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The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day, June 6, 1944

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Fantastic display of military journalism

Cornelius Ryan performs an exceptional job in recounting the planning and execution of the Allied invasion of Normandy. A first hand witness of the events surrounding D-Day, Ryan provides the reader with an immensely detailed story that is not only informative, but als...
Cornelius Ryan performs an exceptional job in recounting the planning and execution of the Allied invasion of Normandy. A first hand witness of the events surrounding D-Day, Ryan provides the reader with an immensely detailed story that is not only informative, but also well-written. Additionally, The Longest Day is a fantastic display of Ryan¿s prominence in military journalism. By going to great lengths to create a comprehensive account, he fashions a piece of literature well worth the read. Divided into three chapters, The Longest Day uncovers the preparations taken by the Allies, the preliminary steps of the invasion, and the beach landings on that infamous day in June of 1944. A skilled writer, Ryan successfully includes a suspenseful atmosphere throughout the novel by using descriptive imagery during battle scenes and other key moments. Additionally, the story is told from two sides. On one hand, the reader is able to observe the intense preparations being made on the side of the Allies, while on the other hand, he or she is offered the point of view of the Nazis. By doing this, Ryan makes use of dramatic irony as we know of the impending doom about to face the unsuspecting Nazis. This omniscient perspective presented to the reader is supplemented by the various levels of focus Ryan wishes to include. Not only does he discuss the specific tactics and strategies utilized by the invading regiments as a whole, but he also offers the thoughts, opinions, and sentiments of individual soldiers. These personal accounts sustain the reader¿s interest throughout the novel by evoking a feeling of sympathy and pity for these men who must overcome several challenging obstacles. I recommend this book to anyone who takes an interest in military history, especially World War II. Overflowing with valuable information and detail, The Longest Day is also a great source of learning for those who simply wish to understand the events that happened on that historical day. Those who show no interest in the subject matter, however, should by no means read this book because many may consider some parts dry and uneventful. Nevertheless, confident that most will enjoy this comprehensive piece of non-fiction, I most definitely view The Longest Day as a gripping novel that few would be able to put down.

posted by Anonymous on August 25, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

The Longest Day

World War Two, the holocaust was a truly a black mark on the record of human civilization. This book is a play by play from preparations of operation OVERLORD to the prosecution. Operation Overlord was the United States plan for entry into the war in Europe. This book ...
World War Two, the holocaust was a truly a black mark on the record of human civilization. This book is a play by play from preparations of operation OVERLORD to the prosecution. Operation Overlord was the United States plan for entry into the war in Europe. This book is only for people who love to learn facts about history. The reading is dry and going from page to page without and interest in world war two would be a real challenge. For a book that is a much bit easier to read I recommend something such as¿ 9 Seconds Over Tokyo¿.

posted by Anonymous on December 19, 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Standard to Judge War Reporting By

    Ryan's research was exhaustive, interviewing hundreds (at least) of participants and observers on both sides, and he assimilated it into a comprehensive narrative documenting what was the largest amphibious and airborne invasion in recorded history. From generals to privates; from infantrymen to pilots to sailors and ship captains; from Americans to British to French to Germans; Ryan integrates hundreds of individual experiences into a flowing tapestry of D-Day, June 6, 1944, when America and her theretofore defeated allies clawed a bloody toehold in Hitler's "Fortress Europe." Thousands of paratroopers were dropped on the night of June 5 to secure vital bridges and towns, but the pilots almost universally missed their drop zones and paratroopers were scattered all over northern France, surrounded by Germans and fighting desperately to find their units and take their objectives. In the morning, both naval bombardment and preparatory arial bombing fell behind the coastal defenses, leaving the Germans alert and unscathed to meet the assault troops. Rangers scaled steep 100 foot cliffs under heavy fire at Pont du Hoc to knock out Wermacht guns (which turned out not to be there any way). Finally, the troops came ashore on 5 beach heads. The defenses were deadliest at Omaha Beach, where it took the Americans of the Big Red One (1st Inf. Div.) and the 29th Inf. Division most of the day, with horrendous casualties (for Americans), to finally break through. It was a remarkable 24-hour period in world history, and Ryan gives it the treatment it deserves. The film based on his book is also quite good.

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