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D-Day: The Battle for Normandy

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  4,062 ratings  ·  250 reviews
Making use of overlooked and new material from over 30 archives in half a dozen countries, 'D-Day' is a vivid and well-researched account yet of the battle of Normandy.
Hardcover, 591 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Viking (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Matt
Christmas break, my sophomore year in college, I went to England and France with my brother, my dad, and my dad’s new girlfriend. If the traveling party seemed a little uncomfortable – well, free trip to Europe.

The trip featured just about what you’d expect from a trip to Europe in late December. Cold, dank, miserable weather. A lack of crowds. A lack of things that were open. And of course, in true Clark Griswold fashion, my dad insisted on wearing a beret. (I was past the age of being mortifi
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Espen
After having read a number of Steven Ambrose's books on the battle for Normandy, Anthony Beevor's version is a relief in that it has much cooler analysis, more maps (which every book on warfare should have more of) and manages to include the German, Canadian, Polish and French side of the equation to a much larger extent. (for instance, he points out that more French civilians died as a result of the war in Normandy, particularly the bombing and shelling, than died during the blitz in London). B ...more
Michael
A good book to go to for a detailed account of D-Day and follow-up stages, with a fair balance between the perspective of generals and soldiers. I appreciated the critical perspective on Montgomery’s performance and elucidation of the fateful divergence of understanding of realities between Rommel and Hitler. Though the book might satisfy the cautious historian, but for me it didn’t bring to life the role of the personalities and strategies of key leaders in the way that writers like Stephen Amb ...more
Dale
“Tous aux barricades!” A remarkably sobering and viscerally honest rendering of D-Day and the early European front, which probably could not have been released before this decade. This is no black and white account of saintly Allies versus bloodthirsty Nazis but a granular and nuanced account; and the 527-page tome is for the WWII-phile rather than those casually interested in the subject. Beevor makes Band of Brothers look like Hollywood, and as a fan of the BOB book and mini-series, that is sa ...more
Mikey B.
This is a well-written account of the D-Day landings in June, 1944. The author is successful at giving the broad overall view of the struggle, but he also presents poignant pictures at the ground level of individual soldiers on both sides of the conflict. We also feel the joy and the pain of the French people of Normandy who suffered tremendously and paid such a high cost for their liberation. As exemplified by the pictures, many Normandy towns were obliterated by bombing raids. Atrocities were ...more
Brad
One of the most comprehensive accounts of the invasion I have ever read. Beevor objectively recounts the action from multiple perspectives---American, British (GB), and German. The story is told from a broad perspective covering command decisions, strategic analysis and battle descriptions. That doesn't mean that he ignores the human perspective--that's definitely key to the story. Beevor details the difficult and often contentious internal relationships (political and personal) among commanders ...more
William
Noted WWII author Antony Beevor brought much to bear in his previous works on the Battles of Stalingrad and Berlin, but comes up a bit short in his most recent work, "D-Day--The Battle for Normandy." Perhaps the author had too much ground to cover in too little time. The book is still a good read, but may gloss over parts of the story that have gotten more attention in other works.

Correctly, Beevor scales his work to cover more than just the June 6th landings. He takes in the attrition battles b
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Kevin
This was a great book! It covers a period of WWII from just prior to the invasions of the Normandy Coast on June 6, 1944, to the liberation of Paris (Silly French think that their army liberated Paris). Beevor has done a thorough job researching and retelling stories of the campaign for Normandy. This time period is one of my favorites from WWII. Not that war is a good thing, or enjoyable. War brings out the best and worst in people. It is the stories when people are at their best that I enjoy. ...more
Bob Schmitz
This book was recommended my my son Russel who picked it up while traveling in Asia. It is a very detailed account of the Normandy invasion up to the capture of Paris. Beevor has written it from original documents and first hand accounts. It is extremely detailed giving the movements and actions down to company levels. It deals equally with the Allied and German activities.

What I found most interesting was the mention of small details. For instance that many of the American soldiers shaved their
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Ann
Antony Beevor has to be the premier WWII military historian! His books are readable, not too heavy on the military terms, and packed with informative stories and explanations. I've read his "The Fall of Berlin," which was also excellent. Karen and I went to Normandy when we were in Paris in '09 and were moved, surprised and intrigued. How I wish I had read this book first!

