Normandy '44: D-Day and the Epic 77-Day Battle for France

NORMANDY 44                                        JAMES HOLLAND

Drawing freshly on widespread archives and on the testimonies of eye-witnesses, Holland relates the extraordinary planning that made Allied victory in France possible; indeed, the story of how hundreds of thousands of men, and mountains of materiel, were transported across the English Channel, is as dramatic a human achievement as any battlefield exploit. The brutal landings on the five beaches and subsequent battles across the plains and through the lanes and hedgerows of Normandy—a campaign that, in terms of daily casualties, was worse than any in World War I—come vividly to life in conferences where the strategic decisions of Eisenhower, Rommel, Montgomery, and other commanders were made, and through the memories of paratrooper Lieutenant Dick Winters of Easy Company, British corporal and tanker Reg Spittles, Thunderbolt pilot Archie Maltbie, German ordnance officer Hans Heinze, French resistance leader Robert Leblanc, and many others.

For both sides, the challenges were enormous. The Allies confronted a disciplined German army stretched to its limit, which nonetheless caused tactics to be adjusted on the fly. Ultimately ingenuity, determination, and immense materiel strength—delivered with operational brilliance—made the difference. A stirring narrative by a pre-eminent historian, Normandy ‘44 offers important new perspective on one of history’s most dramatic military engagements and is an invaluable addition to the literature of war.
PAT'S REVIEW
This is the most in-depth book that I have ever read about D-Day. It actually reminds of some of the battles that I have read about from the Vietnam War. The author takes you through all of the different sides, American, British, Canadian, Scottish, and the Sherwood Rangers for one I had never heard or read about in the multiple books about D-Day that I have read. We have all heard of the paratroopers, I for one am a son of a WWII paratrooper from the 82nd 508, so got some more information about that. Really though you see how the German high command was hamstrung because of Hitler, and him not listening to Generals but just yes men. If they would have pulled their troops back out of range of naval guns they might have had a better chance. Also if Rommel or any of the others would have had command of the tanks but they sat for almost 24 hours as the attack was happening. As it was, the commander of the German force at Normandy did not think it was a full-scale attack so he did not report it for almost 12 hours after the paratroopers had landed and men were on the beach. You also get a look at the men at Normandy who most were either young or old with just a few veterans sparkled in here and there and those had just made it out of the Eastern front against Russia and were looking for rest and not another fight. You see the problems they had with the hedgerows and other problems but they would be worked out on the fly. One British commander sacked two of his tank commanders for not moving along. One of the biggest advantages the Allies had was supplies. Once beachheads were secured they began making supply depots and taking supplies from the beach to the front. A pipeline for fuel was lad across the channel which was another huge advantage along with the ability to fix tanks, not all of them were not out or destroyed. At night crews would go out bring the tanks back and most would be able to fight another day. The Germans could not do that. One of the biggest never written about was medical care. Most men that came in survived and some even went back out or would report back to their units later. Though the German high command was useless the ground troops fought and that is what would keep the battle going. Like the author stated it was infantry ground troops that won the war bit by bit and this book goes in detail the sacrifice they all made, weather ground, tank, or pilot. Very much worth the read. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars. Follow us atwww.1rad-readerreviews.com

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