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D-Day: June 6, 1944 -- The Climactic Battle of WWII

D-Day: June 6, 1944 -- The Climactic Battle of WWII


D-Day: June 6, 1944 -- The Climactic Battle of WWII

ratings:
4/5 (24 ratings)
Length:
5 hours
Released:
Jun 1, 1994
ISBN:
9780743518758
Format:
Audiobook

Description

They wanted to be throwing baseballs, not hand grenades, shooting .22s at rabbits, not M-1s at other men. But when the test came, when freedom had to be fought for or abandoned, they fought.
They were soldiers of democracy.
They were the men of D-Day.

When Hitler declared war on the United States, he bet that the young men brought up in the Hitler Youth would outfight the youngsters brought up in the Boy Scouts. Now, in this magnificent retelling of the war's most climactic battle, acclaimed Eisenhower biographer and World War II historian Stephen E. Ambrose tells how wrong Hitler was.
Drawing on hundreds of oral histories as well as never-before-available information from around the world, Ambrose tells the true story of how the Allies broke through Hitler's Atlantic Wall, revealing that the intricate plan for the invasion had to be abandoned before the first shot was fired. Focusing on the 24 hours of June 6, 1944, D-Day brings to life the stories of the men and women who made history -- from top Allied and Axis strategic commanders to the citizen soldiers whose heroic initiative saved the day.
From high-level politics to hand-to-hand combat, from winner-take-all strategy to survival under fire, here is history more gripping than any thriller -- the epic story of democracy's victory over totalitarianism.
Released:
Jun 1, 1994
ISBN:
9780743518758
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Dr. Stephen E. Ambrose was a renowned historian and acclaimed author of more than thirty books. Among his New York Times bestsellers are: Nothing Like It in the World, Citizen Soldiers, Band of Brothers, D-Day: June 6, 1944, and Undaunted Courage. He was not only a great author, but also a captivating speaker, with the unique ability to provide insight into the future by employing his profound knowledge of the past.  His stories demonstrate how leaders use trust, friendship, and shared experiences to work together and thrive during conflict and change. His philosophy about keeping an audience engaged is put best in his own words: “As I sit at my computer, or stand at the podium, I think of myself as sitting around the campfire after a day on the trail, telling stories that I hope will have the members of the audience, or the readers, leaning forward just a bit, wanting to know what happens next.” Dr. Ambrose was a retired Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans. He was the Director Emeritus of the Eisenhower Center in New Orleans and the founder of the National D-Day Museum. He was also a contributing editor for the Quarterly Journal of Military History, a member of the board of directors for American Rivers, and a member of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council Board. His talents have not gone unnoticed by the film industry. Dr. Ambrose was the historical consultant for Steven Spielberg’s movie Saving Private Ryan. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks purchased the film rights to his books Citizen Soldiers and Band of Brothers to make the thirteen-hour HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. He has also participated in numerous national television programs, including ones for the History Channel and National Geographic.


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What people think about D-Day