It's amazing that the Allies landed on Normandy on June 6 and were in Paris by mid-August. Beevor does a great job explaining
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Michael Gerald Dealino
A good narrative of the battle and liberation of Normandy and Paris, the book tells the story of how the Americans, British, Canadian, and other Allied forces landed on France and began the bloody fight to liberate France and defeat Nazi Germany.

While the book is a riveting read, I observed that it would have been better if Mr. Beevor also included the genesis for Operation Overlord (the codename for the landings) and its planning. But still, the book manages to give the reader a chance to visua
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David Bird
Not as good as Beevor's earlier books on Stalingrad or the fall of Berlin. Perhaps the problem is that this is much more heavily plowed ground. He provides the seemingly inevitable vignettes of individual soldiers, but doesn't seem to care much about them.

I had the sense that he was engaged in arguments with other writers, but had chosen or been encouraged not to make those disagreements explicit. For example, he discusses how much more effective, soldier-for-soldier, the Germans tended to be,
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Chris
I picked this up because I felt I ddin't know enough about D-Day.

Beevor can write. While the book is a miltary history, Beevor keeps intersting for none miltary historians by including touching little stories and details (like the hairstyle of American troops). He focuses not just on the armies but on the French civilians caught in the battle.

The book focuses on the whole battle to free most of France, it ends with the liberation of Paris. Beevor details the power struggles on both sides of the
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Morgan Blackledge
I read one of Anthony Beevor's other books Stalingrad while I was bicycling and traveling by train across Turkey.

Maybe it was a combination of the amazing context and the quality of the book, but Stalingrad absolutely blew me away. I literally could not put it down.

I elected to miss some of the worlds most interesting scenery and cultural experiences in order to burry my nose in a book, and I have absolutely no regrets about that.

Reading Stalingrad was one of those A+ reading experiences that
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Ingrid Hansen
Lige siden jeg kom tilbage fra Historiske Dage i København og startede med et læse denne her gigantiske bog om D-dag af Antony Beevor så har jeg glædet mig til at anmelde den. Man keder sig ikke i de samtlige 561 sider, men læser bare videre for at få det sidste af historien med.

Antony Beevor skriver på en sej neutral måde og hans personlige holdning til det han skriver om skinner overhovedet ikke igennem. Her er en krigshistoriker som har noget på hjertet og så fortæller han dig det råt for usø
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Douglas
Beevor, at great length, tells us very little new.

He presents soldiers tales as hard fact without question or thought.
For example, the tales of French women snipers killed by US troops. That young men in action for the first time, finding themselves shot at by an unseen enemy, should pick on a terrified woman hiding under her kitchen table as the culprit, should prompt some questions. We might ask about the quality of the men's training that they would choose a farmhouse as the likely source o
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Joe
Beevor is one of the few modern writers of WW2 history that can take a subject that is (to me) old and shelf-worn and make it fresh and exciting again. He does it again with this one, making me forget that I've read (and viewed and been schooled on) D-Day since Ryan's The Longest Day was still considered the latest thing. In his usual style, Beevor describes events from a wide range of perspectives, from the grand strategies of the leaders down to the experiences of ordinary soldiers and civilia ...more
José
I've haven't read a more detailed account of this campaign before (and that's saying a lot because I've read both Ambrose and Ryan on this topic). Beevor zooms in and out of the battlefield as needed and basically leaves the reader with a profound sense of disgust at the sheer waste of human life and energy that war yields. It is perhaps the only account that emphasizes civilian suffering at all. Also, Beevor reminds us that the campaign really ended with the occupation of Paris. Even though the ...more
Robert
Another excellent historical work by Anthony Beevor. It covers everything from the pre-event planning till just after the liberation of Paris. Like all Beevor book, it is easy to read and full of detailed information about the events and the people who played a part.

The book gives you a real sense of what it was like for both the common soldier and the commanders. It highlights the frictions experienced between different nationalities and different arms of the service. Importantly, it also conve
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Jojo Clemente
Having read several books on this pivotal point of World War II, Antony Beevor has come up with another work to compliment works by other noted historians such as Cornelius Ryan and Stephen Ambrose.

