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D-Day: The Battle for Normandy

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  7,789 ratings  ·  401 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 (first published 2009)
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4.16  · 
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 ·  7,789 ratings  ·  401 reviews


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Matt
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
4triplezed
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
...more
Espen
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
Michael
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
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
Marc
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
...more
Dale
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
Mark
Sep 18, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Got myself a nice hardcover copy.
Pramodya
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.

The
...more
Nigeyb
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
...more
Checkman
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
William
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
...more
Kevin
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
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
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
...more
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
...more
Brad
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,
...more
Christine
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
...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.
Kenny
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
Ann
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
...more
Douglas
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
...more
John
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
Michael Gerald
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
Michael Flanagan
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ww-2
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.
Mark
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To say that there is no shortage of histories of the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944 is something of an understatement, as between the memoirs, the unit histories, and the general accounts of the assault D-Day ranks as among the most chronicled events of the Second World War. Over the years authors from Chester Wilmot and Cornelius Ryan to John Keegan and Carlo D'Este have written highly regarded books describing the events surrounding the landings and their role in ending the war. Beca ...more
Jerome
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jerome by: Dimitri
A readable and graphic history of the Normandy campaign.

Beevor covers everything from the planning of Overlord to the liberation of Paris. He ably covers the experience and performance of commanders and soldiers; the challenges faced; the suffering of the civilian population; the role of the SOE, the Jedburghs and the French resistance; the political intrigue (mainly de Gaulle and Montgomery); and the contributions of codebreaking. His portraits of the people involved are insightful. He also doe
...more
Sally Dark
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I can only describe this book as a masterpiece. Written in a completely impartial style, as in no goodies or baddies, just two sides doing the best they can to reach their objectives. Almost unemotionally written when describing the horrors that these poor men and women lived through. The fact that there are regular maps throughout the books makes it easier to understand the complexity of the different components of the armies, and how each troop was located and the directions of their indi ...more
Volodymyr Yatsevsky
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Vivid is a proper word for this book. Behind facts, figures, numbers and names stood people - arrogant and stupid, reckless and brave, smart and bold. The history of D-Day was painted across the marvelous bocage of Normandie and the way Beevor put is full of details and people stories. However, the book becomes a bit boring in the middle, perhaps lacking those stories, and a bit hastened toward the end. Still it is a good piece of war history reading.
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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.

“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
“Churchill once remarked that the Americans always came to the right decision, having tried everything else first. But even if the joke contained an element of truth, it underplayed the fact that they learned much more quickly than their self-appointed tutors in the British Army. They were not afraid to listen to bright civilians from the business world now in uniform and above all they were not afraid to experiment. The” 2 likes
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