Read D-Day: The Battle for Normandy by Antony Beevor Online


Making use of overlooked and new material from over 30 archives in half a dozen countries, 'D-Day' is a vivid and well-researched account yet of the battle of Normandy....

Title : D-Day: The Battle for Normandy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780670887033
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 591 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

D-Day: The Battle for Normandy Reviews

  • Matt
    2018-09-03 15:22

    Christmas break, my sophomore year in college, I went to England and France with my brother, my dad, and my dad’s new girlfriend. If the traveling party seemed a little uncomfortable – well, free trip to Europe. The trip featured just about what you’d expect from a trip to Europe in late December. Cold, dank, miserable weather. A lack of crowds. A lack of things that were open. And of course, in true Clark Griswold fashion, my dad insisted on wearing a beret. (I was past the age of being mortified by him, and well into the age of being constantly irritated with him. I could go on, but you’re not my therapist). Our excursion is mostly memorable for the low points. The bleak melancholy of a post-Christmas, wintry London. New Year’s Eve spent in a slummy motel outside Paris, with no booze and no television. My dad’s beret. The high point, at least for me, was our trip to Normandy. Because it was off-season, Bordeaux felt deserted. We stayed in one of the few hotels taking lodgers. We drove to the D-Day landing beaches on empty roads. The weather was bone-achingly cold, and charmed by wind-whipped sleet. When he walked onto Omaha Beach, near Colleville-sur-Mer, we experienced something quite unexpected: solitude. We were absolutely alone on one of the most famous battlefields in human history.**The beach seemed remarkably small, an effect perhaps heightened by the position of the tide. Even allowing for that, it was sometimes hard to imagine the epic struggle that took place on this sand, amid the grass-swept dunes and craggy heights. The fates of nations balanced here one day – I thought it would be bigger. You don’t really understand the titanic nature of the battle until you climb the bluffs overlooking Omaha and reach the American cemetery (a French concession, over-flown by the American flag and administered by the United States). There, 9,000 crosses and Stars of David lay before you in terrible, beautiful symmetry. Standing there, alone in the rain, was an impressive experience that ranks high among the historical pilgrimages I’ve made. You think you know 9,000; then you see it spread before you in mathematically precise rows. The dead who lay beneath white stone did not all fall during the first day of the D-Day invasion. Despite the triumphal images associated with the landings (and the triumphalism of, for example, Cornelius Ryan’s classic The Longest Day), World War II did not end on the evening of June 6, 1944. In terms of blood, it really began. Antony Beevor’s D-Day: The Battle for Normandy tells the story of D-Day and the many hard days after. Its focus can be found in its subtitle: the ferocious inland push against a determined German foe. The American and British contributions to World War II have long been denigrated vis-à-vis the contributions made by the Soviet Union. Contrarians love to point out how the USSR fought bigger battles, lost more men, and drained the Third Reich like an enormous leech. Russia’s contribution to Allied victory can’t be overstated (though it’s helpful to remember that they were as awful as the Nazis in almost every way). But as Beevor points out, in statistical, per capita terms, the fighting in Normandy was as costly and vicious as the battles in the East.D-Day: The Battle for Normandy is a sturdy, well-constructed history. I’ve read Beevor’s Stalingrad and sensed a vague disjointedness to the narrative. That is not an issue here. This book is straightforward, chronological, and thorough. Though the book’s focal point is not simply the landing, Beevor still gives it an extended look, with individual chapters devoted to the airborne drops, and each of the beach assaults (Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno, and Sword). Though the subject is well-trod, Beevor attempts to present different viewpoints than those already published. (The amazing thing I’ve recognized in reading a wide variety of D-Day books is that there are enough anecdotes to fuel a thousand books without using the same ones twice).Once the beachhead is established, the book follows the American forces as they moved west along the Cotentin Peninsula, and the British under Bernard Montgomery, as they struggle to take Caen in the east. Hard fighting follows among the hedgerows, at Saint-Lô, and in the Falaise Pocket. Beevor ends his tale with the liberation of Paris. Intermixed with the military history are sharp character sketches and fascinating side conversations that cover varied topics, such as P.O.W. treatment, war crimes, and the conundrum that was the French. There is also a chapter devoted to the July 20th plot against Adolf Hitler. I enjoyed seeing this oft-told event placed in its wider context. It was not simply a move by patriotic Germans who wanted to rid themselves of an obvious evil; it was a reaction to Hitler’s glaringly poor responses to the Allied invasion. When you read a lot of World War II books, you start to notice an odd tension: near-constant criticism of Allied forces coupled with grudging (and sometimes not-so-grudging) admiration of the fighting capabilities of the Wehrmacht. This manifests itself in severe critiques of the martial abilities of men like Montgomery, Dwight Eisenhower, and Omar Bradley. The oddness, of course, is that the Allies won the war, with this reality attributed to some vaguely defined inevitability. A great example of this is the Falaise Pocket. This was an envelopment of Germany Army Group B (which Hitler had not allowed to retreat) by converging American and British forces. By any measure, it was a great Allied victory: many Germans were killed; many more were captured. But Allied actions at the Pocket are often criticized because not enough Germans were killed; not enough were captured. To be sure, Beevor has some harsh words for many of the Allies, particularly Montgomery (whose reputation was always questioned, but who has taken an even more severe beating in the postwar years). But Beevor, unlike, say, Max Hastings, is more charitable in his observations, and more cognizant that war is an imperfect practice, and that battles are not fought on maps, with pushpins, but on physical terrain, amongst human beings. Beevor is a well-respected historian of World War II. When you read one of his books, you know you are in good hands. He is not as beautiful a writer or as gifted a storyteller as Rick Atkinson, who recently covered this same time period in his magisterial The Guns at Last Light. He also does not have the acid tongue or contrarian instincts of Max Hastings. This is not a criticism, by any means, since Atkinson and Hastings are two of the best. But it is a way of saying that Beevor – in terms of literary merit, at least – works with a lower ceiling.With that said, Beevor is one of the best, and he does a wonderful job of covering all the days after “the longest day.” **Since this experience, off-holiday vacations have become an obsession with me. I strive to avoid crowds by going places at the time of year that the least number of people are visiting. So, not only are we constantly traveling to distant battlefields, but the weather is always terrible. Needless to say, this will likely become a separate article in the divorce proceedings my wife eventually files against me.

