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Stephen E. Ambrose’s D-Day is the definitive history of World War II’s most pivotal battle, a day that changed the course of history.

D-Day is the epic story of men at the most demanding moment of their lives, when the horrors, complexities, and triumphs of life are laid bare. Distinguished historian Stephen E. Ambrose portrays the faces of courage and heroism, fear and determination—what Eisenhower called “the fury of an aroused democracy”—that shaped the victory of the citizen soldiers whom Hitler had disparaged.Drawing on more than 1,400 interviews with American, British, Canadian, French, and German veterans, Ambrose reveals how the original plans for the invasion had to be abandoned, and how enlisted men and junior officers acted on their own initiative when they realized that nothing was as they were told it would be.

The action begins at midnight, June 5/6, when the first British and American airborne troops jumped into France. It ends at midnight June 6/7. Focusing on those pivotal twenty-four hours, it moves from the level of Supreme Commander to that of a French child, from General Omar Bradley to an American paratrooper, from Field Marshal Montgomery to a German sergeant.

Ambrose’s D-Day is the finest account of one of our history’s most important days.

Topics: World War II, Military, War, American History, Soldiers, Nazis, Dramatic, Informative, Realistic, Realism, 1940s, France, England, Germany, Transcribed Interviews, Based on a True Story, and Political Commentary

Published: Simon & Schuster on Apr 23, 2013
ISBN: 9781439126301
List price: $13.99
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A great book by one of the premiere historians on the subject. Definitely worth the read!read more
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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.read more
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Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A great book by one of the premiere historians on the subject. Definitely worth the read!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
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What we have is well-executed narrative history, with a wealth of detail and of material drawn from oral histories, but with a very skewed sense of overall significance and a lot of implicit distortion in order to tell the story dramatically.By my count, this book gave approximately ten times as much space to the actions on Omaha Beach to anywhere else; you're left with the impression that the D-Day landings consisted of a very heavy central assault by a US force, with a minor landing to the west to link up with the parachutists, and a few sketchily-described raids by British and Commonwealth forces to the east. I'd have been a lot happier with the content of this book if it had been more honestly titled.
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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.
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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.
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