Overlord: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Overlord: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  2,000 ratings  ·  28 reviews
On June 6, 1944, American and British troops staged the greatest amphibious landing in history to begin Operation Overlord, the battle to liberate Europe from the scourge of the Third Reich. With gut-wrenching realism and immediacy, Hastings reveals the terrible human cost that this battle exacted.

Moving beyond just the storming of Omaha beach and D-Day, he explores the A...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by Vintage (first published 1984)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Overlord, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Overlord

John Adams by David McCullough1776 by David McCulloughTeam of Rivals by Doris Kearns GoodwinA People's History of the United States by Howard ZinnBattle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson
Best American History Books
236th out of 964 books — 1,378 voters
Currahee! by Donald R. BurgettEasy Company Soldier by Don MalarkeyThe Longest Winter by Alex KershawOverlord by Max HastingsParachute Infantry by David Kenyon Webster
BEST non-fiction NOVELS
4th out of 21 books — 10 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Rod
Another outstanding work by Hastings on a WWII campaign, which in this case includes the Normandy invasion through the Breakout, approx. Jan-Aug 1944.

As always the author is extremely detailed. This is particularly valuable when he compares and contrasts opposing weapons (more below). It does become a little wearisome to follow as, it seems, every battalion-level or below action during the campaign is described. But this is only a minor complaint.

Hastings maintains that the German "Army" was sig...more
Professor
Read a lot of this on my January trip, then got bogged down with the second half until the last few weeks or so. I was far more familiar with the initial landings so I found that section to be initially easier to digest. Hastings is a fine writer who makes thinks understandable even for a layman like myself, someone interested but not terribly knowledgable about WWII. I found Hastings perspective to be unique and quite different from the version of the events I grew up with (i.e. Heroic, brillia...more
Steve
A good battle book. What distinguishes Hastings’ book from some earlier efforts is his unwavering insistence that the German army was the best army on the field. He doesn’t dismiss the American, British, and Canadian forces, but simply sees them for what they were: conscript armies from western democracies with huge advantages in supplies and air power. This emphasis blunts some of the criticism of Montgomery, and implicitly suggests, pomposity aside, that for the most part Montgomery made the m...more
Greatredwarrior
Great overview of the Overlord Campaign. Max Hastings' has such a good style. Realistic, and honest perspectives on characters that are so prone to being stereo-typed. His perspective on Monty is excellent, bringing out his flaws as well as his strengths very accurately. My only complaint with the book isn't really the writing, but rather with the relative lack of maps and the topic.

The maps are good and abundant, but sometimes he would refer to a location and I wouldn't know where it was so I'...more
Walt
In Overlord, Max Hasting gives provides a very good overview of the Normandy campaign from the landings to the closing of the Falaise Gap. He focuses very little of the book on the preparation for D-Day and relatively appropriate treatment to the landings themselves which I appreciated since hey are covered in great detail in other books dedicated solely to those topics. While I know this book is a classic and provides a great history of the campaign I found Hasting's opinions and views (analysi...more
Joe
In this book Max Hastings describes the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy.

I find Hastings opinions to be both honest and illuminating. For example that the allied campaign was somewhat deficient both in leadership and the allied manpower and equipment. The German army was the best fighting force of the war. That the allies war in western Europe involved merely a fraction of that deployed in the east. That the allies lacked a suitable tank to match the Germans or a suitable portable anti...more
Kurt
In Overlord: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy, Max Hastings recounts the events leading up to D-Day, the D-Day invasion, as well as the ensuing battle for Normandy. Hastings evaluates the decisions made by the High Command of both the Allies and the Germans. He provides statistics of engagements in detail. He also personalizes the events that took place in Normandy during the summer of 1944 by including primary sources. Hasting acknowledges the superior numbers of the Allied forces and weapons,...more
Miguel
O livro é uma optima descrição da batalha da Normandia, no estilo habitual de Max Hastings, conseguindo um optimo equilibrio entre a descrição das batalhas ao nível do soldado, com numeras historias de soldados tanto do lado aliado como alemão, com a descrição global das batalhas. O que faz falta sao mapas para ajudar o leitor a orientar-se.
Infelizmente, e uma vez mais, a tradução portuguesa é má! Digo uma vez mais pois já estou habituado a péssimas traduçoes portuguesas de livros de história mi...more
Stewart Black
Typically exhaustive, thoroughly readable Hastings manages to zoom into the minute details of the soldier on the ground then pans back to view the battle from the general's lofty perspective while covering most points in between.
The writing is crisp, articulate and clear, the arguments sound and compelling, unemotional and well researched. If you thought Overlord was June the 6th and no more then think again.
Andy Bennett
Jun 18, 2010 Andy Bennett rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those interested in WWII history
Another excellent book from Max Hastings. He spares no punches in detailing the weaknesses of the allied armies, and how they still succeeded in spite of them. Issues he addresses include command, the willingness to take casualties to achieve objectives, and training and preparation of the individual soldier. In particular, he details the inability to of the allied armies to "go for the kill", even when they had the advantage. However, he also details how we succeeded and the strengths of the al...more
Nathan
All the raw material is in place for an illuminating study of D-Day. Hastings has assembled an interesting and impressive body of knowledge, much of which I was not privy to. For instance, he includes an analysis of the aerial situation prior to and during D-Day, and goes over specific weapon types used by both sides.
This detail feels oddly misplaced, however, because the broader narrative is so vague and confusing. Told in a stiff, starchy style, the story of D-Day itself is nearly lost among...more
John
Oct 24, 2008 John rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WW2 enthusiasts
A very well researched book that is full of detail and opinion. Max Hastings, as usual, tries to be thorough, and succeeds.