  • Espen
    2018-09-10 17:43

    After having read a number of Steven Ambrose's books on the battle for Normandy, Anthony Beevor's version is a relief in that it has much cooler analysis, more maps (which every book on warfare should have more of) and manages to include the German, Canadian, Polish and French side of the equation to a much larger extent. (for instance, he points out that more French civilians died as a result of the war in Normandy, particularly the bombing and shelling, than died during the blitz in London). Beevor is somewhere between Ambrose (who provides much more detail on the experience of the individual soldiers, particularly infantry) and Liddell Hart and Keegan, who take a more professional, tactical and strategic view. The balance is goodHowever, the book adds little new knowledge, as far as I can tell, aside from more detail on the rivalry between the various commanders, as well as a good account of the liberation of Paris, with all the political machinations and posturing that went on before it. Beevor is sharply critical of Montgomery, seeing his egocentricity and lack of imagination as a diplomatic and political failure as well as tactically costly. He does point out, however, that Montgomery was facing a more heavily defended part of the front, except at the beachhead. Beevor is also critical of the use of bombers as infantry support, and points out numerous tactical and strategic errors which cost lives and time.In all, most generals seem to make more errors than good decisions - which, I suppose, is primarily an effect of having to take decisions all the time, with imperfect knowledge. The book manages to give an impression of both the large and the small view of war, and points out how the slaughter in Normandy spared the rest of France a protracted war. For that reason, if you are going to read just one book on D-Day, this is probably it.

  • Michael
    2018-09-20 20:31

    A good book to go to for a detailed account of D-Day and follow-up stages, with a fair balance between the perspective of generals and soldiers. I appreciated the critical perspective on Montgomery’s performance and elucidation of the fateful divergence of understanding of realities between Rommel and Hitler. Though the book might satisfy the cautious historian, but for me it didn’t bring to life the role of the personalities and strategies of key leaders in the way that writers like Stephen Ambrose does for me.

  • Mikey B.
    2018-08-24 20:33

    This is a well-written account of the D-Day landings in June, 1944. The author is successful at giving the broad overall view of the struggle, but he also presents poignant pictures at the ground level of individual soldiers on both sides of the conflict. We also feel the joy and the pain of the French people of Normandy who suffered tremendously and paid such a high cost for their liberation. As exemplified by the pictures, many Normandy towns were obliterated by bombing raids. Atrocities were committed by both the Allies and the Germans; however the Germans vented their frustrations on the innocent people they were occupying.Interestingly the author compares the savagery of the Normandy campaign as being on the same level as on the Eastern Front. The numbers of casualties were similar. Perhaps the only difference would be in combat fatigue. It exemplifies well the difference between the democracies versus the Nazi and the Stalinist regimes – where “combat fatigue” was unknown (not tolerated).Mr. Beevor paints Montgomery as being self-serving – angering not only American commanders, but British ones as well. American forces would seem to have been more resilient and quicker to learn and adapt. But they were new to war and had many more soldiers in reserve compared to the British and Canadians. The Allies were indeed multi-national with not only U.S., British and Canadian troops, but Poles, French, Dutch and many more of the exile countries from Nazi-occupied Europe. As the author points out the total air dominance of the Allies was probably their supreme advantage through-out the long Normandy campaign. It continually created destruction and chaos in the German front and behind in their supply lines. This book takes us up to the liberation of Paris during August. It’s an excellent and enthralling read of one of the greatest military endeavours of modern history.

