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Pegasus Bridge

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  6,273 Ratings  ·  167 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeff Dawson
Jun 22, 2012 Jeff Dawson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
John Nevola
Sep 10, 2012 John Nevola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
'Aussie Rick'
Nov 30, 2009 'Aussie Rick' rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-military, ww2

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
Jan 25, 2016 Jeremy rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
This was a book club Kris Kringle and not my normal fare, but I enjoyed it. Ambrose did a great job of piecing together a compelling narrative from chiefly first hand accounts, structuring it tightly and entertainingly to produce a satisfying story-arc. The bizarre and often tragic misfortunes and errors that occur in such highly charged situations are well displayed, and the many knife-edge moments where events could have easily gone one way or another but for that one strange thing going right ...more
Shaun Wallace
Stephen Ambrose is not a historian. Lets get that straight to start with. He writes historical novels. Reading Ambrose's books, you would be led to think that all US commanders were brilliant, British commanders were utterly useless and only US soldiers were really fighting.

Compared to any other historian his books are simply not factual. They are aimed at a mass market for easy consumption, fitting in with the Hollywood myth of the US winning the war on its own. Never mind it was forced into it
Jan 19, 2010 Ralph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Jul 22, 2009 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 05, 2013 Xan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 05, 2016 Betsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining and informative book about the men who captured the bridges over the Caen Canal and the Orne River. If you have seen "The Longest Day" you will remember the scenes with Richard Todd (who actually was there) as Major John Howard.
Alex Bradley
May 24, 2016 Alex Bradley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My ideal type of book to read. Stephen Ambrose is a great historical author. Using key solid facts and not creating a sense of bias showing how it actually happened. Great to read and very interesting finding out more about this legendary night.
Travis Ristau
Jan 10, 2013 Travis Ristau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Phil Whittall
May 23, 2016 Phil Whittall rated it really liked it
Growing up I lived on WWII stories and I wanted to be a commando. Soldiers who fought in that war were heroes to me, including my own grandfather. Like most boys I wanted adventure, bravery and chances to make history.

War, it turned out wasn't nearly as glamorous as I thought and amongst the heroes are some cowards and the real reason courage and bravery stand out so brightly is because there is an awful lot of fear around. Next to great good was great evil and I was no longer in a rush to kill
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
Michael Burnam-Fink
Sep 19, 2014 Michael Burnam-Fink rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, war, 2014
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
Aug 11, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 06, 2016 Dale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You would almost think this fiction: On the eve D-Day 1944, tow half a dozen Horsa gliders filled with elite British troops to the French coast and release them to land near the bridge over the Caen Canal. These Horsa gliders aren't the little two or three-seaters that budding civilian pilot first practice in. The Horsas hold around 30 men, all laden with as much ammunition as possible. Once on the ground, the soldiers , under the command of Major John Howard, are tasked with a seemingly impossi ...more
Apr 22, 2010 Mahlon rated it really liked it  ·  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.
May 15, 2015 Kyle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Peter Taylor
Oct 18, 2016 Peter Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
D-Day is very well known in print and movies. What is not so well known is the operation that took place to make sure that D-Day was the success we know it to be.
The raking if Pegasus Bridge was important and without it the Normandy invasion could have stalled on the starting grid.
Stephen Ambrose accurately describes the lead up and execution of the operation that saw the taking of Pegasus Bridge and the subsequent success of the Allied invasion. His meticulous research allows his writing style
Feb 16, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rick Boyer
Oct 18, 2016 Rick Boyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fascinating, riveting, enlightening account from Stephen Ambrose; about the first military engagement of D-Day. A group of British troops were flown into France by glider, where they faced the task of capturing two critically important bridges, intact, before the German defenders could blow them up. Based entirely on firsthand interviews and letters from the participants, the book tells a story of unmatched heroism and bravery in the service of a mission that undoubtedly saved thousands ...more
Oct 16, 2016 Wulfburk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2
This is a good book on the battle, though i felt when he went to the overall aspect he failed short, such as saying that Goodwood intended to liberate Paris which is an outright lie, or saying that the british remained static until goodwood, or saying that Eisenhower chose normandy, which clearly it wasnt him, or saying that the british industrial output was smaller than the german, which was a misconception as well. In fact the production of tanks in britain was very similar to the german, and ...more
Hilmi Isa
Mar 12, 2015 Hilmi Isa rated it really liked it
Shelves: perang-dunia-1-2
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
Sam Woodfield
Mar 04, 2013 Sam Woodfield rated it liked it
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
Thom Swennes
Apr 29, 2013 Thom Swennes rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read
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
Jul 03, 2016 Jonno rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war
This is the second time that I've read this book, and it was great to take the time to re-read it.
Stephen Ambrose has a great talent in bringing together the memories of all the soldiers involved in this important mission, and writing in such a way as to be a very engaging book.
If you're interested in D-Day and the stories that went with it, then this is the perfect book for you to read.

On the back of this I'm going to revisit all of his previous works that I've read.
Greg T
Feb 25, 2015 Greg T rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-books
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
Jan 09, 2015 Michael Harling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ove Kronborg
Feb 14, 2015 Ove Kronborg rated it really liked it
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.
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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.

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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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