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The Longest Day

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  15,089 Ratings  ·  387 Reviews
A true classic of World War II history, The Longest Day tells the story of the massive Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Journalist Cornelius Ryan began working on the book in the mid-1950s, while the memories of the D-day participants were still fresh, and he spent three years interviewing D-day survivors in the United States and Europe. When his book was first ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published 1963 by Fawcett World Library (first published January 1st 1959)
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Pramod Nair
6 June 1944 is a day that can be seen as the pivotal point of World War II, which definitely swung the momentum of war in favor of the Allied forces. It was a day when the allied forces successfully opened the final European phase of the World War II by invading and gaining footholds on the shores of France, which was the first step, aimed at freeing the continent from Nazi occupation. The Longest Day from Cornelius Ryan is a masterpiece of military history and a true classic, which gives the re ...more
May 15, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The most surprising thing about Cornelius Ryan’s D-Day classic The Longest Day is how short it is. Despite its epic subject matter – and despite the prodigious length of the epic movie that followed its publication – The Longest Day comes in at under 300 pages. This, combined with Ryan’s novelistic writing style, made for a surprisingly quick read.

Ryan was an Irish-born war correspondent who saw World War II firsthand. He flew along on bomber missions with the U.S. Air Force and was later embed
Nandakishore Varma
The Allies messed up the Normandy invasion.

The Germans messed up the defence even more.

Therefore, the Allies won World War II.

In the process, quite a lot of people died needlessly.

End of story.
Bob Mayer
Jun 06, 2016 Bob Mayer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Today, on the 72nd anniversary of D-Day, this book is as relevant as ever. I read it as a youngster and have re-read it. There are some days that pivotal in world history and 6 June 1944 is certainly one of them. To learn the history of that day from all perspectives, winners, losers, innocents caught up in it, is to understand the width and depth of the human experience. When researching this day, this year for my own D-Day book, I learned more with each page re-read.
I recommend this book and
Jun 17, 2008 Silvana rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all military buffs
My first comment in Goodreads about this book is: "an orgasmic experience". Haha, I know some people will be intrigued by such clause (and I did receive one comment). Anyway, I did mean it. This book is orgasmic. Seriously.

For those who’ve seen the movie, better erase it from your memory. This kind of book can not be shortened into a three-hour movie, it has to become a series. And maybe have to be directed by someone like Steven Spielberg, LOL. It is not only about D-Day, but also about the bac
Amr Mohamed
Feb 21, 2016 Amr Mohamed rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pdf

كنت عايز اضيف الى معلوماتي عن الحرب العالمية الثانية ....الحمد الله معلوماتي قلت بعد قراءة الكتاب ده

المفروض أنه بيحكي عن يوم مهم جدا وهو بداية تحرير الحلفاء لأوروبا وموقعة نورماندي..لكن الكتاب سئ الصراحة كانه بيحكي فيلم.

حاسس انه بيحشي الكتاب بأى كلام ومفيش أى مصادر للمعلومات اللى فى الكتاب ... وتفاصيل ملهاش لازمة ...رغي كتير عن كل حاجة...عن النزول بالمظلات ...والجسور والسفن...وكل قائد ألماني كان فين ساعة الغزو ورومل فى الحمام .. وكان واحد فيهم تقريبا فى حفلة في عيد ميلاد تقريباً .

وقاعد بيحكي موا
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 15, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Ultimate Reading List - History
The title is taken from a quote of Field Marshall Edwin Rommel, who commanded the German forces defending the Atlantic Wall against invasion, "...the first 24 hours of the invasion will be decisive...the fate of Germany depends on the outcome...for the Allies, as well as Germany, it will be the longest day." That day came on June 6, 1944, and Ryan gives an account not just of that day, but the lead up. The book, in fact, is split into 3 parts--"The Wait," "The Night" and "The Day." It has a stro ...more
احمد فضيل
إننا عندما نضع على أجسامنا الرداء العسكرى لا نهتم بالمعارك إلا عندما نخوضها .
كتاب أطول يوم فى التاريخ
الكاتب كورنليس ريان
ترجمة محمد مرسى ابو الليل .
اليوم المقصود هو يوم 6 يونية 1944
وسبب التسمية مقولة اطلقها رومل الألمانى خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية وهو اليوم الذى سمى من قبل الحلفاء بيوم الغزو وبداية تحرير أوروبا من قبضة هتلر وقد تحقق ذلك بعد سنة من تاريخ هذا اليوم .
Sep 16, 2013 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A masterpiece of historical narrative, this book was an engaging read. Would have given it five stars, if the the author had excluded the military language, which sadly includes blasphemy. Not a book I would advise for children. The account of D-Day is vivid and violent. I'm astounded how so many details to fell into place in favor of the Allied forces and how so much went wrong for the Germans. It can only be described as divine intervention.
Oct 26, 2014 Hudson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have seen this movie six or seven times and somehow I had no idea it was a book!