  • Dale
    2018-09-10 14:35

    “Tous aux barricades!” A remarkably sobering and viscerally honest rendering of D-Day and the early European front, which probably could not have been released before this decade. This is no black and white account of saintly Allies versus bloodthirsty Nazis but a granular and nuanced account; and the 527-page tome is for the WWII-phile rather than those casually interested in the subject. Beevor makes Band of Brothers look like Hollywood, and as a fan of the BOB book and mini-series, that is saying something. Most striking and unique in Beevor’s account is his broad coverage of the non-American and non-British contributions to the war, which are sadly (and in my opinion unfairly), often overlooked or only peripherally mentioned in so many other recounts of WWII. I have been moved to tears in small towns in Normandy and Benelux when confronted by the tenderly maintained gravesites of the “other” Allied contributors, buried where they fell, yet barely footnotes in most popular books, movies, and TV shows. Beevor covers the significant Free French contribution to the war (dismissed by Old Guts And Glory in typical Patton-esque terms as “better than expected and less than advertised”), as well as the very competent and critical regiments consisting of Belgians, Poles, Czechs, Yugoslavians, German Jews, Norwegians, New Zealanders, Russians, South Africans, and Australians. Ernest Hemingway even makes a brief and typically macho cameo, as a war correspondent (courting the fourth Mrs. Hemingway at the time), perhaps rivaling only Patton in his ill-timed and gauche machismo. The chess-like political maneuvering, posturing, and feather-displaying of talented, heroic – and egomaniacal – men, including Patton, Churchill, Eisenhower, Roosevelt, De Gaulle, Rommel, and Stalin, is both fascinating and nauseating. The book is rife with detail, including but not limited to the still-perplexing decision of the Nazi commanders in Paris to defy Hitler’s direct orders to destroy the city – even though the entire city was wired to blow at the touch of a button. Beevor also refuses to shy away from detailing a military study suppressed by Monty, which proved that most soldiers, contrary to the Hollywood-manufactured myth, would be paralyzed by shock, descending into total psychological breakdowns, or resort to desertion or self-inflicted wounds when faced with battle(and who wouldn’t? you have to ask yourself). When you’re watching the 101st Airborne in the Spielberg/Hanks amazing Band of Brothers) hurl themselves into battle behind enemy lines, you are seeing – as it were – an anomaly – though Beevor covers equally anomalous shows of extreme courage. He conveys the crucial convictional difference between an indoctrinated army fighting against the perceived total annihilation of its homeland (a myth manufactured by Goebbels’s lethally effective propaganda ministry) versus an army which overwhelmingly came from a peaceful, democratic country. In battle, it turned out, this made all the difference, and largely accounted for the incredible resilience of the vastly outnumbered German soldiers. Most profound, is Beevor’s refusal to canonize the Allies (which of course, is why this book could not have been released during the initial rapture of victory or indeed while many unarguably heroic survivors were still alive). The inhumanity, the revenge-killings, the sadistic streak in soldiers and civilians alike is served up by Beevor sans sugar, but also sans judgment. More than anything, this book left me with a sense that I would never know, could never know what the hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians of all nationalities and creed suffered through and gave, during this horrific, savage, eternally-fascinating war. Like Churchill said, "never was so much owed by so many to so few."

  • Mark
    2018-09-07 19:24

    Got myself a nice hardcover copy.

  • William
    2018-09-11 14:38

    Noted WWII author Antony Beevor brought much to bear in his previous works on the Battles of Stalingrad and Berlin, but comes up a bit short in his most recent work, "D-Day--The Battle for Normandy." Perhaps the author had too much ground to cover in too little time. The book is still a good read, but may gloss over parts of the story that have gotten more attention in other works.Correctly, Beevor scales his work to cover more than just the June 6th landings. He takes in the attrition battles before Caen; the bleak, bloody slog through the hedgerow country of Normandy, the dizzying breakout at St. Lo and the joyous liberation of Paris. The context is right, but the book reads a little too quickly, making one wonder if the author is glossing over some details despite his best efforts to enliven the narrative with the smaller, human scale details.Interesting to note is Beevor taking Montgomery to task for his unimaginative generalship and his egotistical refusal to admit error. America authors love pounding on Montgomery, who had an obnoxious knack for rubbing everybody the wrong way. So it is a bit surprising to see the British Beevor being very critical about Montgomery while giving Patton his due. Also notable is DeGaulle's presence. While the British, Americans and Germans had to puzzle how to win on the French battlefield, DeGaulle had to find a way to exploit events beyond his control to ensure that his faction of the resistance claimed credit for France's resurrection under non-Communist/non-fascist governance. Beevor accords the French more space in his telling of the tale. And why not? It's their country. That seems "bloody obvious," but the French side often gets short shrift. In a military history, that lone Free French armored division gets lost in the clash of armies and corps. Let me stress that this is a good book, not a great book. Beevor deserves credit for trying to tell the story from the American, British, French, German and Russian points of view. He touches on the Russian critique of D-Day as a lesser effort compared to the monster battles of the Eastern Front. But here the paragraph has to suffice where a couple of pages of analysis would have been better. Was this book 50-100 pages short? Could it have been a little deeper and slower in places? The points are there and the dots are connected. I just wished there were more of them to make a painting of the story instead of giving us a good picture.

