5.0 out of 5 stars Pegasus Bridge book review.
This is the story of the Ox and Bucks regiment who captured Pegasus bridge on D-Day. This book is superb it gives an excellent account of the importance of the mission and the training of the men leading up to the actual assault and capture of the bridge. The book then goes on to explain how the bridge was held and includes good detail of when the re-enforcements arrived...
Published on Jun 13 2004 by Stephen W.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite All The Way Across
Stephen Ambrose is one of those authors that I would give anything he wrote a chance. In the past I have not been disappointed with his work. That positive track record came to an end with this book. To be fair this book was written a number of years ago and before his best World War 2 works - D-Day and Citizen Soldiers. This book also covers an event that was...
Published on Feb 13 2003 by John G. Hilliard
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pegasus Bridge book review.,
This review is from: Pegasus Bridge (Paperback)This is the story of the Ox and Bucks regiment who captured Pegasus bridge on D-Day. This book is superb it gives an excellent account of the importance of the mission and the training of the men leading up to the actual assault and capture of the bridge. The book then goes on to explain how the bridge was held and includes good detail of when the re-enforcements arrived. The book is written very well and it has lots of eye witness accounts in it by people who were actually there. I recently visited the bridge during the 60th anniversary of D-Day and I would certainly reccommend reading the book if you are to visit the bridge ( I would also reccommend a visit to Pegasus bridge). This book has inspired me to purchase another book titled "The devils own luck" which is about the Ox and Bucks regiment after Pegasus bridge up to the end of the war.
2.0 out of 5 stars too little, too late,
This review is from: Pegasus Bridge (Paperback)At last Ambrose begins to tackle the massive british contribution to victory. but it is a disappointingly short and skimpy look.
Ambrose (and one notes, some US reviewers below)manages to recognise the vitory at the bridge, but understates the non US contribution overall. remember, approx 50% of all forces in Normandy were UK/Canadian - and far from failing, as one reviewer below has it, they held, and ground down, the bulk of the German forces in Normandy, enabling US forces to break out against weak opposition.
4.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD STORY, TOLD,
This review is from: Pegasus Bridge (Paperback)Stephen Ambrose's book tells the story of D company, 6th para. and the taking of the bridges over the Orne canal and river. It is an excellent, if skimpy, telling of one of the facinating stories of WWII. I have always found the incident interesting since seeing it portrayed in "The Longest Day" It is a quick read, and I'd have liked more detail, but it is a good book none the less.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite All The Way Across,
This review is from: Pegasus Bridge (Paperback)Stephen Ambrose is one of those authors that I would give anything he wrote a chance. In the past I have not been disappointed with his work. That positive track record came to an end with this book. To be fair this book was written a number of years ago and before his best World War 2 works - D-Day and Citizen Soldiers. This book also covers an event that was performed by UK soldiers and the author's real strength has been with American forces. With those two books in my mind I grabbed this book hoping for the same detailed account of this particular event.
Unfortunately for me the detail level was just not there. He briefly touched on the training and lead up to the event but not in the kind of detail that would really give me some insight into the men. He covered the assault on the bridge, but his coverage of the importance of the bridge to the overall D-Day effort and the German response was a bit lacking. And finally he also touched on what happened to the group for the rest of the war but in such a general way that it left me wanting more and frustrated at the extremely brief overview. I do not want to come off too harsh, overall this is an interesting and easy to read book that gives the reader a better then average coverage of the event. I was just thinking it would be better based on the author's track record.
2.0 out of 5 stars A story in search of an author,
This review is from: Pegasus Bridge (Paperback)My goodness, but here is a terrific bit of history desperately in need of a decent author. Told properly, the final product should be one of those rare books you simply cannot put down. Alas, Professor Ambrose was the one to take up the challenge and what he has wrought is a most amateurish work. His narrative style can be wincingly painful. His is the kind of storytelling I used to read in grade school. At any moment I half-expected Frank and Joe Hardy to appear on the scene. You would be better served by watching THE LONGEST DAY. Darryl F. Zanuck "told" the story much better.
4.0 out of 5 stars Up the Ox & Bucks,
This review is from: Pegasus Bridge (Paperback)"Pegasus Bridge" was the first Ambrose book I read. I had known the story of the British assault on the bridge forever known as Pegasus Bridge after reading and viewing "The Longest Day", but it was not until I read this book I really understood the rest of the story. The story of this small group of paratroopers is an important one for all who wish to read and study WW2 as it is a real test of the airborne force in this type of commando role and terribly important to the invasion of Normandy. Ambrose is in fine form in this, one of his earlier WW2 books, but he does not get that last star from me becuase he turns around and steals from himself, a lot from this very book, much later in his career. A good companion to this would be " Pegasus Bridge/Merville Battery" by Carl Shilleto for the Battleground Europe series.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story and excellent guide book.,
This review is from: Pegasus Bridge (Paperback)Having been stationed in Germany for three years I was fortunate enough to travel to many of the WWII battlegrounds that exist in Europe and the beaches that made up Operation Overlord is one trip that I will never forget. Before making the trip I read "Citizen Soldier," "D-Day" and "Pegasus Bridge" all written by Stephen Ambrose. I carried "D-Day" and "Pegasus Bridge" with me during my trip to use as a reference as I visited 4 of the 5 beaches involved in the D-Day invasion.
"Pegasus Bridge" is the story of the men from D company from the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry Regiment of the British 6th Airborne Division. Ambrose does a masterful job of relating the story of these men and tying to results of the battle to the overall operation of D-Day. Ambrose gives the background on the training of the men, personal insights of many of the men, and the man who held them all together Major John Howard.