Starting with the critical days before the decision to embark on Operation Overlord, Beevor gives the reader a fly-on-the-wall's view of how history unfolded. Told from the Allied and German points-of-view, the work clearly narrates how decisions by commanders affected certain aspects of how the batt
...more
John
Wow! This was a long hard read. Not because the writing or the language was difficult, they were, in fact a model of clarity. Beevor has the gift of melding the general story with minute personal details, some humorous, some deeply moving. The exceptional quality of the writing made me want to read every word and this, coupled with a frequent need to refer to the maps to understand who was doing what when to who explains the length of time I spent on this book. It is essentially a story of sacri ...more
Mirren Hogan
I'm a geek and a history buff, so I read history books from cover to cover. I usually find them interesting, but this book is also entertaining and fascinating. It's beautifully written, giving the reader a sense of the melancholy, challenge and outright hell that is war. Beevor includes a lot facts and emails, but these are tempered with anecdotes that remind the reader that he's writing about actual people. It's so easy to distance ourselves from events distant in time and place from our own l ...more
Carl
I enjoyed this audio book but it is hard to follow the battles and strategies without maps (or a much better knowledge of French geography than I'll ever have) I believe that I read somewhere that Antony Beevor was a student of John Keegan. I have appreciated everything I've read by either of those authors. A few main points I took away from this book:
The Airborne division soldiers were far superior to the 'regular' American soldiers.There was more shooting of Nazi prisoners than you might have
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Ron Decaigny

I really enjoy Beevors writing style, he makes what could be just another dry factual history lesson very accessable. OK keeping track of all the various units movements is a chore but that emphasises the scope of what your dealing with. I am amazed at how easily and in so few words he can paint a very vivid picture of the personalities involved warts and all.
His is a more coplete picture as well, he manages to include all aspects of those involved, civilian suffering , collaboration, resistanc
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Robin
The D-Day story is made of many stories, lasts longer than a day and (though it doesn’t actually stand for anything) the ‘D’ might as well stand for ‘destruction’. In order to win back freedom and drive the Wehrmacht from France, Normandy, in particular, was all but destroyed. The accounts from diaries and letters that Beevor draws upon bring personal insights, viewpoints and detail to the broader picture of the Normandy campaign. Before reading this book, I wouldn’t have described myself as a p ...more
Xfi
Antony Beevor es un historiador Inglés, y es autor de muchos libros controvertidos e innovadores sobre las batallas de la Segunda Guerra Mundial (Stalingrado, Berlín y Creta) y también una importante historia de la Guerra Civil española. Para los aficionados a la historia de la IIGM este libro aporta un punto de vista poco trillado dentro de la sobreexplotación de libros y películas sobre el desembarco en Normandía. Apenas le dedica 1/3 del libro a los preparativos y al desembarco en si, el rest ...more
Chuck
Antony Beevor's "D-Day: The Battle for Normandy" is a well written and an excellent read on the history of the World War 2 Normandy Campaign of 1944. It covers the period from pre-invasion planning and politics through the capture of Paris.

The Campaign for France was the World War 2 period from June 1944 through Fall 1944 in France. The Allied Militaries - American, British, Canadian, French, Polish, etc landed in the Normandy Peninsula. The Allied Forces overcame German beach defenses, moved in
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Chris
Anthony Beevor is one of a kind. He has the knack for writing historical books without bogging down the reader in needless detail or boring, inconsequential anecdotes. Beevor's writing is entertaining and factual, his subject matter is brutal, tragic and terrible.

As the title suggests the book is all about that pivital moment in history when the largest invasion fleet in the history of mankind arrived on the shores of Nazi occupied France to fight one of the most brutal and merciless battles of
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Jonathan
Excellently written book by an excellent author. Spends equal time on the British, Canadian, French, German and US forces but also involves the various political attitudes behind them all and how they interacted. Offers an unblinking look at the atrocities committed by both the Allies and the Germans during this campaign. At times hard to put down, and at times hard to read (due to the honest look at the atrocities). Everything a good history book should be in my opinion.
Steve Greenleaf
After reading D-Day for several days, I began to feel like Patton, General Leclerc, and their soldiers: I became increasingly eager to reach Paris and thereby liberate myself from this book. Because it was boring or poorly written? Not at all! In fact, Beevor's account of the ferocious battles in Normandy takes the reader into the fray about as well as I expect a book can. The death, destruction, and brutality--with a few fleeting glimpses of kindness--are all there. Just as soldiers wanted to b ...more
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Antony James Beevor is a British historian, educated at Winchester College and Sandhurst. He studied under the famous historian of World War II, John Keegan. Beevor is a former officer with the 11th Hussars who served in England and Germany for 5 years before resigning his commission. He has published several popular histories on the Second World War and 20th century in general.

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