  • Kevin
    2018-09-05 18:33

    This was a great book! It covers a period of WWII from just prior to the invasions of the Normandy Coast on June 6, 1944, to the liberation of Paris (Silly French think that their army liberated Paris). Beevor has done a thorough job researching and retelling stories of the campaign for Normandy. This time period is one of my favorites from WWII. Not that war is a good thing, or enjoyable. War brings out the best and worst in people. It is the stories when people are at their best that I enjoy. There are quite a few books out there treating this same time frame. Beevor does a very good job. It is interesting to read, and many books have corroborated this, that the majority of the German army (I have heard quotes of up to 80%) wanted to surrender and be done with the war at this point. They had been at war for 5 years already. German technology, training, weaponry, etc., were all more advanced than the allies. We couldn’t stand up to their Tiger and Panther tanks, their MG 42 machine guns, and their cutting edge Me 262 jet aircraft. Hitler really was a buffoon, and didn’t have the genius to employ these tools properly. The Allies did have several advantages, those being industrial production (sheer number of equipment) and the largest gasoline powered supply system in the world. The Germans were still heavily relying on horse drawn equipment. However, I think the bottom line is the Germans just wanted to be done and get back to the normal way of life. Even the high commanders, such as Rommel (the great tank commander of the Northern Africa campaign), was trying to convince Hitler to surrender. Once the will to fight is gone, the war is over. I don’t blame them. Overall it was an excellent book.

  • Bob Schmitz
    2018-09-19 13:27

    This book was recommended my my son Russel who picked it up while traveling in Asia. It is a very detailed account of the Normandy invasion up to the capture of Paris. Beevor has written it from original documents and first hand accounts. It is extremely detailed giving the movements and actions down to company levels. It deals equally with the Allied and German activities.What I found most interesting was the mention of small details. For instance that many of the American soldiers shaved their heads (for easier treatment of wounds and many of the shavers left a Mohawk. Also glossed over in other accounts were instances of allied war crimes especially the shooting of prisoners. We have heard of the SS atrocities but some troops in some battles were told specifically to not take any prisoners.New (to me)in this account were details and totals of French casualties and of the destruction of French towns from allied shelling and bombing. These were massive and the Allied reception by the French was not uniformly joyous as depicted in other more popular accounts.Detailed were the variety of soldiers on both sides. American, British, English, French and Polish I knew. But also......... you will have to read the book to find out all the weird groups fighting on each side. I had no idea.Great book if you want lots of details gleaned from original sources.

  • Brad
    2018-08-24 16:19

    One of the most comprehensive accounts of the invasion I have ever read. Beevor objectively recounts the action from multiple perspectives---American, British (GB), and German. The story is told from a broad perspective covering command decisions, strategic analysis and battle descriptions. That doesn't mean that he ignores the human perspective--that's definitely key to the story. Beevor details the difficult and often contentious internal relationships (political and personal) among commanders on both sides of the front and how those conflicts affected the course of battles and the men who fought them. It sounds a bit dry but the recounting is a highly entertaining and fascinating read that's a real page-turner. This book is is the perfect companion to Ambrose's intimate account of the soldier experience.BTW, I read this book on a recent trip to France to visit the Normandy region where the Allies slugged it out with the Germans for the first few weeks of the invasion. Beevor's descriptions of the actions provided an amazing context when trying to visualize what happened at certain locations. Also, seeing a bocage up close really illustrates the hell it must have been to fight your way through the region.

  • David Bird
    2018-09-18 17:36

    Not as good as Beevor's earlier books on Stalingrad or the fall of Berlin. Perhaps the problem is that this is much more heavily plowed ground. He provides the seemingly inevitable vignettes of individual soldiers, but doesn't seem to care much about them. I had the sense that he was engaged in arguments with other writers, but had chosen or been encouraged not to make those disagreements explicit. For example, he discusses how much more effective, soldier-for-soldier, the Germans tended to be, and mentions their Nazi indoctrination as a potential reason. Anyone who's read Stephen Ambrose will recognize this as a direct contradiction of the heart-warming twaddle that he peddles, and perhaps Ambrose doesn't warrant explicit insult. But he seems also to be arguing against Norman Davies's recent work emphasizing that Western Europe was just a side-show compared to the Eastern Front. Against this more worthy opponent, more explicit engagement with the arguments would have been better. The difference noted between this and other books on the topic by the publisher is the emphasis on the French civilians, and that is a worthy addition to the story.

