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Pegasus Bridge

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  5,175 ratings  ·  127 reviews
In the early hours of 6th June 1944, a small detachment of British airborne troops stormed the German defence forces and paved the way for the Allied invasion of Europe. Pegasus Bridge was the first engagement of D-Day, the turning point of World War Il. This gripping account of it brings to life a daring mission so crucial that, had it been unsuccessful, the entire Norman ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 4th 2002 by Pocket Books (first published May 31st 1984)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeff Dawson
Good historical account

This isn't the greatest of Stephens Books, but it is worthy of any collector and historian. The book recalls the men and eventsthat allowed the British Glider and Parachute regiment to capture the all important bridge crossing the Orne and adjacent canal in order to prevent the 21st Panzer Division from disrupting and possibly defeating the landings at Sword, Juno and Gold Beach.

The scene is well documented in the movie "The Longest Day." Remember the famous lines, "hold
...more
John Nevola
This book is only about 150 pages short but it is long on information and eyewitness accounts of one of the most pivotal battles of D-Day.

The British 6th Airborne was tasked with the mission to secure the left flank (the easternmost flank) of the Normandy Beachhead. Major John Howard and 181 members of the 2nd Ox and Bucks Regiment were ordered to capture and hold a bridge over the Orne River and an adjacent canal. It was the key strongpoint in defending this flank.

This is the story of how Howa
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Ralph
"At a maximum, failure at Pegasus Bridge might have meant failure for the invasion as a whole, with consequences for world history too staggering to contemplate." ~Stephen E. Ambrose

Pegasus Bridge is a lesser known book by Ambrose on a lesser known battle on D-Day. It is likely lesser known to me because the British are the heroes of this story. This book tells of the British airborne troops that landed in gliders in the early hours of D-Day. They were the first to arrive on this historical da
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Silvana
Stephen E. Ambrose is a master storyteller. He makes it so easy, interviewing people then write about them. Imagine the editing works, placing one story after another, in the way that the readers would better understand and imagine. Pegasus Bridge is not as special as Citizen Soldiers or Band of Brothers (BoB), but it still delivers.

The story is about a gliderborne unit of the British Ox and Bucks Light Infantry Regiment, 6th Airborne Division, commanded by Major John Howard, who captured two b
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Tom
This is the story of one company's effort in the vanguard of D-day. It tells the story in excellent detail, how they were developed into elite soldiers, how their competitive edge was honed, and how they led the assault to take and hold 2 vital bridges.

The story is beautifully told, with great detail and character. D Company were warned in the briefing that they must not tell anyone about the nature of their training or mission on pain of being discharged from the mission - that night Wally Par
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Xan
Ningún plan de combate resiste al primer contacto con el enemigo, esta es una máxima militar que cualquier aficionado al género habrá leído muchas veces. La historia del puente Pegasus es la de una pequeña escaramuza que posiblemente cambió el destino del desenlace del Día D, contada a partir de los relatos de los supervivientes de los dos bandos, incidiendo tanto en la pericia de los paracaidistas entrenados para la misisón y los golpes de suerte que, de un modo u otro, son los que deciden el r ...more
Travis Ristau
This was one of the best World War 2 books that I've read. The author, Stephen Ambrose, managed to interview a number of soldiers from D Company and Germans who told their story of what happened. When you are reading, it feels as if you are almost there with the soldiers attacking the bridge. I felt as if these men deserved more recognition for what they did. Everything from Howard's leadership to them countering the tanks with their single Piat was outstanding. I would suggest this to anyone wh ...more
Noah Miller
Dec 07, 2014 Noah Miller is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition

The author's purpose of writing Pegasus Bridge June 6, 1944 was to tell the story of the British 6th Airborne Division, Company D contribution during the D-Day Invasion. Company D was a small group of 181 men led Major John Howard. Their mission was to land gliders near a bridge that spanned the River Orne and the Caen Canal, during the early morning hours of June 5-6, 1944. It was important for them to secure the bridges because they were directly behind the British invasion beach head. They ha
...more
Michael Burnam-fink
I'm somewhat surprised that Stephen Ambrose was an actual historian, back before the plagiarism scandals and shoddy work that put the period on his career. This is the first of his WW2 oral histories, written fresh on the heels of 20 years of Eisenhower research and the 40th Anniversary of D-Day. The book covers the legendary assault on Pegasus bridge: the training of D company, a minute-by-minute account of the battle, and the aftermath.