He does, however, have the tendency to be very dry and could lose those with only a passing interest to the subject.
It is an excellent reference book, but many of the veteran comments come second hand. Indeed, I shall be taking this with me on my Remeberance Weekend visit in November.

It's a story we all know, so I suppose it's difficult for Hastings to do much with the mate...more
David
This is a fantastic account of the invasion of Normandy that, unlike some other accounts, does not skimp on the contributions of the Allied forces and includes first-person commentary from the German side.

I find a lot of high-level WWII books to be heavy on the strategy, filled with lots of bewildering maps of infantry and tank movements. Hastings' account made me consider angles of the battle (hedges, tank technology, high level strategy and politics) that I hadn't quite grasped before. He leav...more
The F7 Pawn
I remember finishing this in OCS. Vaguely anti-American, but Hastings writes well and captures the subject matter superbly.
Kent Hayden
Started out slow but it picked up after 75 pages. Most interesting were the personal stories of the soldiers there. Both sides, German and Allies, are posted. To read of the enemy's perspective about events directed at them was enlightening. I read this for the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
Rod
Well worth reading for the author's opinions and detailed descriptions, including many eye-witness accounts. This book brings home to the reader what a bloody and difficult fight the allies had following D-Day and tends to emphasise that the British and Canadian armies faced the best of the German soldiery. Their opponents were good, and the best of them were superb. If it had not been for allied air superiority and the quantity of weoponry at the allies disposal to replace losses then the outco...more
Justin Talbot
Excellent and extremely detailed, you don't know Overlord until you've read this.
Chris Cook
Born in the early fifties I grew up looking on DDay as one of the major heroic actions of WW2. This was obviously the case, but until I read this I had no real understanding of the events and sacrifices made on all sides. You are left feeling a little bit angry at those engaged in military politics whilst soldiers died. I think the only thing missing here is the story of the Normandy civilians and their battle to survive.
Matthew
An outstanding narrative of the Normandy campaign - from the initial planning stages to the closing of the Falaise Gap. Hastings is detailed as always and thoroughly outlines all the strengths and weaknesses of both sides, and is also able to skillfully interweave eyewitness accounts into the story along with the raw facts. Highly recommended.
Brent
Outstanding! Max Hastings is one of my favorite WWII historians. His books are well researched and extremely informative while still reading like a movie. Overlord is a perfect example. All if the necessary facts woven into a narrative full of personal human stories. Loved this book and I look forward to reading more of his work.
Greatredwarrior
A great critical perspective on the Normandy battles during 1944. He doesn't fall for the flag-waving nonsense that doesn't mesh with reality as some authors, but instead works hard to unpack the realities of what and why. Personal stories are included, but never at the cost of the overall narrative. Very enjoyable read.
Steve
An Excellent book and in my opinion, One of the best books I have read about the D-Day invasion. Very detailed and informative. I like how the author compared the weaponry of the Germans and the Allied troops. I also like the glossary and the chronological events of the battle of Normandy at the end of the book.
Sean Chick
So far this is my favorite book on the subject because Hastings does not favor any side in his analysis. Instead, he points out mistakes made by all sides. The reader comes away with the idea that the Germans were masters of the tactical battlefield, but strategically incompetent.
David Troup
Superb and enthralling
Robert Morrow
How can you make D-Day boring? Ask Max. Tedious detail without the strategic or moral imperatives makes for sleepy reading. This book would appeal more to military historians than to readers looking for the human angle.
Michael
a good balanced history of the battle for normandy, seems quite evenhanded
John Robertson
Classic Hastings, superb!
Nick Lebbon
Hastings at his best. . . . .
Rebecca
Rebecca marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Miracle at Midway
  • Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris; June 6 - Aug. 5, 1944
  • The Two-Ocean War
  • To Lose a Battle: France 1940
  • Eagle Against the Sun: The American War With Japan
  • D-Day: The Battle for Normandy
  • Decision in Normandy
  • Panzer Battles: A Study of the Employment of Armor in the Second World War
  • The Last 100 Days
  • Blitzkrieg: From the Rise of Hitler to the Fall of Dunkirk
  • No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945
  • A War to be Won: Fighting the Second World War
  • A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge
  • Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire
  • The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of World War II's Most Decorated Platoon
  • The Battle of Kursk (Modern War Studies)
  • The Longest Day
  • Barbarossa
31233
Sir Max Hugh Macdonald Hastings, FRSL, FRHistS is a British journalist, editor, historian and author. His parents were Macdonald Hastings, a journalist and war correspondent, and Anne Scott-James, sometime editor of Harper's Bazaar.

Hastings was educated at Charterhouse School and University College, Oxford, which he left after a year.After leaving Oxford University, Max Hastings became a foreign c...more
More about Max Hastings...
Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945 Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945 Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45 Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War Winston's War: Churchill, 1940-1945

Share This Book