This was a great telling of D-Day and any fan of military history should read this one.
Hayder Hasan
3.8 stars
This was surprisingly enjoyable.
Feb 20, 2013 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cornelius Ryan, a war correspondent during WW II and afterward, published this book in 1959, and, despite there having been many subsequent memoirs and government documents relating to the events he describes, memoirs and documents providing further information, nonetheless this remains a classic account of D-Day in June, 1944, the invasion of the German-occupied European continent by the Allies in Normandy, France.

Anticipating the invasion, German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel said to his aide in
Jun 03, 2016 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, war, wwii
Though we have all so many images of D-Day from movies and Memorial Day remembrances it was good to go to this text which dealt with this day. It is always amazing what we accomplished logistically, back when it was run under the civil service under military control, before the time of computers when people did all of that amazing work on a writing pad, but their minds held info on just about where everything was, where it was or knew who to call who knew where signaling mirrors were stored. So ...more
Laura Bacon
May 26, 2016 Laura Bacon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Longest Day: A Riveting Epic about June 6, 1944
The world is full of history, it is made everyday. But on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, was when the Allies invaded Normandy during World War II, drastically changing it. Cornelius Ryan captures it perfectly.
Ryan begins his nonfiction tale with the planning of Operation Overlord and the amount of work involved with trying to execute it. He shows how the Germans were making preparations for any invasion and how hard it was for the Allied c
Jul 23, 2016 Pedro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
Hace más de 20 años un amigo me regaló Historias secretas de la última guerra. Era una edición del Reader Digest de principio de los 60, que contenía relatos cortos sobre grandes acciones de heroísmo e increíbles anécdotas de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Quedé prendado de ese libro, lo releí muchas veces a lo largo de los años y al final terminó empolvado en un rincón de mi biblioteca.

Hace unos días, mientras limpiaba, topé con él. Lo saqué del estante, lo hojeé y terminé leyendo algunos pasajes d
Jill Hutchinson
I finished this book three days after the 71st anniversary of D-Day, the Allied landings in Hitler's Fortress Europa. I have no idea why I never read this classic history before since I am a military buff and am interested in anything about WWII (and WWI, as well). I was impressed by the author's approach to the telling of Operation Overlord, the largest invasion in history......he used the words of survivors of that bloody day to tell the story as well as some pictures that had not been seen be ...more
Dhiraj Sharma
Feb 12, 2013 Dhiraj Sharma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Longest Day is among the top ten books ever written about World War-II and the best book on D Day (the Allied Invasion of German occupied France)

The author had done meticulous research on the subject matter and interviewed numerous persons (soldiers and civilians alike) present on that fateful day on Normandy within (before and after) 24 hours of the invasion.

The book slwoly builds up the excitement and suspense of impending Allied invasion, the pathfinder and airborne raid and the final att
Mar 23, 2015 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, military
Great stuff! Not quite the epic - in terms of length or scope - as Ryan's The Last Battle, but every bit as gratifying.

D-Day - 24 hours. Tick, tock... The agony and the ecstasy - the glory and the ignominy - inspired decisions and catastrophic mistakes - bravery and cowardice - cost and carnage - luck and fate - sacrifice, death, destruction, and liberation - steaming (and sinking), flying (and crashing), jumping, swimming, wading, running, walking, crawling, climbing, and, yes, fighting - momen
Aug 10, 2014 Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For such a short work on such a historical day, Ryan packs enough information for anyone looking for more than an overview, but less than a tome on the subject. Thoroughly researched and strongly written.
Apr 02, 2011 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not typically my genre of books, but in efforts to learn more about the history of Normandy for our upcoming trip, I started reading last night and can not put this book down. It reads like a riveting novel, but constantly reminding myself this isn't fiction!
Jan 07, 2013 Bettie☯ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Film only
Mitchell Knapp
May 29, 2015 Mitchell Knapp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Never had there been a dawn like this. In the murky, gray light, in majestic, fearful grandeur, the great Allied fleet lay off Normandy’s five invasion beaches.” (p. 177)

Growing up, I watched the movie based on Cornelius Ryan’s The Longest Day seemingly every weekend. Now, at the age of twenty-one, I decided it was finally time to read the actual book.

