The Americans at Normandy: The Summer of 1944--The American War from the Normandy Beaches to Falaise

The Americans at Normandy: The Summer of 1944--The American War from the Normandy Beaches to Falaise

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by John C. McManus
     
 

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In The Americans at D-Day, the first volume of this series, John C. McManus showed us the American experience in Operation Overlord. Now, in this succeeding volume, he does the same for the Battle of Normandy as a whole. Never before has the American involvement in Normandy been examined so thoroughly or exclusively as in The Americans at Normandy.

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Overview

In The Americans at D-Day, the first volume of this series, John C. McManus showed us the American experience in Operation Overlord. Now, in this succeeding volume, he does the same for the Battle of Normandy as a whole. Never before has the American involvement in Normandy been examined so thoroughly or exclusively as in The Americans at Normandy. For D-Day was only one part of the battle, and victory came from weeks of sustained effort and sacrifices made by Allied soldiers.

Presented here is the American experience during that summer of 1944, from the aftermath of D-Day to the slaughter of the Falaise Gap, from the courageous, famed figures of Bradley, Patton, and Lightnin' Joe Collins to the lesser-known privates who toiled in torturous conditions for their country. What was this battle really like for these men? What drove them to fight against all sense and despite all obstacles? How and why did they triumph?

Reminiscent of Cornelius Ryan's The Longest Day, The Americans at Normandy takes readers into the minds of the best American strategists, into the hearts of the infantry, into hell on earth.

Engrossing, lightning-quick, and filled with real human sorrow and elation, The Americans at Normandy honors those Americans who lost their lives in foreign fields and those who survived. Here is their story, finally told with the depth, pathos, and historical perspective it deserves.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A noisy, bloody, and highly readable account of the three-month-long Battle of Normandy. Omaha Beach, so memorably depicted in the opening moments of Saving Private Ryan, was a slaughter. But, writes McManus (History/Univ. of Missouri), "once the strong German waterline defenses had been pierced, the advance inland was comparatively smooth." Utah Beach, conversely, was an easy enough landing, but the Germans put up a fierce fight in the hedgerows beyond, and soon the resistance spread throughout Normandy, eventually costing the Allies 209,703 casualties, "of whom 125,847 were American." Drawing on interviews with survivors as well as a wealth of documentary sources, McManus offers an almost firefight-by-firefight account of the battle, which is repetitive to the extent that the encounters were uniformly vicious and to the extent that the top leadership was so often badly informed. On the second point, for instance, McManus uncovers an unpleasant incident in which Allied pilots mistakenly bombed their own lines, killing scores of American troops (and nearly killing the famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle, who would die a year later at Okinawa). "The bombing had done some damage to the Germans, too, but that was beside the point," McManus writes-that point perhaps being that miscommunications among Americans and British, among pilots and ground troops, among generals and privates, yielded constant danger for all involved. More disasters ensued, including a useless, costly detour into Brittany, for which McManus lays the blame squarely on Gen. Omar Bradley. What saved the day, it appears, was only the willingness of the soldiery to endure, coupled with some exceptional leadership from GeorgePatton on down, including one junior lieutenant who authorized a truce after the colonel in charge of the line left orders not to be awakened. Of great interest to students of WWII history, and a fine textbook for the military academies, with as many negative as positive examples for future strategists. Agent: Ted Chichak/Scovil, Chichak and Galen
From the Publisher

“An American Iliad” —Stephen Coonts on The Americans at D-Day and The Americans at Normandy

“Required reading on a bitter battle that won't be--and never should be--forgotten.” —W.E.B. Griffin on The Americans at D-Day and The Americans at Normandy

“Awesome! A definitive account of a turning point in American and world history.” —Thomas Fleming on The Americans at D-Day and The Americans at Normandy

“Far more gripping than Saving Private Ryan. Comprehensively detailed . . . Utterly fascinating. McManus' style fits the slam-bang fighting that characterized one of the most crucial periods of the war, and he makes every battle---and every soldier---count as if it were the last round in the clip.” —Walter J. Boyne, New York Times bestselling author of Operation Iraqi Freedom on The Americans at D-Day and The Americans at Normandy

“I thought I knew something about war and men at war until I read John C. McManus' deeply insightfiul book. I stand humbled by what I consider nothing less than a definitive work on a subject whose scope is simply so vast that no writer until now has put int in perspective and made it real.” —David Hagberg on The Americans at D-Day and The Americans at Normandy

New York Times bestselling author of Operation Ira Walter J. Boyne
Far more gripping than Saving Private Ryan. Comprehensively detailed . . . Utterly fascinating. McManus' style fits the slam-bang fighting that characterized one of the most crucial periods of the war, and he makes every battle—-and every soldier—-count as if it were the last round in the clip.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466845800
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
05/28/2013
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
496
File size:
8 MB

Meet the Author

JOHN C. MCMANUS is a professor of military history at the University of Missouri. He has traveled extensively in researching his books about the American experience in World War II.


John C. McManus is associate professor of U.S. Military History at Missouri University of Science and Technology. The author of military history books, including The 7th Infantry Regiment: Combat in an Age of Terror, the Korean War through the Present, he is a leading expert on the history of Americans in combat. A member of the editorial advisory board at World War II magazine and World War II Quarterly, McManus was recently named to History News Network's list of Top Young Historians. He currently serves as official historian for the 7th Infantry Regiment Association. He lives in St. Louis with his wife Nancy.

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Americans at Normandy: The Summer of 1944--The American War from the Normandy Beaches to Falaise 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I gave it 4 stars due to the lack of detail in the maps.  I could not read them due to the horrible printing job.  It made it hard to follow the break out, therefore making it a bit confusing as to who was where.  I had to refer to other references and the internet for maps of France to get a full picture of the flow of the breakout.  I did find Bradley's lack of aggressiveness to do the short encirclement enlightening.   A  lengthy book but the author does an outstanding and detailed work - after all; it did take the Allies 3 months to "breakout".    Again, if the maps had been more detailed and readable this would be a fantastic volume of historical work.  I still recommend the purchase as a follow up to his D-Day book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved McManus' book--and the companion volume about D-Day. He describes battle scenes in brilliant detail, and is refreshingly candid about the tactical thinking--and occasional failing--of the American commanders. His analysis of Bradley's decision-making is particularly profound and insightful. A great read. BUT...The maps are horrible! For a military history buff who enjoys looking at the maps of a battle while reading the text, this book will disappoint. The maps are unreadable. What a pity!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
i think that mcmanus put in a lot of thought into making this book i took me 5 mounths to read the whole book but it was still outstanding