Customer Reviews for

D-Day: The Battle for Normandy

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

A good but not great book!

This is a good solid work, well written with excellent descriptive writing of actual combat. It is not however up to this author's usual high standards. There is little of the operational or strategic overview that should be part of this narrative. The issues relating t...
This is a good solid work, well written with excellent descriptive writing of actual combat. It is not however up to this author's usual high standards. There is little of the operational or strategic overview that should be part of this narrative. The issues relating to planning at the highest levels--Roosevelt, Churchill ,Marshall et al are glossed over. There are many excellent works relating to D-Day. Unfortunately, this book adds nothing to them. There are many better books on the subject, and the works of D'Este and Hastings come immediately to mind.

posted by 1682948 on December 14, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

A Good book, but Not a Great One on D-Day

Anthoney Beevor's newly released book on D-Day and the events that followed up to the liberation of Paris, is a very informative book. It is a good book but not a great book. Beevor covers in well documented detail, the war on the Western Front with Nazi Germany. At f...
Anthoney Beevor's newly released book on D-Day and the events that followed up to the liberation of Paris, is a very informative book. It is a good book but not a great book. Beevor covers in well documented detail, the war on the Western Front with Nazi Germany. At first I was prejudiced about this aspect of the war compared to the much larger campaigns on the Eastern Front. This book does a good job of explaining how the Allies were facing a very real threat with 9-10 divisions on a 60 mile front versus the same amount of fire in the east on a 200 mile front. In general, the book covers the pre-D-Day scenarios, the landing, and the slow progress of the Allies in the weeks and months after the invasion. It goes into detail about many of the important events, i.e failures at Caen, St.-Lo, Operation Colbra, to name a few. Also off interest is the plot against Hitler, and the final liberation of Paris.
Beevor not only covers the personalities of the many generals, like Montgomery, Bradley and Patton, but also the rest of the players from colonels on down to privates. This is done on both sides and is one of the strong points of the book. He also does a good job on how the war affected the people of France and the power struggle that developed between De gaulle and the French Communist party. A very interesting part was the super storm on June 19th, 1944, that played a large part in the war, and would have been a total disaster for the Allies if they had planned their invasion two weeks later. One advantage this book has over previous accounts of the war is that it was released in 2009. By this time, many if not all of the classified information, had been released so the reader is treated to many new revelations. Not only does he do a good job of weaving Ultra intelligence (the breaking of the German signal codes) into the accounts but also the role of the clandestine Jedburghs teams (Special Operations Teams) as well. This was very well done.
The invasion and the aftermath was not a smooth operation as many believed. There were many poor decisions made that cost the lives of many soldiers. Some of note were: the friendly fire mishaps by allied bombers, Commanders failing to quickly attack the Germans after pounding the enemy with artillery, the over bombing of many French villages, and the many mistakes made by the generals, most noticeably Field Marshall Montgomery. It is refreshing to get the full picture with both the good and the bad. We get into the minds of both Allies and Germans and see the human and inhuman side of both. Much is discussed on how the German generals were in a bind, knowing that the war was lost but still had to pledge allegiance to Hitler and obey his crazy orders.
I think that many will find this book informative, but I liked Beevors' other books better. It covered many things well, but it was not a fluid read and a little choppy. There are maps to show details of the many battles, a wonderful picture section in the middle of the book and a small glossary to help the reader with military terms. But when I read Beevor's earlier book on the Battle of Stalingrad, I was so impressed I read it twice. Maybe it was that at that time in the war all looked lost, and the Soviet Army started to turn the tide. In mid-1944, things were not as critical and the battles were not as impressive. I am not sure. Either way, this book was not nearly as good as his other works.
Robert Glasker

posted by Azpooldude on February 5, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2012

    not much new

    not much new

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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