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D-Day: The Battle for Normandy [Hardcover]

Antony Beevor
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 13 2009

The #1 internationally bestselling history of D-Day is now enhanced with rare video footage from the NBC News Archives for the ultimate narrative of the battle for Normandy.



The definitive account of the Normandy invasion by the bestselling author of Stalingrad and The Fall of Berlin 1945

From critically acclaimed world historian, Antony Beevor, this is the first major account in more than twenty years to cover the whole invasion from June 6, 1944, right up to the liberation of Paris on August 25. It is the first book to describe not only the experiences of the American, British, Canadian, and German soldiers, but also the terrible suffering of the French caught up in the fighting. More French civilians were killed by Allied bombing and shelling than British civilians were by the Luftwaffe.

The Allied fleet attempted by far the largest amphibious assault ever, and what followed was a battle as savage as anything seen on the Eastern Front. Casualties mounted on both sides, as did the tensions between the principal commanders. Even the joys of liberation had their darker side. The war in northern France marked not just a generation, but the whole of the postwar world, profoundly influencing relations between America and Europe. Beevor draws upon his research in more than thirty archives in six countries, going back to original accounts, interviews conducted by combat historians just after the action, and many diaries and letters donated to museums and archives in recent years.

D-Day will surely be hailed as the consummate account of the Normandy invasion and the ferocious offensive that led to the liberation of Paris.


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Review

As near as possible to experiencing what it was like to be there... It is almost impossible for a reader not to get caught up in the excitement -- Giles Foden Guardian No writer can surpass Beevor in making sense of a crowded battlefield and in balancing the explanation of tactical manoeuvres with poignant flashes of human detail -- Christopher Silvester Daily Express --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Antony Beevor is the author of Inside the British Army, Crete: The Battle and the Resistance, and several novels. With his wife, Artemis Cooper, he is coauthor of the critically acclaimed Paris after the Liberation, 1944-1949. Both Beevor and his wife were subsequently made Chevaliers de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The longest month Sept. 27 2009
By J. C. Mareschal TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Most of the accounts of the allied landings in Normandy suggest that, after the success of the operation on D-day, the victory of the Allies was never in question. It was not so. For the allies and for the Germans, the longest day was followed by the two longest months. This book by Anthony Beevor is perhaps the best account I have read of the battle of Normandy. It reestablishes the true scale of the fighting in France during the months of June and July 1944. As importantly, it also reminds us of all the human suffering that accompanied this battle.

The allied command feared that the first wave of landing troops could experience up to 90% casualties. This was not so, and the landing went a lot better than expected. But the invading armies fell very short of their too ambitious objectives for the first day. Soon, they faced some of the crack units of the wehrmacht, and their progression was slow and costly. The allied had the advantage of overwhelming air superiority and of the support of the big guns on the battleships. The Germans never had a chance to push the allied forces back to the sea but they fought with greater determination than many of the allied divisions. For more than a month, British and Canadian troops progressed at snail's pace on the eastern part of the front. It took more than a month for the Americans to break the deadlock in the western part of the front. Then the German line collapsed: Paris was liberated; the allies reached Antwerp in September.

Like in his previous books, the author never loses track of the human perspective. After reading this book, I can measure better than before the terrible cost of the battle of Normandy. It was a battle of attrition that the Germans had no hope to win, but victory came at a very heavy price for the allies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lived Up to High Expectations June 13 2010
By Jeffrey Swystun TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Mr. Beevor brought it on himself. Having read Berlin, Stalingrad, The Battle for Spain, and Paris After the Liberation, I had extremely high expectations for D-Day because his previous efforts were just so damned good. I am happy to report he has done especially well here given the fact that the subject has been covered so many times before. Beevor's style of writing is a great mix of on-the-ground narrative, big picture strategy, and requisite facts and figures. The result is always compelling, convincing, and entertaining which is no small feat when writing history.

This treatment of D-Day is the most logical as it spans from preparation of the invasion to the liberation of Paris. June 6th itself will always be an incredible day in history but including the bocage fighting, the breakout, and entering Paris provides greater context and understanding to D-Day overall. I read The Longest Day about thirty years ago and approximately twenty other books on D-Day since and believe that Beevor's is the most holistic and balanced especially his insights into German strategy and response.

As a proud Canadian, I appreciated his treatment of the Canadian contribution. Many of the histories have given the subject short shrift. The 'what-ifs' Beevor explores regarding the taking of Caen breaks new ground. Obviously mistakes were made and his new theories are incredibly interesting and valuable for the debate. I also appreciated the photographs included because many I had not seen before. And facts like most allied tanks were knocked out by artillery and close order anti-tank weapons rather than the vaunted and feared Tigers and Panthers add more texture and insight.

I highly recommend this work along with his others mentioned at the top of the review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monumental and Gripping Feb. 1 2010
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Whenever you read an Antony Beevor account of modern war, be it "Stalingrad" or "The Fall of Berlin", you're sure to get plenty of accurate and chilling detail, accompanied by decent analysis of how the march of events impact history. Beevor's "D-Day" is no exception to this well-earned reputation for popular historical writing. In this account of the Normandy Invasion of June 1944, when the Allies undertook Operation Overlord to reclaim Europe from the Nazis, he presents the daily events of this complex invasion in such a pointed way as to bring the reader face-to-face with the terrible realities of modern warfare. What Beevor produces here is the 'blood and guts' of a campaign that, while organized on paper to be that effective second-front to finish off Nazi Germany, turned out to be a series of prolonged bloody battles due in part to questionable and fractured leadership at the top. Any credit that the Allies get for eventually achieving a breakthrough to Paris in August 1944 goes to the incredible stalwart determination of the regular soldier and not the conceited leadership of the likes of Montgomery or Patton. In the interests of creating a balanced story, Beevor devotes space to fanatical exploits of the Germans, especially the Panzer divisions, in slowing down the advancing Allied armies. I came away from this book with a fresh appreciation for the power of modern weaponary in war. His description of how tank warfare - the Sherman and the Tiger - played a key role during the invasion is worth noting. "D-Day" is comprehensive in its attempts to allow the reader to see all major facets of the war: civilian life, strategic command, medical services and embedded reporting. Within this scope of reference, Beevor follows the various paths of the invasion forces on the road to Paris. Read more ›
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