  • Chris
    2018-09-10 17:28

    I picked this up because I felt I ddin't know enough about D-Day.Beevor can write. While the book is a miltary history, Beevor keeps intersting for none miltary historians by including touching little stories and details (like the hairstyle of American troops). He focuses not just on the armies but on the French civilians caught in the battle.The book focuses on the whole battle to free most of France, it ends with the liberation of Paris. Beevor details the power struggles on both sides of the war and the effects that it had the plans of the army. (One wonders what would have happened if Hitler had let Rommel do what he wished).The book seems to be a good overview of the conflict and is very easy read.

  • Ann
    2018-09-22 15:31

    Antony Beevor has to be the premier WWII military historian! His books are readable, not too heavy on the military terms, and packed with informative stories and explanations. I've read his "The Fall of Berlin," which was also excellent. Karen and I went to Normandy when we were in Paris in '09 and were moved, surprised and intrigued. How I wish I had read this book first!It's amazing that the Allies landed on Normandy on June 6 and were in Paris by mid-August. Beevor does a great job explaining how they overcame the: incompetence of certain officers; poor planning; poor intelligence in some cases (like not knowing how horrible the bocage - trees and bushes bordering country roads - were); bombing of their own troops (on too many occasions to count, it seems); poor equipment and especially tanks (except for the Sherman); the weather; and outright and unabashed feeding of men to the slaughter. (A special tip of the hat to the total and incomplete incompetence of the egotistic, vain and sneakiness of General Montgomery, the British Supreme Commander. You're left wondering how many people died because of his blunders and arrogance.)Beevor recounts the destruction of towns and villages - razed to the ground; the suffering of the local villagers and their animals; the loss of treasures; the reprisals from the SS when the Allies took a town and then had to abandon it; etc., etc., etc.I really want to go back to Normandy now. It was a beautiful place and the bluffs overlooking Omaha Beach were stunningly dramatic. Now I know a lot more. You always read how grateful the Normans were for their liberation. Having read this book, I now know it's a mixed bag. The only thing difficult about this book was that I had no idea what comprises a division, regiment, army, corps, etc. Also, there were so many generals to keep track of. (I didn't after the first fifty pages.) But that's not Beevor's fault. Highly recommended.

  • Douglas
    2018-08-27 20:39

    Beevor, at great length, tells us very little new. He presents soldiers tales as hard fact without question or thought. For example, the tales of French women snipers killed by US troops. That young men in action for the first time, finding themselves shot at by an unseen enemy, should pick on a terrified woman hiding under her kitchen table as the culprit, should prompt some questions. We might ask about the quality of the men's training that they would choose a farmhouse as the likely source of the shots, rather than the trees, hedgerows and other cover a soldier might use. Given their terror at being under fire or seeing comrades hit might provide an answer to why they acted as they did. Sadly, Beevor asks no questions and provides no answers: what the soldiers report is presented as absolute truth.He also takes sides against Montgomery, for no readily apparent reason. Montgomery had many faults, but he was in charge of the battle of Normandy and he did win it, decisively, and ahead of schedule. That things didn't always go exactly to plan is normal in war, as in life. That Montgomery won, despite the various setbacks, is a mark of how good a general he was. I got this book at a greatly reduced cost as part of a newspaper promotion. After reading it, despite the steep discount, I still felt overcharged.

  • John
    2018-08-24 14:27

    Wow! This was a long hard read. Not because the writing or the language was difficult, they were, in fact a model of clarity. Beevor has the gift of melding the general story with minute personal details, some humorous, some deeply moving. The exceptional quality of the writing made me want to read every word and this, coupled with a frequent need to refer to the maps to understand who was doing what when to who explains the length of time I spent on this book. It is essentially a story of sacrifice, of young servicemen and of civilians. He uses the phrase "the martyrdom of Normandy" and made me realise the scale of it. I had some idea from my visit to the wonderful Memorial museum near Caen where that city's devastation made starkly clear, but this book points up the scale of the sacrifice made by the people of Normandy.One of the reasons I added it to my to-read list was that I read a great book earlier this year about Operation Fortitude, the great deception about the site and timing of the invasion. This book tells us how successful that deception was, even after D-Day itself. Just to extend the links I was led to the aforesaid book by the Connie Willis epic double volumes of "Blackout" and "All Clear"

  • Michael Gerald
    2018-09-03 14:44

    A good narrative of the battle and liberation of Normandy and Paris, the book tells the story of how the Americans, British, Canadian, and other Allied forces landed on France and began the bloody fight to liberate France and defeat Nazi Germany.While the book is a riveting read, I observed that it would have been better if Mr. Beevor also included the genesis for Operation Overlord (the codename for the landings) and its planning. But still, the book manages to give the reader a chance to visualize those events on the ground: the terrain, the people involved, the terrible slaughter and destruction, and the joys, sorrows, and reality of liberation.It was revealing to read of soldiers, both Allied and German, preparing for the big battle and the destruction wrought on French soil. Other insights include British Field Marshal Montgomery's hubris and Free French leader Charles De Gaulle's arrogance, self-importance, and megalomania. De Gaulle and some of the French were so ungrateful and pretentious to reluctantly admit that the liberation of France was due more to the American, British, and Canadian efforts. If it weren't for them, De Gaulle and his men would still have been sitting on their bottoms in England for who knows when.