The bridges over the Orne River and canal, which would la
...more
David
Ambrose has, as do most historians, a methodology and a set of bias that influences how and what he writes. In compiling the background for Pegasus Bridge, he made a number of mistakes, and some of them were quite significant and caused some deep resentment among many of the British soldiers involved in the action. (Ambrose had a significant bias early in his career for oral history, which he often cited as much more accurate, when taken immediately after an event, that a written reflection set ...more
Mahlon
Apr 22, 2010 Mahlon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Military History
Recommended to Mahlon by: Fan of Ambrose
Shelves: read-2010
Pegasus Bridge is a lesser-known Ambrose gem, and a classic of the D-Day genre. It tells the story of one company(D company of the Ox and Bucks British Light Infantry) and their commander, Major John Howard. They were tasked with capturing and holding two key bridges, that according to Ambrose would ensure the success of the entire Normandy invasion. Landing in gliders in the pre-dawn hours of June 6th, they became the first allied soldiers to set foot on French soil.
Kyle
Pegasus Bridge was an excellent read, re-accounting one of the most intense days in wartime history, D-Day. This story recalls, starting at the training, every moment that John Howard and the 6th airborne division experienced. Although focusing heavily on the training for most of the book, the story drew my interest for the bulk of the story. One of the best traits of the book is how it is written from both perspectives of both the British and the Germans giving an interesting twist to really se ...more
Michael
An outstanding account of WW II. The heroism and audacity of the move on Pegasus Bridge is a fascinating read. Ambrose scores great interviews with people from both sides of the conflict.
Hilmi Isa
Sebelum kemunculan Band of Brothers,Pegasus Bridge merupakan buku pertama yang ditulis oleh Stephen E. Ambrose yang menjadikan suatu unit tentera sebagai tema utama penceritaan.

Di dalam Pegasus Bridge,Kompeni D,Battalion Ke-2 (Lintas Udara),Rejimen Infantri Ringan Oxfordshire dan Buckinghams,Briged Glider Ke-6,Divisyen Lintas Udara Ke-6,merupakan tema utama buku ini. Kompeni ini merupakan sebuah unit airborne yang menggunakan glider sebagai sistem pengangkutan utama ketika melaksanakan operasi
...more
Sam Woodfield
I'm not normally a fan of war books as I think there are so many around they are often just variations on a very limited theme, so i was pleasantly surprised by this book as it was something new I hadn't heard of before.
I've read many books on D-Day and the beach landings, but 'Pegasus Bridge' looks at the very start of the day and the landing of 6 gliders in France and the operation to secure a key route for the allies. The book takes us through the preparation for the day and the operation its
...more
Thom Swennes
Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology, is proudly displayed on the berets of the British paratroopers and is as iconic as their blue head covering. On June 6, 1944, the largest sea invasion in history took place on the beaches of Normandy and Pegasus lead the way and was the first to land in enemy territory. The conduit near Ranville, France was codenamed Pegasus Bridge and was of immense importance to the success of the D Day invasion as it protected the attackers flank. Although the ope ...more
Greg T
Stephen Ambrose tells a story that a lot of folks were not aware of. It builds up by studying first one of the leaders. You learn about John Howard as a man and how he pushes himself to the limit to be the best. As he goes up the ranks, and starts training his own men, he expects the same but is doing the exercises with them. So they created a top-notch group and took soldiers, pilots and sappers from other teams to form the mission group. Their job was to take glider planes in and capture 2 key ...more
Michael Harling
Probably the best, and most readable, historical account of this monumental achievement ever written. Ambrose delivers amazing facts in a style that entertains as well as informs and any history buff would be missing out if they failed to read at least one of his fine books.

Pegasus Bridge was a critical objective for D-Day; without the bridge, the entire operation might fail. And so began the training of an elite group of men whose mission would involve finding the bridge in the dark of night us
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Ove Kronborg
En god bog, der giver en storartet beretning om "Operation Deathstick" - britiske luftbårne troppers erobring af Orne broerne på Invasionens østlige fløj natten til d 6. juni 1944. Stephen Ambrose bygger bogen på talrige inerviews med major John Howard, der som kompagnichef var leder af angrebet. Desuden på interviews med adskillige andre deltagere på britisk og tysk side samt familien Gondrée, der var nærmeste naboer til broen.
Jeffrey Rasley
I read "Pegasus" in a tent at night on a Himalayan trek. It was a great escape from sore legs and unfortunately bad weather. However, I did not find it at the same standard as Ambrose's other works I've enjoyed. It seemed a bit thrown together. Although, Ambrose clearly loved telling the story and held great admiration for the men of D Company Ox and Bucks.

