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Describes the Allied landing on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, with an overview of events leading to that invasion as well as a description of its momentous effects on the war.
|Prelude to War||8|
|Push to Victory||32|
Posted February 12, 2010
I expected a good read, and I was not disappointed. I have read all of Anthony Beevor's non-fiction works; including those in collaboration with his wife Artemis Cooper - who must have the longest name in literature. Beevor is steeped in lit rature, and one has the feeling that he writes because he has a story to tell, not a purveyor of sensational disclosures to secure a place on the New York Times bestseller list. I hope my naivety is not showing here.
I own and have read many books on the Second World War. In too many of them, the author has aimed their work at a particular audience, and attempted to feed the prejudices of that audience. That is not to suggest that what they say is not true, it is what they do not say that distorts history. Beevor's book tells the whole story, warts and all. If you come from the "The Russians did all the fighting' school of thought, you are in for some surprises.
The book starts during the days before D-Day, and then carries the reader through to liberating Paris. His descriptions of the action on the Normandy beaches are powerful. No detail is left unexplored. You will learn about allied bombers bombing their own side and navy gunners shooting down their own planes. The civilian casualties will appall you, as will the obduracy of generals, and the self-interest of politicians.
D-Day is a testament to the frailty and heroism of the ordinary soldier, and a reminder and the obscenity of war. If you are a student of WWII, you must read this book. If you have no interest in the subject; you should still buy it.
 The Hon. Alice Clare Antonia Opportune Cooper Beevor