D-Day, June 6, 1944Posted: 2012/07/18
Ambrose, Stephen. D-Day, June 6, 1944: the Climactic Battle of World War II. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.
Where do I begin with a book like this? Imagine watching a scene from high above. Everything is muted and details are fuzzy. Now imagine swooping in to ground level and being able to engage all the senses. You hear, see, smell, taste and feel everything at close range. D-Day is such a book. You know all about June 6th, 1944 from your textbooks and your history classes. With D-Day, June 6th, 1944: the Climactic Battle of World War II Stephen Ambrose swoops in and takes you down the to fighting. Ground level. You get to hear (supposed) first hand accounts from the American, British and Canadian men who survived Operation Overlord: the five separate attacks from sea and air. The opening chapter is a harrowing parachute drop into enemy territory. Soldiers who fought side by side with buddies who later wouldn’t make it recall every emotion. What a strange circumstance, to be fighting for your life and watching men die around you and yet, yet have no fear. They knew they could meet death at any minute but were so moved by the leadership of commanding officers to keep surging forward. The tragic battle at Omaha Beach illustrates this most poignantly.
Probably the most interesting section of the book for me was the comparisons between Commanders Eisenhower and Rommel. They had so many different things in common they could have been friends had it not been for their opposing positions in the war.
Of note: several people have told me that I should be taking the details of D-Day with a grain of salt; that not all interviews are truthful or accurate. Well, if that’s the case, slap a “fiction” label on it and call it a riveting best seller! Regardless of its integrity I loved the book.
Favorite lines: impossible to tell you because I ended up listening to this rather than reading it.
Author Fact: Ambrose was awarded the Department of Defense’s medal for Distinguished Public Service in 2000. This is the highest honor the Department of Defense can give a civilian.
Book Trivia: D-Day, June 6th 1944 is one of many books written by Ambrose that is surrounded in controversy involving inaccuracies and plagiarism.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “World War II Nonfiction” (p 253).