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This coffee-table book, packed with prints and photographs covering the Allies' June 1944 invasion of France is clearly a labor of love by French military historian François. A preinvasion bombing killed his grandfather, a Norman farmer, and barely missed his father, age 10 at the time. Chapter one offers family photographs as well as posters and photos of the 1940-1944 German occupation. Even better is an epilogue of before-and-after photographs juxtaposing images of locations like Omaha Beach in 1944 and 60 years later. In between, the pages teem with images of the massive Allied buildup in England, the invasion itself and the battles in Normandy interspersed with sidebars on generals and soldiers awarded medals for their bravery. Readers familiar with the iconic Normandy photographs will not find them; among the myriad of images in the archives, François's choices emphasize modest soldierly activity and civilian miseries. The extensive text delivers a conventional, undistinguished history of events, so readers will lose little by skimming. Picture books on the Normandy invasion would fill a substantial shelf, but this one offers some modestly unusual features. 100 color and 400 b&w photos. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.