until the final Allied breakout during 'Operation Totalise'. The accounts are woven skillfully together by the author and present a fairly complete picture of the campaign as seen through the eyes of the British and Canadian 'Tommies' as well as soldiers of the German Army and Waffen-SS. By no means is this a comprehensive account of the Normandy campaign, it is more of an oral history similar in style to Gerald Astor or Lyn MacDonald and just as good. This book would blend in well and complement such campaign studies as Max Hasting's 'Overlord' (1984) or Carlo D'este's 'Decision in Normandy' (1983) as well as many other detailed histories. The beauty of this book is in the first-hand accounts provided by the participants, they are brutally honest and refreshing. They give you a real idea of what the soldiers endured during the fighting for Normandy and the subsequent breakout. The only problem that I found with this book was the total lack of maps, just a few of the area would have been appreciated. However a number of good black & white photographs were provided in the book that fitted in with the story. Overall this was a most interesting account and the narrative was fast paced and well researched. I am sure that anyone who enjoys a good historical account or has a passion for the Normandy campaign will appreciate this book. --By Aussie Reader

Edmund Blanford's Two Sides Of The Beach: The Invasion And Defense Of Europe In 1944 vividly presents the story of D-Day and the Invasion of Europe from the perspectives of both the attacking and defending forces. Blanford includes comments and descriptions from a wide range of Allied and German forces ranging from the generals to front-line infantry soldiers. Two Sides Of The Beach compelling relates the horror of combat through the eyes of the fighting men and candid relates they terror, exhaustion, and the fury. Two Sides Of The Beach is "must" reading for all military buffs and students of the World War II European Theater. --By Midwest Book Review

Normally books where the author goes from first person account to account, with a brief set up in between, is not one of my favorites. However, this book is so well done and ballanced you hardly notice this style. This book only covers the German Commonwealth point of view, so no accounts of Omaha and Utah here (However plenty of references, such as the US refusal of using Hobart's funnies). The book also goes right into action with only two short chapters prior the actual invasion, and covers the time frame well beyond the beach. The American reader will need to brush up on their "English" due to the slang the British use. Overall a must read for any person who wishes a better look at the Eastern half of OVERLORD and beyond. --By Mitch Reed

About the Author

Edmund Blandford has flown for the RAF and written four other historical books. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Book Sales; English Language edition (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785813675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785813675
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,867,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Edmund Blanford's Two Sides Of The Beach: The Invasion And Defense Of Europe In 1944 vividly presents the story of D-Day and the Invasion of Europe from the perspectives of both the attacking and defending forces. Blanford includes comments and descriptions from a wide range of Allied and German forces ranging from the generals to front-line infantry soldiers. Two Sides Of The Beach compelling relates the horror of combat through the eyes of the fighting men and candid relates they terror, exhaustion, and the fury. Two Sides Of The Beach is "must" reading for all military buffs and students of the World War II European Theater.
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Format: Hardcover
Edmund Blandford's book, `Two Sides of the Beach' offers the reader an interesting insight into the British and German soldiers who were involved in the attack and defence of the Normandy beaches in 1944. This book is mainly a collection of first hand accounts provided by front line soldiers, officers and members of the General Staff. The accounts detail the fighting from the invasion on June 6th 1944, until the final Allied breakout during `Operation Totalise'. The accounts are woven skillfully together by the author and present a fairly complete picture of the campaign as seen through the eyes of the British and Canadian `Tommies' as well as soldiers of the German Army and Waffen-SS.
By no means is this a comprehensive account of the Normandy campaign, it is more of an oral history similar in style to Gerald Astor or Lyn MacDonald and just as good. This book would blend in well and complement such campaign studies as Max Hasting's `Overlord' (1984) or Carlo D'este's `Decision in Normandy' (1983) as well as many other detailed histories. The beauty of this book is in the first-hand accounts provided by the participants, they are brutally honest and refreshing. They give you a real idea of what the soldiers endured during the fighting for Normandy and the subsequent breakout.
The only problem that I found with this book was the total lack of maps, just a few of the area would have been appreciated. However a number of good black & white photographs were provided in the book that fitted in with the story. Overall this was a most interesting account and the narrative was fast paced and well researched. I am sure that anyone who enjoys a good historical account or has a passion for the Normandy campaign will appreciate this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Normally books where the author goes from first person account to account, with a brief set up in between, is not one of my favorites. However, this book is so well done and ballanced you hardly notice this style. This book only covers the German Commonwealth point of view, so no accounts of Omaha and Utah here (However plenty of references, such as the US refusal of using Hobart's funnies). The book also goes right into action with only two short chapters prior the actual invasion, and covers the time frame well beyond the beach. The American reader will need to brush up on their "English" due to the slang the British use. Overall a must read for any person who wishes a better look at the Eastern half of OVERLORD and beyond.
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Format: Hardcover
What is an excellent and underused technique of both German and British/Canadian soldier's accounts of unit actions is time and again reduced to petty whining about the American lack of ability. At some point it becomes so tiresome you can easily find yourself skipping the editorial and only reading the soldiers quotes.

Thankfully, this will only shorten the book by 20% or so.

Ike was a terrible battlefield commander, Patton was only a success due to Monty's and the British army's earlier sacrifices, etc, etc....ad infinitum.

Ask the German's who opposed both who was a better general, Monty or Patton and I think you will get a more qualified answer than the author's, or mine for that matter.
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