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D-Day: The Battle for Normandy

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  8,735 ratings  ·  460 reviews
Making use of overlooked and new material from over 30 archives in half a dozen countries, 'D-Day' is a vivid and well-researched account yet of the battle of Normandy.
Hardcover, 591 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Viking
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Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselv ...more
Renowned historian Antony Beevor’s D-Day The Battle For Normandy is an easy to read book written in populist style that should appeal to the first time reader or those that who have little knowledge on the subject. Copious footnotes, good maps and a very useful bibliography. The footnotes are not numbered, I wish they had been. 3 sections of plates. Obviously well researched.

My biggest complaint was that nearly half the book was not about D-Day nor the battle for Normany but covered events afte
Aug 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
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
A good book to go to for a detailed account of D-Day and follow-up stages, with a fair balance between the perspective of generals and soldiers. I appreciated the critical perspective on Montgomery’s performance and elucidation of the fateful divergence of understanding of realities between Rommel and Hitler. Though the book might satisfy the cautious historian, but for me it didn’t bring to life the role of the personalities and strategies of key leaders in the way that writers like Stephen Amb ...more
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-war-2
Beevor narrates the Normandy Campaign - by which he means the landings on D-Day until the liberation of Paris on 25th August 1944 - with his usual historical vigor and rich, creamy prose. The ground has been gone over so many times that one wonders if another book about Normandy is needed but, as usual, Beevor has much to add and observe about the military decisions and the men who made them, especially Montgomery, who Beevor skewers with his sharp observations. His descriptions of the battles a ...more
Mikey B.
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-war-ii
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
I'd say the title of this book is a bit misleading as only around a third of the text deals with D-Day and the rest covers the Allied operations to break out of the Normandy beachhead and then liberate Paris. However, that doesn't change the fact this is a really good book on the Allied campaign to liberate Europe, with lots of great little stories from those who were involved.

While the book doesn't really go into great detail on any aspects of the D-Day invasion and subsequent fighting, Beevor
Dec 01, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
“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
Sep 18, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Got myself a nice hardcover copy.
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A lengthy read. But worth the every page and word I read.

The book lays out the plannings that preceded D-day landings, incidents that took place on that particular day and throughout the battle in France till the events of post-liberated France.
It particularly lines out the main battles between the allies and the German soldiers, the many fractious relationships between the higher commands of the allied armies and the events from the Germans perspective who were facing the allied onslaught.

Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I recently read and really enjoyed 'D DAY Through German Eyes - The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944' and that made me want to read more about D Day. I've really enjoyed the other books I've read by Antony Beevor (Staingrad, Berlin, Crete) and so thought I'd be in safe hands with D-Day: The Battle for Normandy.

It's splendid. Moving from the initial drama about adverse weather forecasts, to surveillance of the assault beaches, to individual accounts of each beach, to the breakout for Paris, the acti
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A short review. If you're really interested in a more in-depth examination of Mr. Beevor's work see my review of Ardennes 1944: Hitler's Last Gamble. I'll just say that Mr. Beevor's work is just as good here as in his other works. Well researched, fair-minded, balanced and sympathetic towards the pain that the catastrophe of war inflicts; not just on military personnel, but the civilians who are unfortunate enough to live in a war zone. I do need to add one thing. Most accounts of "D-Day" (June ...more
Jun 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a great book! It covers a period of WWII from just prior to the invasions of the Normandy Coast on June 6, 1944, to the liberation of Paris (Silly French think that their army liberated Paris). Beevor has done a thorough job researching and retelling stories of the campaign for Normandy. This time period is one of my favorites from WWII. Not that war is a good thing, or enjoyable. War brings out the best and worst in people. It is the stories when people are at their best that I enjoy. ...more
Tim Mercer
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic Beevor presentation. He starts with the preparation in England, follows through with the landings, attrition, breakout and ends with the capture of Paris. The battles are covered from all sides with lots of records from participants at all levels including civilian. Overall the focus is on the land portion with information on the air and navy actions only where they supported the land activities. Reads well. 4.5 stars.
Dolf Patijn
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Antony Beevor gives a very thorough account of D-Day, the battles in Normandy, as seen by the Allied Forces as well as the Germans and the liberation of Paris. He doesn't hold back and besides the victories, he also describes the cock-ups and which generals made mistakes. A lot more lives could have been saved if there had been better communication between the air force and the ground troops and if certain generals had done a better job. The German side had to deal with a supreme commander who r ...more
Steven Z.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anthony Beevor is a prolific historian. His works include; STALINGRAD, THE BATTLE OF ARNHEM, ARDENNES 1944, THE FALL OF BERLIN, 1945, THE BATTLE FOR SPAIN, and CRETE, 1941. His works have achieved critical acclaim by military historians and the general public and one of his earlier books, D-DAY: THE BATTLE FOR NORMANDY written in 2009 is very timely today. On June 6th the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the invasion will be held on the northern French coast and after reading Beevor’s acco ...more
Chris Wray
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, 2010
This is an excellent addition to the plethora of books written about D-Day and the Normandy campaign, and really benefits from Antony Beevor's crisp and fast moving narrative style. He begins with the postponement from the 5th to the 6th of June, and switches between strategic and tactical level views throughout the book. As is typical a Beevor book he liberally illustrates his narrative with relevant personal stories and testimony, and makes a really good use of maps to explain the movement of ...more
Czarny Pies
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Bob Schmitz
Feb 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: history-wwii
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
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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,
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-wwii
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
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, maps, non-fiction
“I am more thankful than I can say that my misgivings were unfounded …. May I congratulate you on the wisdom of your choice.” Air Chief Marshall Leigh-Mallory to Eisenhower after the airborne assaults which he thought would be disasters succeeded.

Thankfully Beevor credits readers with some sense of history; unlike many writers of popular history, he connects D-Day to its antecedents without reinventing the wheel. He describes the invasion itself in microscopic detail.

“We are going to liberate Eu
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
As comprehensive and readable as you may find. Beevor takes the overview approach from the preparations to the liberation of Paris. There's a huge amount of detail, and some very welcome maps (many will please those who like to know what unit was where). I'll confess that I prefer those narratives following individuals or units through for that "what it was like for someone throughout", though Beevor makes some outstanding use of vignettes and short recollections or anecdotes to show the situati ...more
Nick Roser
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Listened to this on Overdrive, so take that for what it is. Beevor doesn’t waste any time getting to the actual invasion and he covers operations up thru the liberation of Paris. Parts of the narration were difficult to follow and visualize.... which is a side effect of French town pronunciations and not seeing maps while listening. My mental picture of a map of Normandy is somewhat basic. I appreciated the chapters dedicated to other facets of the invasion: including the plight of French citize ...more
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all readers
Recommended to Brent by: Penguin Books
Shelves: history, war
This author is quite good, sending me back to his other books, as well as the other literature on the WW2 in Europe.
Highly recommended.
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
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
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Antony James Beevor is a British historian who was 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 five years before resigning his commission. He has published several popular histories on the Second World War and the 20th century in general.

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“– Ne feledjék el – mondta [Patton] nekik [a katonáinak] egy alkalommal –, soha egyetlen fattyú sem nyert háborút azzal, hogy meghalt a hazájáért. Csak úgy győznek, ha elérik, hogy a másik rohadék haljon meg az ő hazájáért!” 3 likes
“General Montgomery, despite his considerable qualities as a highly professional soldier and first-class trainer of troops, suffered from a breathtaking conceit which almost certainly stemmed from some sort of inferiority complex.” 2 likes
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