D-Day: The Battle for Normandy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

D-Day: The Battle for Normandy

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  3,444 ratings  ·  229 reviews
Even Stalin was awed by D-Day.'In the whole history of war,' he wrote to Churchill, 'there has never been such an undertaking.' Those who took part in the great cross-Channel invasion, whether soldier, sailor or airman, would never forget the sight. It was by far the largest invasion fleet ever known. Nor, of course, would the German defenders alerted at the last moment on...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Penguin (first published 2009)
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 D-Day, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about D-Day

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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...more
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
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...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...more
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...more
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,...more
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...more
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
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...more
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
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...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...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...more
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...more
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
Michael Flanagan
With this refreshing and detailed look at D-Day, Beevor shows why he is one the best World War II historians around. With his usual mix of first-hand accounts and his analyse of the bigger picture the D-Day campaign is bought alive on the pages. From the planning stages to the liberation of Paris we see this decisive campaign from all sides. This book goes straight onto my classic shelf.
Pedro Plassen
Another great book from Anthony Beevor. Despite a lot has been has already been written about the subject, Mr Beevor manages, as it is his manner, to present the strategic view well mixed with the human perspective of those directly involved. Special mention to the civilian point of view, which suffered the brunt of the invasion.
Ivan Kapersky
Certainly D-day is an amazing day in the history of war. Antony Beevor recounts the major military missions that occurred in Europe in order to defeat the Nazi Germany during World War 2. The book is well balanced, the author recounts moments of victory, failure, humanism, misery, despair and joy. The book is well written and narrated; it doesn’t stack up to a bunch of facts about the war. The book is quite interesting. Beevor is an excellent War historian. In remembrance of the brave heores tha...more
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...more
Czarny Pies
Aug 30, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History Buffs
Recommended to Czarny by: Norman Davies
Shelves: european-history
Antony Beevor is one of the greatest historians of the last fifty years. His books on Stalingrad and the Fall of Berlin have forever changed our view of the war in the East. This volume is then an excellent choice for anyone wishing to learn more about the invasion of Normandy. I give it four stars rather than five because it does not change our basic understanding of WWII in the same dramatic way that Beevor's greatest masterpieces do.

Nonetheless, Beevor is an outstanding historian and every bo...more
Susie
Started 6/19/10.
Finished 7.8.10.

Wow. This was an excellent book. It took me three weeks to read it, though, because I'm sort of military illiterate. It was a very slow read for me, because I don't even understand the basics of American military hierarchy, nevermind when you start adding all of the 15-letter German terms to the mix. So keeping up with the tactical maneuvers was sort of a challenge for me, and took me some extra time. All of that aside, I really enjoyed this book. It was nice to h...more
Natxo Cruz
En la línia d'altres obres de Beevor (Berlín o Stalingrado). Molt documentat i detallat. No obstant, la impressió final que se'n té és que estem davant d'una mescla entre la descripció estratègica de les operacions militars que van del desembarcament a les platges fins a l'alliberament de París i extractes de dietaris de soldats, oficials i comandaments, amb la seva peculiar forma de veure la guerra (d'altra banda, la única autoritzada, segurament...), entre els que destaca el del general Patton...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
Jay
An informative piece. In order to enjoy this book it would be helpful if you already have, before you start:
- An intermediate command of the French language
- An intermediate command of the German language
- A robust familiarity with French geography and landscape
- A solid understanding of the aircraft, attack vehicles, artillery, firearms, and maritime vessels used in WWII by the American, Brits, and Germans
- A basic understanding of the military organization, including units and positions, of th...more
« 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 »
  • Overlord: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy
  • Rising '44: The Battle for Warsaw
  • The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War
  • Barbarossa
  • Decision in Normandy
  • Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris; June 6 - Aug. 5, 1944
  • The Third Reich At War (The History of the Third Reich, #3)
  • Ivan's War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945
  • Patton, Montgomery, Rommel: Masters of War
  • The Battle of Britain
  • Berlin at War: Life and Death in Hitler's Capital, 1939-45
  • Leningrad: State of Siege
  • Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck
  • Russia's War: A History of the Soviet Effort: 1941-1945
  • A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army
  • Fighter Boys
3407
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.

More about Antony Beevor...
Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942-1943 The Fall of Berlin 1945 The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 The Second World War Crete: The Battle And The Resistance

Share This Book