  • Amadeus Schwerner
    2018-09-09 16:31

    Anthony Beevor traz sem dúvida a guerra à um novo patamar de excelência para o leitor, numa narrativa impressionante, extremamente atrativa e precisa dos fatos. Faz de um livro de 600 páginas algo muito prazeroso sobre um tema tão denso.Sempre mantendo à risca a imparcialidade de lados e visões políticas, nos impõe soberbamente um filtro estritamente militar e factual em cada linha. Sem dúvida uma obra-prima sobre um dos períodos mais conturbados da história humana.

  • Michael Flanagan
    2018-08-28 19:22

    With this refreshing and detailed look at D-Day, Beevor shows why he is one the best World War II historians around. With his usual mix of first-hand accounts and his analyse of the bigger picture the D-Day campaign is bought alive on the pages. From the planning stages to the liberation of Paris we see this decisive campaign from all sides. This book goes straight onto my classic shelf.

  • Sally Dark
    2018-08-25 12:42

    Wow. I can only describe this book as a masterpiece. Written in a completely impartial style, as in no goodies or baddies, just two sides doing the best they can to reach their objectives. Almost unemotionally written when describing the horrors that these poor men and women lived through. The fact that there are regular maps throughout the books makes it easier to understand the complexity of the different components of the armies, and how each troop was located and the directions of their individual struggles, which would otherwise be very confusing as there are so many elements involved. Overall, I didn't know a lot about the D Day landings before I read this book, but it has given me a factual insight that I will never now forget.

  • Morgan Blackledge
    2018-09-08 19:31

    I read one of Anthony Beevor's other books Stalingrad while I was bicycling and traveling by train across Turkey. Maybe it was a combination of the amazing context and the quality of the book, but Stalingrad absolutely blew me away. I literally could not put it down.I elected to miss some of the worlds most interesting scenery and cultural experiences in order to burry my nose in a book, and I have absolutely no regrets about that. Reading Stalingrad was one of those A+ reading experiences that you emerge from a changed person. After I finished Stalingrad, I desperately wanted to read another book by this author, but there was literally zero chance of finding any of his other books in English where I was. So after a protracted mourning period, I moved on. That was 8 years ago. I recently discovered (via referral from my best bro) Dan Carlin's Hard Core History podcast. And it reignited the slumbering passion I have for WWII history. Since then I have been binge reading WWII stuff and it has been a truly enriching experience. I finally made my way to D-Day after working through some of the big picture WWII histories and I have to say, it was a bit of a dud. Not awful, actually really good, just not excellent like I expected. It's hard to say weather my experience is tempered by being a bit burnt out on WWII at this point, or if my high expectations have colored my opinion. But from my current perspective, his book was a little dry and it never managed to spin the facts into a narrative with arc and momentum like the really good histories do.I have to say that I found much of the book to be absolutely valuable. Particularly the stuff on Patton and Eisenhower. You'd have to be lacking a pulse not to love those odd bedfellow characters. And the wealth of information from the German perspective was also wonderful. Not to mention all of the fabulous information about all of the Allied players. All in all reading this book this was an amazing learning experience.But......It just wasn't as good as Stalingrad. I guess it took me that long to just come out and say it.For all I know this book is pearls before my swine eyes. Perhaps I just don't know what I'm looking at. But I have to go with my gut and give this one a for star review.

  • Ingrid Hansen
    2018-09-06 13:28

    Lige siden jeg kom tilbage fra Historiske Dage i København og startede med et læse denne her gigantiske bog om D-dag af Antony Beevor så har jeg glædet mig til at anmelde den. Man keder sig ikke i de samtlige 561 sider, men læser bare videre for at få det sidste af historien med.Antony Beevor skriver på en sej neutral måde og hans personlige holdning til det han skriver om skinner overhovedet ikke igennem. Her er en krigshistoriker som har noget på hjertet og så fortæller han dig det råt for usødet uden at komme med personlige ytringer om det der er sket.Hvis der er én jeg har mistet alt for så er det primadonnaen Montgomery eller Feltmarskal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery som var med til at befri Danmark. Han var bare ikke nogen god soldat eller taktiker og han levede højt på sin succes i Ørkenkrigen under Felttoget i Nordafrika fra 1940-1943.Det er tragisk at en mand kan lave så mange fejl der i sidste ende kostede en masse menneskeliv og ikke blev fyret fordi han var en helt i England. Han var vag og tilbageholdende og når et eller andet gik godt så tog han gerne rosen for det også selv om det ikke var hans lederskab som havde skaffetresultaterne.Alle slagene i bogen er virkelig godt beskrevet både fra allieret side og tysk side plus der er kort som viser hvordan de allierede trængte frem og hvordan tyskerne prøvede at lave modangreb. Det er rigtig rart når man ikke rigtig har styr på den franske geografi. Super godt stykke arbejde.Man kan virkelig mærke at emnet er blevet researched godt og grundigt og til enhver lille bitte oplysning så er der et virkelig flot noteapparat så man kan kontrollere om det der står er rigtigt. Der er intet der bliver overladt til tilfældighederne på det punkt.Jeg kan varmt anbefale alle der interesserer sig for historie og for Anden Verdenskrig at læse denne her bog. Man bliver klogere og finder samtidig ud af at de allierede faktisk på nogen punkter slet ikke var enige om strategien og hvordan personfnidder kan have katastrofale følger.Bogen er som sagt skrevet af Antony Beevor og udgivet på Forlaget Lindhardt og Ringhof. Den kan købes hos landets boghandlere til 149,95 kr. 5/5 stjerner. Fra bogvæggen.