As good as Ambrose tells the story of D company nothing compares to actually standing on that bridge and the feeling that you get thinking that right here is where the D-Day invasion began! Ambrose has included some great photos and drawing of the gliders landing site. When you visit the bridge itself you will find markers indicating the locations of the first three gliders and it is only then you will realize what a magnificent job of piloting Staff Sergeant Jim Wallwork did in landing the nose of his glider "to break through the barbed wire" as requested by Major Howard. Some the machine gun nest are still there beside the bridge and gives you an idea of what the men faced. The original bridge, replaced with a modern bridge, but thankfully was saved and is located nearby as part of a museum.
"The first place liberated in France" is what the Gondrée's café has as a label according to a plague affixed over the entrance to the café. If you do not go inside you will miss a stunning collection of "Pegasus" military memorabilia! If you are lucky, you might even meet Madam Gondrée, who was a child at the time of the battle, and was still running the café at the time of my visit. She sat with friends and me and related a few stories concerning the story of the bridge and their current fight with the local government to preserve the café and other local building from a campaign to broaden the canal.
As I walk around outside the café and bridge site, I used Ambrose's book to take me through the battle almost moment by moment. I could almost hear Lt. Brotheridge's Sten gun rattle off as he killed one of the two guards on the bridge that night and sadly wonder if he knew what he and his men accomplished that night as he lay dying only moments after engaging the Germans.
If have any interest in the D-Day invasion then you cannot go wrong with this book. Ambrose does a wonderful job in presenting the story. The book is easy to read; I finished it in two days, yet does not insult your intelligence. If you do visit the Normandy region make sure you block out at least half a day to visit the bridge and Madam Gondrée's café you will not be disappointed. Ste.-Mère-Église is another place not to miss, but that is another story.
3.0 out of 5 stars Commandos can work,
This review is from: Pegasus Bridge (Paperback)Stephen Ambrose has written a concise tactical story that deserves to be told, that of the superbly planned and executed commando raid by the British on 6 June 1944.
Ambrose is no stranger to the stories of D-Day, but readers of his works might be surprised by something so concise (another one of his books on Upton is equally concise and insightful). Ambrose does a stellar job of presenting the importance of intelligence, secrecy, surprise, mass and logistics in any military operation. He further demonstrates the value of a small attack in the grand scheme of maneuver.
The story of Pegasus Bridge, since so re-named by the French in honor of the Pegasus shoulder crest worn by the British, is a thrilling one of specially selected men, precise training, superb small unit leadership, and the role of fate in battle. Like the more well known Rangers at Pont du Hoc, the British were all volunteers, specially selected over a year in advance for a mission of which none of them knew anything. They worked hard at cross training in all of the infantry specialties of small unit tactics, teamwork, weapons handling, communications and that intangible, espirit de corps. The local French Résistance provided precise intelligence to the British so that, in conjunction with photo reconnaissance flights, the British knew exactly what they were facing in the dark night of 5-6 June 1944.
In keeping almost iron clad secrecy about the mission, and using silent gliders in small numbers to disguise the hit as a diversion of some sort, the British achieved total surprise and took both bridges almost without a hitch. What they lacked was the same as all amphibious and airborne assault forces: mass of numbers and logistical supplies. They made up for both of these the way that paratroopers and marines, and centuries ago grenadiers, always have: élan, dash, toughness, resolute will and purpose, unflinching courage. They carried it off so well that armored Germans, admittedly not first rate Panzer Truppen, probed, were hit, and backed off to wait for daylight, reinforcements and more guidance. No doubt that had a ethnically pure German leadership group commanded this operation with their traditional leadership from the front and dogged determination, this might have turned out very much differently, but it is always better to be lucky than good, and in that last measure, the British were once again well served.
The British participation in OVERLORD is frequently overlooked, and in fact, their failure to seize Caen and break into the French countryside decisively before the Germans could regroup must be regarded as a costly failure. Especially in lieu of the fact that they held Pegasus Bridge which offered exciting penetration and flanking exploitation possibilities, the British reluctance to attack fast and hard should be studied as a failure in command. With the stunning technical success at Arromanches with the Mulberries, and the dash and verve of the successful bridge seizure, though, it is time to also study the great British successes of OVERLORD: commando ops, intelligence, and logistics.
Pegasus Bridge is a good quick read, and worth re-reading and contemplation for what it does not tell you, but indicates in absebtia.
5.0 out of 5 stars Pegasus Bridge,
By A Customer
This review is from: Pegasus Bridge (Paperback)Having visited Normandy including Pegasus Bridge and Ranville in August 2001 I decided to do some more reading on D-day and read Pegasus Bridge by Stephen E. Ambrose.
I couldn't put it down, it was fascinating to read how these soldiers were trained and the precision with which they were expected to carry out their capture of the bridge.
I read this book cover to cover in 2 days, I haven't read a book that quickly for about 15 years so believe me this is a big recommendation.
I will certainly read more books by this author on this subject as soon as possible. Read it even if you don't have an interest, you will learn something about what another generation did for us so that we could live in freedom.
5.0 out of 5 stars Take This Book With You To Normandy,
This review is from: Pegasus Bridge (Paperback)I don't know what I can say about this marvelous work other than to advise anyone heading for Normandy to take this book with you. We were lost trying to find our way from Honfleur to the far eastern beaches when - VOILA - , there was Pegasus Bridge! It was the first D-Day sight we saw, and fittingly so, since it was the first battle of D-Day. Seeing the place so vividly described by Ambrose was haunting, made so by the personal stories relayed in this book. Seeing the memorial to Den Brotheridge brought the whole thing home - right between the eyes.
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Pegasus Bridge by Stephen E. Ambrose (Paperback - Nov 15 1988)
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