"Pegasus Bridge" relates the story of the battle for the so-named bridge, which was the initial action of the D-Day invasion of France by the
...more
Gossymotto
I found this story to be very clean and to the factual point. Ambrose didn't throw his opinions in anywhere, he just told the story as it came from the soldiers that experienced it.

I like that you get a true feel for the way these guys (on both sides) were thrown into this war and were only kids, some still teenagers and that after all the fighting and killing, British and German soldiers understood that and many actually became friends over time.

A great story that doesn't get clouded over in p
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Vinny
The amazing story of the glider troops who were the first [more or less] to land in Nazi occupied France, how they seized the crucial bridge over the Caen canal; failure would've doomed the whole D-Day operation. This is the story of men of action who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, another epic from Stephen Ambrose
Craig Little
An excellent review of the actions of 'D Company' Ox & Bucks LI and their coup de main as part of Operation Deadstick.

The book is a breezy read, being so brief, but it seems like it was a labor of love for Ambrose (other reviews say it's one of his lesser works, but I haven't read any others) and his enthusiasm for his subject and genuine admiration for the men shine through on every page.

As a description of a company level action mostly gleaned from interviews, the book gives a real sense o
...more
Roger Taylor
Having visited Pegasus bridge while on a Canadian War Memorial Tour, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this short history of the preparation for and execution of the plan to take and hold the two bridges near the British beaches involved in the Normandy D-Day landings. These men were real heroes and it is unfortunate that the British did not use D company for other such missions. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the events of D Day.
'Aussie Rick'



Although dated this is still a very good account of Major John Howard and the men of Company D, the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry Regiment of the British 6th Airborne Division, and their role in capturing and holding the bridge over the Caen Canal at Benouville on the night of 5/6th June 1944.

The book (HB edition) is only 160 pages of narrative but it’s a great story and it’s hard to put it down once you have started. I found it full of interesting and at times funny first-hand accounts and altho
...more
Patrick Kitchell
This is one of my favorite stories of WW2. The amazing precision and bravery of the British on DDay to take this strategic bridge and hold it. It is a great read and I would recommend visiting The Pegasus Bridge memorial in Normandy France.
Curtiss
The inspiring story of the first Allied troops to land in Normandy on the morning of the Sixth of June, 1944. A detachment of the British 6th Airborne Division, under the command of Major John Howard, arrived in Normandy via Horza gliders, near the town of Ranville, with orders to seize the bridge over the Caen Canal (Code-named Pegasus Bridge after the insignia of the British Airborne) on the inland left flank of the Allied landing beaches, and then to "hold until relieved," which in the end me ...more
John
To fly hundreds of miles, towed in a plywood and canvas glider - to be released from your tug-plane whilst out at sea - to do this in the dark and land in occupied France - and to do all of this with pinpoint accuracy - now that's an achievement.

Ambrose takes this story and strips it to the bones and then reassembles it in a pleasing and logical way. An easy read for a complex and pivotal operation that led the way for, and helped secure, the success of D-Day and the eventual defeat of Nazi Germ
...more
Stephen
Stephen Ambrose is my favorite historian of World War II and his Pegasus Bridge does not disappoint. This book tells the story of the first engagement of D-Day and of the men on both sides who participated in it. Ambrose is wonderfully able to make history come to life. Reading Pegasus Bridge made me once again think on the incredible sacrifices that my grandfather's generation (my was with Patton’s Sixth army in Europe) was called upon to make. I’m not one to elevate those who were called upon ...more
Michael Thompson
Good story. Interesting. Not nearly as compelling as, "Band of Brothers." Worth reading though. People died taking that bridge to defeat a monster. That's a story worth reading.
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Stephen Edward Ambrose was an American historian and biographer of U.S. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon. He received his Ph.D. in 1960 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

More about Stephen E. Ambrose...
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“the German today is like the June Bride. He knows he is going to get it, but he doesn't know how big it is gong to be.” 0 likes
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