Eyewitness D-Day

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"I looked down and there were ships and ships and ships forever. I thought about how big this was and reality was beginning to come to me. This is the biggest thing that's ever happened. And now what? What really are we getting into?"
?Sergeant Tom McCarthy, 82d Airborne Division

On May 30, 1944, tens of thousands of Allied soldiers and sailors began to surge through coastal towns along the southern shores ...
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"I looked down and there were ships and ships and ships forever. I thought about how big this was and reality was beginning to come to me. This is the biggest thing that's ever happened. And now what? What really are we getting into?"
—Sergeant Tom McCarthy, 82d Airborne Division

On May 30, 1944, tens of thousands of Allied soldiers and sailors began to surge through coastal towns along the southern shores of England as they prepared for the most ambitious amphibious military operation in history. By the go-date of June 5, the convoy was loaded and ready, and advance elements of the invasion force set sail for the shores of Normandy. Inclement weather quickly forced their return, however, and as the anxious commanders looked on, conditions worsened. Fearing that a delay in the launch of greater than twenty-four hours would postpone the invasion for weeks-when the tides on the northern shores of France would next be conducive to such a huge landing of men and materiel-Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force General Dwight D. Eisenhower decided to go ahead with the attack the next morning, when there would be a brief break in the weather. The Allies set forth on June 6, 1944, forever after known as D-Day.

So began the actual invasion of Normandy, which culminated in the liberation of German-occupied France and ultimately broke the Nazi stranglehold on Europe. Of course, plans for the massively complicated maneuver had begun months in advance. Dubbed Operation Overlord, the preparations for invasion involved not only the covert transportation of enormous numbers of troops and huge quantities of hardware, but a complicated intelligence game of feints, bluffs, and decoys to keep Hitler guessing right up to the end. And the invasion itself was just the beginning: once the bloody action of June 6, 1944, was over and the Allies had established a foothold in northern France, the long march toward Paris began.

By documenting the first-person reminiscences of the men and women who participated in the events surrounding the liberation of western Europe, and by painting the historical backdrop against which it all took place, the authors bring this momentous story to life. In the actual words of the sailors, soldiers, airmen, and medical personnel who were there-and illustrated with outstanding black-and-white and full-color images, including wartime pictures of the veterans themselves-one of the greatest human dramas unfolds in intimate detail across the pages of this book. An oversized gatefold map shows each landing beach and describes in detail the disposition, as well as the fate, of the vessels that carried the ground troops to shore. Throughout, informative sidebars provide details about such topics as the German beach obstacles, the ingenious Mulberries, the plot to kill Hitler, and the liberation of Paris. Finally, bringing the full force of the personal recollections home to the reader, this remarkable volume comes with a full-length compact disc of interviews recorded by Emmy Award-winning historical documentarians Rob Lihani and Rob Kirk. Hear the dramatic tales in the actual voices of the World War II veterans who were there as they recount the tragedies and triumphs of life during wartime.

Written by award-winning author D.M. Giangreco in collaboration with co-author Kathryn Moore, and edited and with a foreword by eminent military historian Norman Polmar, Eyewitness D-Day is perhaps the most immediate and personal account ever published of the events marking the turning point of World War II.

Award-winning author D.M. Giangreco is an editor for the U.S Army's professional journal, Military Review, and the author of numerous books on military affairs, including War in Korea and Delta: America's Elite Counterterrorist Force. Most recently, Giangreco was awarded the Moncado Prize by the Society for Military History for his article "Casualty Projections for the U.S. Invasions of Japan, 1945-1946: Planning and Policy Implications." His "Special Forces: The History Behind America's New Front-line Fighters" was the cover story of the November 2002 issue of American Heritage.

Kathryn Moore is the co-author, with D.M. Giangreco, of Dear Harry… Truman's Mailroom, 1945-1953: The Truman Administration Through Correspondence with "Everyday Americans", and has written articles for American Heritage, American History, and numerous daily newspapers, including the Washington Times, Kansas City Star, and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Moore teaches American history in Lee's Summit, Missouri. She is currently working on First Lady of Monticello, a biography of Martha Jefferson.

Norman Polmar is an analyst, author, and historian specializing in naval and intelligence issues. He has written or co-authored more than thirty books, including the best-selling biography Rickover: Controversy and Genius. Polmar has written several submarine-related books, and is currently at work on a history of submarine design during the Cold War era. In addition, he is author of the Naval Institute reference books The Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet and Guide to the Soviet Navy, both of which are considered definitive reference books in their fields. In addition to publishing widely as a journalist, Polmar has appeared on numerous radio and television news shows to discuss contemporary military/naval events, and is featured regularly on documentaries and other features on the History Channel, Discovery, and A&E.
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What People Are Saying

Ike Skelton
"A must-read for those new to the subject matter as well as old hands."
Congressman, (D-MO), ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee
Stanley L. Falk
"A unique combination of sharp historical narrative, revealing personal testimony, and a remarkable collection of dramatic photographs that bring to life the landings at Normandy and the drive across France."
Dr., former chief historian of the U.S. Air Force and a military scholar specializing in World War II
Tom Allen
"One of the most authoritative and scrupulously researched books on D-Day ever published in America."
National Geographic Society lecturer on D-Day and co-author of World War II: America at War 1941-1945
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641760303
  • Publisher: Union Square Press
  • Publication date: 5/10/2004
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Very Well writen book on D-Day from eyewitness perspectives

    I got this book day after 65th anniversary of D-Day, the book is unique inwhich tells the eyewitness accounts from those who took part in this historical date. A audio CD is included in this book, when listening to the CD you hear stories form those who took part in D-Day from Paratroopers to those who where fighting surivial on Omaha Beach etc. In general this book is very well writien and I recommend it to those who are into the history of D-Day and remember those who took part in the Longest Day in history.

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    Posted July 18, 2009

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    Posted July 27, 2009

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    Posted July 24, 2009

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