Cornelius Ryan was a war correspondent during World War II where one of his assignments was covering the D-Day landings. Ryan uses his firsthan
Christopher Carbone
May 31, 2009 Christopher Carbone rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WWII fans and history buffs.
The very pedestrian start to Ryan's amazing trilogy of WWII accounts that chronicles Operation Overlord and the massive Allied Invasion that breached Fortress Europe, pierced the Reich on its third (and ultimately fatal) flank and most likely saved Europe from Fascist dominance or Soviet Imperialism.

The book details the almost sci-fi-esque preparation for the invasion of Normandy Beach, the critical planning elements, and how the men looked upon their tasks. It discusses the planning and the co
Heather Mize
Dec 01, 2013 Heather Mize rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my husband's favorite book of all time, and after nearly three years of him urging me to read it, and the 70th anniversary of D-Day (also amidst my husband's obsessive reading on the subject, and documentary watching) I decided to give it a go. After all, it's an utterly fascinating subject, and my husband has read half a dozen books for no other reason that they are ones I love. And for as many as he's read on this subject this is one he talks of often.

This book is absolutely amazing.
This is the definitive, classic of the D-Day landing at Normandy and a book you can barely put down.
While most of us know the story of D-Day, this brings that time in World War II to life as it recounts the decisions made, the successes and miscalculations that marked the invasion.
Ryan switches back and forth from the Allied thoughts on how to conduct the invasion to the German experience. The Germans weren't certain this was the large attack they had been expecting. The allies weren't certai
Oct 20, 2013 S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1959 "Classic Epic", as its subtitle goes, deserves its reputation as tightly-written, well-researched and accurate military non-fiction. from the Rangers at Pointe du Hoc to the 82nd All-American Airborne airdropping behind enemy lines, Ryan`s work is complete and detailed. WW2 historians probably enjoy pointing out that the entire D-Day Allied casualties was less than three days`s casualties in the Battle of Stalingrad (which raged for half a year), but, well, there was risk, there was plannin ...more
Sep 01, 2014 Cottero rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, kindle, owned
The Longest Day gives an account of the Allies Normandy D-Day invasion that started the end to the Nazi stronghold of Europe. I found this to be a different type of WWII history book in that it did not go into excruciating details but still provided an in-depth account of the events beginning with the night before and concluding with the night after the invasion. The book covered both the Allied and the German perspectives and went into great narrative characterization of major and minor partici ...more
Mar 27, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you seen the movie? They make such a prominent statement in the opening credits that it is "based on the book by Cornelius Ryan" that I've always had a mind to read it.

After all, while the story is epic, the movie just "tries too hard" in parts. Isn't the breaching of fortress Europe enough of a plot? No! Movie-goers also need a schmaltzy love story too. Surely the book can't be that contrived?

The good news is that it is not. It shares the "tell a story through a mosaic of slice-of-life vig
Jul 24, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Over the past three years I have read three of the more highly regarded D-Day histories, including works by Ambrose and Beevor in addition to this book. Of the three I would put Ambrose's slightly ahead as the definitive work. That being said I highly enjoyed this book. This was by far the quickest read of all three. It provided the least depth giving little to no history of the planning and preparation for the attack nor did it go into depth regarding the weeks following the attack. What the bo ...more
Despite having been written 55 years ago this very personal history of the event and days leading up to and including D-Day remains one of the more readable WWII histories. As others have said this reads like a novel. But if it were a novel many would criticize it as unrealistic based on the horrific violence these men had to face. No, you won't get a broad picture of the events leading to war or the full picture of the despicable deeds of the Nazis. Instead you get a snapshot of a brief period ...more
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Ryan was born in Dublin. After finishing his education Ryan moved to London in 1940, and became a war correspondent for ''The Daily Telegraph'' in 1941.

He initially covered the air war in Europe during WW II, flew along on fourteen bombing missions with the Eighth Air Force and Ninth Air Force United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), then joined General Patton's Third Third Army and covered its act
More about Cornelius Ryan...

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“Wearily, he swung the glasses over to the left again. Slowly, he tracked across the horizon. He reached the dead center of the bay. The glasses stopped moving. Pluskat tensed, stared hard. Through the scattering, thinning mist the horizon was magically filling with ships—ships of every size and description, ships that casually maneuvered back and forth as though they had been there for hours. There appeared to be thousands of them. It was a ghostly armada that somehow had appeared from nowhere. Pluskat stared in frozen disbelief, speechless, moved as he had never been before in his life. At that moment the world of the good soldier Pluskat began falling apart. He says in those first few moments he knew, calmly and surely, that “this was the end for Germany.” 4 likes
“By morning an immense fleet of five thousand ships would stand off the invasion beaches of Normandy.” 1 likes
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