  • Douglas Karlson
    2018-09-06 16:41

    Excellent account of the D-Day landing and, more so, of the Normandy campaign that followed. Good analysis of the strategy and how things did not turn out as planned. The author chronicles the horrible dangers and heavy casualties, and gives a good description of what life was like for both Germans, Allied troops, and French civilians. Monty comes off as extremely egotistical and self-deluded, Ike, tears later, called him a psychopath... Excellent portrayal of the fanaticism of the SS, and regular Wehrmacht troops. The author also discusses at length the bomb plot, and how the Army officers were deluded into thinking that assassinating Hitler would allow them to make a separate peace with the British and Americans... The book concludes with the capture of Paris, and the political aspects of that... including DeGaulle and LeClerque, and how DeGaulle was really a loose cannon... and not an Allied team player, but then again devoted to la France... In fact obnoxious personalities and stupid ideas of many major players are revealed, including Churchill. Good discussion of grand strategy.. i.e. Churchill opposed the landings in the South of France, he wanted to move up through Greece and protect the Balkans and Yugoslavia etc from Soviet occupation... but was told he was overreacting to the Soviet threat. The Normandy Campaign was a hellish meat grinder that saw entire divisions destroyed... the US replacement system was almost criminal in its inhumanity, and the Allied tank crews suffered horribly at the hands of the superior German machines.. But, as the author says, if the landings had foundered, perhaps been delayed and then run into the major storm that hit in Mid June, what would have happened? With no landings, the Russians could have made it across Western Europe, and then what?

  • Joe
    2018-08-30 14:41

    Beevor is one of the few modern writers of WW2 history that can take a subject that is (to me) old and shelf-worn and make it fresh and exciting again. He does it again with this one, making me forget that I've read (and viewed and been schooled on) D-Day since Ryan's The Longest Day was still considered the latest thing. In his usual style, Beevor describes events from a wide range of perspectives, from the grand strategies of the leaders down to the experiences of ordinary soldiers and civilians. Bravo.This is a modern history, and as such covers a lot of the horrors that go unmentioned by writers closer the time of WW2. Which means, of course, coverage of the mistakes, atrocities (by both sides), and friendly-fire accidents classic writers like Corneleus Ryan overlooked. In doing this Beevor gives the reader a better perspective of what war is really all about. It is a practice that actually does more to showcase the acts of heroism where they occur than does the older style of simply glossing over the unsavory stuff.While this is a very good book, it is not quite up to the standard Beevor set in Stalingrad and The Fall of Berlin, both of which I highly recommend. D-Day contains more "military-ese" jargon which may be unfamiliar to more casual readers. Granted, it is probably less the fault of the author than the nature of the subject matter as to why this happens. Beevor could be faulted more for not having quite enough maps, or as detailed ones, as were really needed to follow some of the more detailed descriptions of maneuvers. However, these are minor quibbles about an otherwise very fine book.

  • Czarny Pies
    2018-09-01 14:32

    Antony Beevor is one of the greatest historians of the last fifty years. His books on Stalingrad and the Fall of Berlin have forever changed our view of the war in the East. This volume is then an excellent choice for anyone wishing to learn more about the invasion of Normandy. I give it four stars rather than five because it does not change our basic understanding of WWII in the same dramatic way that Beevor's greatest masterpieces do.Nonetheless, Beevor is an outstanding historian and every book that he writes including D-Day: The Battle of Normandy is of tremendous value. Beevor's first strength is his thoroughness. He plows through all the documents in whatever language necessary to obtain a complete command of the facts. Next, he interviews civilian survivors from the region in order to convey to the reader what the human experience in the region of the battles was. Both these excellent practices appear in D-Day.One of Beevor's qualities that is of great help in D-Day is that he understands English and French culture very well. In particular he knows the mentality of the ruling classes that provided the French and British with their political and military leadership during WWII. I also like Beevor's compassion for the fate of the common people who die or suffer horribly because of war. In D-Day, he harshly criticizes the allied bombing for causing unnecessary loss of civilian life while failing to provide meaningful assistance the allied infantrymen on the ground.This is another great book by an exceptionally talented historian.

