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D-Day: The Battle for Normandy
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About the Author

Antony Beevor is the bestselling author of D-Day: The Battle for Normandy, which received the Royal United Services' Institute Westminster Medal; The Battle for Spain, which received the La Vanguardia Prize; Paris After the Liberation 1944-1949; Stalingrad, winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History, and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature; and The Fall of Berlin 1945, which received the first Longman-History Today Trustees' Award. He is the recipient of the 2014 Pritzker Military Museum & Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. Beevor lives in England.

Reviews

The story of operation Overlord and the French-coast landings on D-day, June 6, 1944, has been recounted many times both in print and on the big screen. It is certainly a story worth retelling, and Beevor (Stalingrad) does it well, combining contemporary accounts with a moving narrative, beginning on June 2, 1944, and ending with the liberation of Paris in August. He relates the operation from all points of view, from the commanders to the men on the beaches, giving equal time to all participants and including, more unusually, the experiences of the French civilians involved. Civilian casualties ran into the tens of thousands, a fact either ignored or given short shrift in most books. Beevor shifts perspectives smoothly, enabling the reader to follow along without confusion, from the U.S. landings on Omaha and Utah beaches to the British and Canadians landings on Sword and Juno beaches, to the airborne incursion and the German response. Verdict Beevor has written an in-depth campaign history, comparable to Max Hastings's Overlord and Carlo D'Este's Decision in Normandy, that should be read by beginners and experts alike. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/09.]-David Lee Poremba, Windermere, FL Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Beevor has established a solid reputation as a chronicler of WWII's great eastern front battles: Stalingrad and Berlin. In addressing D-Day, he faces much wider competition with historians like Stephen Ambrose and Max Hastings, who also use his method of integrating personal experiences, tactical engagements, operational intentions and strategic plans. Beevor combines extensive archival research with a remarkable sense of the telling anecdote: he quotes, for example, an officer's description of the "bloody mass of arms and legs and heads, [and] cremated corpses" created by artillery fire as the Germans tried to escape the Allied breakout. He is sharply critical of senior commanders on both sides: Bernard Montgomery's conceit; Adolf Hitler's self-delusion; Dwight Eisenhower's mediocrity. His heroes are the men who took the invasion ashore and carried it forward into Normandy in the teeth of a German defense whose skill and determination deserved a better cause. The result was a battle of attrition: a "bloody slog" that tested British and American fighting power to the limit-but not beyond. Beevor says that it wasn't Allied forces' material superiority but their successful use of combined arms and their high learning curve that were decisive in a victory that shaped postwar Europe. Maps, illus. (Oct. 13) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"Absorbing... The reader finished this accessible history with the sense he has had a 360-degree look at Operation Overlord and its multinational cast... Terrifing reading."--USA Today

"A dramatic, important, and instructive story, and Beevor tells it surpassingly well."--The Washington Post "Where the book really scores is in its eye for the operational detail and its vivid reconstructions of the experience of battle, as unavoidable courage mixes with arbitrary tragedy."--Lawrence Freedman, Foreign Affairs "Beevor excels in recounting, from interviews with veterans and from the testimony of soldiers' letters and reports, just what a bloody campaign the invasion was... Beevor is especially gripping in his account of the U.S. 120th Infantry... Beevor is to be commended for emphasizing a troubling theme: the inferiority of much Allied equipment."--The Wall Street Journal "His account of atrocities on both sides, of errors committed and of surpassing bravery makes for excellent - though often blood-soaked - reading. Beevor gets better with each book."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Beevor has written an in-depth campaign history...that should be read by beginners and experts alike."--Library Journal

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