4.2
24 ratings / 18 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    A well crafted and copious detailed account that unlike many 'modern' tomes on the topic thankfully does not lend overdue weight to the contribution of the USA Armed Forces - superb & essential as they were to the planning, implementation & success - and is all the better for offering a very balanced account of the forces, events & main characters on all sides during the so-called 'Longest Day'.
  • (3/5)
    Though I enjoyed reading about many of the individual accounts of D-Day in this book, I didn't like the way Ambrose pieced them together. It just kept going and going....
  • (5/5)
    I listened to this book (read by the author and WWII historian Stephen Ambrose) before our trip to Normandy to see the D Day sites. The book dramatically tells the true story of the how the Allies (US, Canada and Great Britain) broke through Hitler's Atlantic wall, focusing on D Day, June 6, 1944.
  • (5/5)
    Really comprehensive, gripping history of June 6, 1944 in Normandy. Ambrose is a great popular history writer, and in this book he really gives the reader a sense of the enormity of the endeavor on D-Day. The book focuses most of its time on Omaha Beach, which was the messiest of the invasion beaches due to the failure of the allies to properly bombard the emplacements first thing in the morning. But all the beaches get their due, and a sober assessment of the mistakes and brilliant decisions made by planners, generals, and lesser officers is offered.The Greatest Generation indeed! The difficult part of reading the book is that it would really be better as a documentary film, with diagrams and lots of maps. Not knowing the details of the geography of the French coast, I kept referring to maps from other places to get my bearings. There should have been more maps in the book. I would imagine, too, that a person with a military background would have an easier time than I did, as it's hard to picture this stuff if you haven't got a base of understanding.
  • (4/5)
    D-day was a pivotal day in the 20th Century and Ambrose weaves together the logistical planning, strategic decisions, and individual instances of tragedy and heroism into a coherent package. There is no greater drama than that of D-Day, when the fate of civilization depended the actions of individual soldiers and those that led them.
  • (5/5)
    This was the first book of Ambroses I read. Ambrose rally taught me to look at history differently. I actually read this book twice as it is a tough read, June 6 '44 was a very busy day. I read again when I went to Normandy in November of 2004 and carried this copy with me.
  • (5/5)
    im reading this again, for the forth time and hate that there is not enough time in the day to devote to this book. the histories of the men involved in dday are a facinating read, made more so by the way the author has knitted them all together to make an easier to read account; unlike many other books recording the same events.
  • (4/5)
    A great book by one of the premiere historians on the subject. Definitely worth the read!
  • (5/5)
    For the past 15 years or so I have been intrigued by the accomplishments of the Allied forces on D-Day. I visited the area in 1999 and was overcome with emotion at the tremendous sacrifice and bravery that had taken place. Stephen Ambrose has taken it to a new level. It's as though I was one of them and they were sharing with me their most personal stories of the war. War stories from veterans are few but always priceless. These are no exception. Thank you veterans for all you have done.
  • (4/5)
    Stephen Ambrose presents this dramatic account of D-Day based upon newly released archives, interviews with veterans from both sides of the conflict as well as his own considerable knowledge of WWII. It is quite obvious that Ambrose connects with veterans of all levels of rank and all types of background; he admires and appreciates them and the veterans in turn trust him and reveal stories perhaps never told before. It is these stories that flesh out the historical structure of the events of June 6, 1944 and create the drama, heartbreak and pride that was D-Day.
  • (4/5)
    A very nice book, based on personal accounts of D-Day participants. Stephen E. Ambrose doesn't hesitate to point out the planning and execution mistakes of the high-level leadership on both sides. Fortunately, for the Allies, the Germans were the most unprepared and disorganized.
  • (4/5)
    Where do I begin with a book like this? Imagine watching a scene from high above. Everything is muted and details are fuzzy. Now imagine swooping in to ground level and being able to engage all the senses. You hear, see, smell, taste and feel everything at close range. D-Day is such a book. You know all about June 6th, 1944 from your textbooks and your history classes. With D-Day, June 6th, 1944: the Climactic Battle of World War II Stephen Ambrose swoops in and takes you down the to fighting. Ground level. You get to hear first hand accounts from the American, British and Canadian men who survived Operation Overlord: the five separate attacks from sea and air. The opening chapter is a parachute drop into enemy territory. Soldiers who fought side by side with buddies who later wouldn't make it recall every emotion. What a strange circumstance, to be fighting for your life and watching men die around you and yet have no fear. They knew they could meet death at any minute but were so moved by commanding offices to keep surging forward. The battle at Omaha Beach illustrates this most poignantly. Probably the most interesting section of the book was the comparisons between Commanders Eisenhower and Rommel. They had so many things in common they could have been friends had it not been for their opposing positions in the war.
  • (3/5)
    Good, detailed history of the Normandy invasion.
  • (3/5)
    A sweeping survey of D-Day and the build-up thereto, well researched and interspersed with telling recollections from veterans. I personally found that it did not quite live up to its billing by reason of its strong American bias - a sub-title "The American Contribution/Perspective" would have given a fairer idea of its content and scope, as the treatment of the US landings at Utah and Omaha beaches is far more extensive than that for the British and Canadians at Juno and Sword. No doubt the author speaks as he finds, but the criticisms of the British seem relatively more trenchant than those of US forces and the author also seems to have picked up on the dislike of Monty that he attributes to Eisenhower and a number of the references to Montgomery in the book are shot through with this. Overall a good book and one I am glad I have read, but some reservations about the treatment of US allies.
  • (5/5)
    At first I found the style tough to get through because it's a series of really small vignettes, but soon I grew to like it. Felt like a very thorough account with lots of interesting stories from individuals who were there and survived.
  • (2/5)
    This book should be titled "US Airborne and Omaha Beach on D-Day." After a start that discusses the great work of British paratroops Ambrose promises to give a complete look at the battle. But he only tells the US side of the story. It is frustrating how American writers can arrogantly say they are telling the complete story of a battle when dismissing all that is not about them. While admitting the landing at Juno beach was as difficult and bloody for the Canadians as the landing at Omaha was for the Americans (which he dissects in great detail and builds pedestals for all the brave GIs who dared set foot on the beach) he gives but a sentence to the Canadians. He fails to mention the Canadians did not drop their tanks at the bottom of the channel and executed that part of the landing exponentially better than the Yanks. He devotes chapters to the tiny successes of the screw-up American airborne troops that so poorly executed their plans that day. But he has just one obligatory mention of the Canadians and only one specific detail of the Brit paratroops. We get it Steve, you love the old airborne guys. You love the guy that got hooked on the steeple and you don't care what the Brits and especially the Canadians did that day. Fine. Just don't claim to be writing about the entire battle.
  • (5/5)
    An excellent book to learn details about the people and locations preceding and during the Allied invasion at Normandy. The author does an excellent job of presenting the complexities of the invasion in a manner that is easy to understand and follow time-wise. He relied on many first-person accounts and did a masterful job of weaving them into a magnificent chronology for the reader to comprehend.The book contains helpful graphics and maps, photos, and an index.
  • (5/5)
    An absolutely priceless piece of research regarding the climactic battle of WWII in June of 1944. Painstakingly researched and told in clear, straightforward prose, Ambrose places us on beaches and in the planning rooms as the battle teeters on the brink of failure. General Omar Bradley nearly calls the men off the beach. His communications are down and the beach is shrouded in smoke so he waits, unaware that most of his armor hasn?t made it to shore, that his officer corps has been decimated, and that it?s his non-coms who have carried the desperate battle to the enemy. A great read and a must for any student of World War II.