  • Olethros
    2018-09-10 14:28

    -Título algo engañoso, por más que sea cierto en parte.-Género. Historia.Lo que nos cuenta. Con el subtítulo La batalla de Normandía y tras un breve repaso de los acontecimientos previos a nivel de las personalidades que decidirían la ejecución de Overlord en la Segunda Guerra Mundial, descripción de la operación, de los combates posteriores y el avance de las tropas aliadas en distintas fases, hasta la toma de París algo menos de tres meses después.¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

  • Jojo Clemente
    2018-09-23 12:32

    Having read several books on this pivotal point of World War II, Antony Beevor has come up with another work to compliment works by other noted historians such as Cornelius Ryan and Stephen Ambrose. Starting with the critical days before the decision to embark on Operation Overlord, Beevor gives the reader a fly-on-the-wall's view of how history unfolded. Told from the Allied and German points-of-view, the work clearly narrates how decisions by commanders affected certain aspects of how the battle for Normandy proceeded. From Eisenhower's difficult and unenviable position to greenlight the invasion, to Montgomery's tendency to hesitate and yet declare victories were there were stalemates, to the German commanders' frustration with Hitler, D-Day : The Battle for Normandy provides a complete overview of what was involved to make this the turning point of the war. For any student of World War II history and those who have particular interest regarding D-Day, this book is a must to fully understand the events of those fateful weeks and months that lead to the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany.

  • Greg Heywood
    2018-09-01 15:35

    I loved Beevor's books on Stalingrad (one of my favourites) and the Spanish Civil War. This one, is about D-Day obviously, so is closer to Stalingrad in scope. Beevor does a fantastic job of explaining the situation amongst the Allies leading up to and during the invasion, as well as the invasion itself of course. Don't expect hundreds of pages about "the longest day", this book deals with a larger scale than that, more about divisions, corps, and strategic and tactical aims. Antony does however get almost enough personal accounts and anecdotes in as well though. I say "almost enough" because this book didn't grab me the same way as Stalingrad, and perhaps that is why? Still, there is plenty of information here. It was particularly interesting to read about the difference in behaviour and treatment of the different German units (general Wehrmacht units vs Waffen-SS for example), as well as the difference between the mentality and tactics of the different Allied armies. The is plenty here about the different generals on both sides. With all of that, and plenty of maps, no one could argue that this book isn't comprehensive.

  • José
    2018-08-31 17:34

    I've haven't read a more detailed account of this campaign before (and that's saying a lot because I've read both Ambrose and Ryan on this topic). Beevor zooms in and out of the battlefield as needed and basically leaves the reader with a profound sense of disgust at the sheer waste of human life and energy that war yields. It is perhaps the only account that emphasizes civilian suffering at all. Also, Beevor reminds us that the campaign really ended with the occupation of Paris. Even though these events took place over half a century ago, I walk away from this book reaffirmed in my conviction that war is a nasty business with no clear distinction between the good and the bad, the guilty and the innocent. From the costly Allied miscalculations on some of the tactical bombing runs to the indiscriminate reprisals against any female that might have gotten just a tad too close to the Germans, the sheer volume of horror depicted here left this reader a bit numb and less than eager to pick up a war history book for a while.

  • Robert
    2018-09-08 19:28

    Another excellent historical work by Anthony Beevor. It covers everything from the pre-event planning till just after the liberation of Paris. Like all Beevor book, it is easy to read and full of detailed information about the events and the people who played a part.The book gives you a real sense of what it was like for both the common soldier and the commanders. It highlights the frictions experienced between different nationalities and different arms of the service. Importantly, it also conveys the highly successful, if not ultimately doomed, resistance of the German forces facing the largest invasion fleet in history.It highlights the struggles and challenges the invaders faced that in many cases could only be overcome with the application of total air supremacy. This, however, does not detract from the amazing achievements of average soldier who successfully stormed Hitler's vaunted Fortress Europa and accelerated the end of Nazi Germany.This book is a must read for war historians and those seeking to understand the momentous events of the 6th of June 1944.

  • Mirren Hogan
    2018-09-14 13:16

    I'm a geek and a history buff, so I read history books from cover to cover. I usually find them interesting, but this book is also entertaining and fascinating. It's beautifully written, giving the reader a sense of the melancholy, challenge and outright hell that is war. Beevor includes a lot facts and emails, but these are tempered with anecdotes that remind the reader that he's writing about actual people. It's so easy to distance ourselves from events distant in time and place from our own lives. Beevor brings the reader into the lives (and deaths) of those who lived during the conflict and reminds us of the sacrifice of so many, without lecturing us about the evils of war. Rather, he injects humour, where appropriate, making the conflict feel oh so much more human and relevant than I have read it or seen it documented before.