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Decision In Normandy
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Decision In Normandy

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  275 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Field Marshal Montgomery's battle plan for Normandy, following the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944, resulted in one of the most controversial campaigns of the Second World War. This book gives an account of the conception and execution of Montgomery's plan, with its problems and complexities.
Paperback, 558 pages
Published April 29th 2004 by Penguin Books (first published 1983)
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Mark Barnes
Gives a birds-eye perspective on the Normandy campaign, with an emphasis on Montgomery's leadership. One of the fairest assessments by an American, I think, concluding that Montgomery's strengths were not best suited to a campaign which required rapid readjustment and a high-degree of risk-taking. Readers who like to know what war was like for individual soliders may find the book disappointing, but those more interested in strategy and politics will enjoy it immensely.
Good story solidly told: This book definitely looks at Normandy at the strategic level. From the initial planning through to operation Cobra. And he definitely points out Monty's faults, both what he did/did not do as well as Monty's attempts to rewrite history which makes it much better.

Because it concentrates mostly on the strategic level, it can't be as compelling as one that gets down on the ground. We know what pappened strategicly.

He also concentrates almost wholy on the British sphere o
Buck Ward
Decision in Normandy is an in-depth look at the planning of the D-Day invasion and the battle for Normandy. It concerns itself with the battle planning and execution much more than the battles themselves, and focuses primarily on the role of British General Montgomery, who devised the plan for the ground war. It is a tale of blunders, ego, and infighting.

I heard the audiobook version of Decision in Normandy. It suffered from not having appropriate visuals, maps especially, which presumably are
Ben Vos
In-depth strategic record keeping. Not huge amounts on the process of decision making or tactics at division level even. Few maps:a real let down. However, the immense plethora of first hand sources who have contributed and been mined for information on the changes in Monty's plans for breakout, make this a perennial classic. Out can't be done again.
Ian Divertie
I've read so many books on Normandy. Read this one its excellent!
Bob Haferl
Mr. D'Este is a very good writer. This topic has been covered by a myriad of other authors, none the less this is worth your time
Andy Bennett
Excellent book that gives a big picture perspective of the Normandy campaign, particularly the relationships between Montgomery and all the other allied commanders. It particularly reviews how the battle developed, as compared to the plan Montgomery had in place, and Montgomery's unfortunate habit of trying to indicate he planned it that way all along rather than acknowledge he did an excellent job adapting to the situation as it developed, particularly given the constraints the British Army in ...more
So why was this book written? To demonstrate that the original plan for the Battle of Normandy did hold up in all details? That Montgomery was vain? That the Allied generals spent nearly as much time fighting each other as the Germans? That the battle was an enormous blood bath?

-- maybe all of the above. Nonetheless it seems that the author could have benefitted from more clearly stating the objectives from the outset and then used his solid grasp of the sources available to make his point.
This is a good account of the planning for Normandy and much of the action afterwards, particularly in the British secotrs. d'Este does spend quite a lot of time hammering Montgomery for not taking Caen and changing his goals after the fact to excuse himself. This thesis (the raison d'etre of the book) can be a bit distracting at times. Still worth a read, though, by all means.
Charlie Newfell
Detailed and objective view of the aftermath of D-Day. The battle for Normandy was significantly tougher and bloodier than the Longest Day. Detailed troop movements and numerous battles that would have been easier to follow with some good maps or detailed drawings. Most interesting was the lost opportunities and inter-command battles of egos.
The low rating has mostly to do with my lesser interest in the military history genre. If you're into military history, you'll probably like this a lot more. And if you're interested in this book, please look for it at your local independent bookseller.
Thouroughly researched book focused on the interpersonal disagreements between the leadership elements of the Supreme Alled Command during the Normandy invasion of WWII. An excellent description of the complexities of war in this battle.
Originally read in 1991 or 1992, liked it very much then.

Re-reading it in March 2014, in preparation for a wargame. I had forgotten that it was tightly focused on Montgomery and the British First Army.
Great book on the Battle of Normandy. Great details and covered all the main facts. Was very neutral on subjects such as the Falaise pocket. Gave all point of views and let the reader decide.
Linda Jacobs
Very well researched and even-handed work on the Allied Plan and Action (and how they differed, despite Montgomery's assertions) during the battle of Normandy, from the pre landing to the aftermath.
Bob Alexander
Pretty good. Don't know I would have bought it if I'd known that its predominately about the Brits' involvement on D-Day and beyond.
A dry, somewhat academic but generally balanced analysis of political and military personalities and the decisions they made in Normandy.
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Carlo D'Este retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel in 1978, having served overseas in Germany, Vietnam, and England. Born in Oakland, California, he received his B.A. from Norwich University and his M.A. from the University of Richmond and an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Norwich in 1992.
More about Carlo D'Este...
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