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Sand & Steel: The D-Day Invasions and the Liberation of France

4.67  ·  Rating details ·  135 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Peter Caddick-Adams's account of the Allied invasion of France in June 1944 matches the monumental achievement of his book on the Battle of the Bulge, Snow and Steel, which Richard Overy has called the standard history of this climactic confrontation in the West. Sand and Steel gives us D-Day, arguably the greatest and most consequential military operation of modern times, ...more
Hardcover, 1025 pages
Published May 6th 2019 by Oxford University Press, USA
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Peter Caddick-Adams There is no difference to the text, but I wanted GIs on the jacket of the US edition (pictured), published by Oxford University Press, and Brits on th…moreThere is no difference to the text, but I wanted GIs on the jacket of the US edition (pictured), published by Oxford University Press, and Brits on the UK edition, published by Hutchinson. Curiously the US edition is slimmer, but I can assure you the contents are the same. Peter Caddick-Adams(less)

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This book will rank in the Overlord Pantheon next to Ryan, Hastings, Beevor & (don't start) Ambrose. To everyone who has ever had faith in my reviews : READ IT.

At 900 pages, it feels like a Bible, even if comprehensiveness necessitates sacrificing depth on somebody's favorite aspect of D-Day - say, Pointe Du Hoc, which has its own monograph. The volume is evenly split between the preparations & the actual landings.

The first half contains the bulk of historiographic revisions. For example, the G
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If any book deserves the subtitle of “Everything you wanted to know about D-Day, but were afraid to ask” (to paraphrase a title from my youth) it is this one. Mr. Caddick-Adams (C-A) has produced the most complete look at Operation Overlord that I personally have ever read. Coming in a just under 900 pages of text (in the U.S. version), it is a bit of a doorstop. In spite of its length, it is very, very enjoyable read. Mr. C-A is fast becoming one of the “Go To” authors on World War II.

In the fi
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the definitive history. Caddick-Adams updates and corrects Cornelius Ryan, using both the book and the film (The Longest Day) as a reference point through-out. As I have seen the movie a dozen times, this made it easier to find my way around the various beaches and bridges. 800+ pages of carefully footnoted narrative supplemented by excellent maps. The corrects a lot of missed or erroneous notions that have found their way into standard histories of this battle. Fir example, the fierce s ...more
Grouchy Historian
Absolutely magnificent. The literary and historical successor to The Longest Day.
Richard Munro
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am finishing the second of PETER CADDICK-ADAMS STEEl books (STEEL and SAND). I have read hundreds of WWII books and have enjoyed these immensely. I have learned a lot that I did not know (African-American experience in England pre-D-Day for example). not to mention interviews I had never read before. I think this book, so well written, will be a cornerstone of D-Day literature. Congratulations. A great companion to all the fine D-Day books I have read from THE LONGEST DAY to Six Armies in Norm ...more
Ben House
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sand and Steel: The D-Day Invasion and the Liberation of France by Peter Caddick-Adams is published by Oxford University Press.
I am really close to embracing the absurd idea that World War II never happened. In particular, I can almost find myself believing that the D-Day Normandy invasion of France on June 6, 1944 never happened. No, I am not losing my sanity, nor am I listening to weird conspiracy theories of crackpots.
Here is my thought: I cannot fathom how the men at Normandy faced the obsta
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rewarding for those Fascinated by D-Day

Those who tackle this 900 page book are likely fascinated by World War II and the D-Day landings in Normandy. Even if one has read other accounts, he or she will be rewarded by author Peter Craddick-Adams’ research, knowledge of his subject gained on many tours he has led over the terrain, and the quality of his analysis and writing.

An area that Craddick-Adams profitably explores concerns all the training that preceded June 6, 1944, when the landings took p
Graeme Bell
Actually the ebook from Google Play, Excellent all the same.
Mark Adkins
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
If you could only have one book on D-Day then I would recommend this book. It covers every aspect of the battle and has a lot of details that most other books omit. The author also addresses some of the more common myths that have arisen about the invasion since Cornelius Ryan first wrote "The Longest Day".

The book could be considered to be in two parts, the lead up to the battle and the actual invasion/battle.

The lead up to the battle covers several aspects. Not only does it cover the military
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, non-fiction, ww2, 2020
'D-Day'. Over the decades since 6th June 1944, the very term has become iconic. It has entered the lexicon of everyday language to signify any day on which a significant, landmark event is scheduled to take place. But in terms of the D-Day, the term summons up in the imagination truly Herculean efforts to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Efforts which culminated in the Allies mounting the largest seaborne invasion fleet the world has ever known, sent across the English Channel to defeat t ...more
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really excellent second look at the D-Day Invasions and the planning that went into them. Easily a 4.5 or 5 star read.

Let me get one minor quibble off my chest - the title is a bit misleading. Based on the "Liberation of France" portion, I assumed Caddick-Adams was going to cover more into the Normandy campaign at least until the Breakout in late July. But that's not the case, this book essentially ends at midnight on June 6th.

That's the only negative... knowing ahead, would I have purchases, ma
Stephen Morrissey
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
On the 75th anniversary of D-Day, there are few better testaments to the courage, bravery, and perseverance of the American, British, Canadian, French and other troops who launched the herculean task of rolling back Hitler's empire than Peter Caddick-Adams's "Sand & Steel." Throughout nearly 900 pages of prose, Caddick-Adams tells not only the story of Utah, Omaha, Sword, Juno, and Gold, but also the vast preparations and planning that occurred in the years and months leading up to June 6, 1944. ...more
David Shaffer
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished Sand and Steel: The D-Day Invasion and the Liberation of France by Peter Caddick-Adams, this morning.
To call it a well researched book is not doing it justice It deals with the planning and the execution of Overlord and unlike many histories it covers in detail landings on all the beaches and provides in-depth coverage an analysis for both the British, Canadian and U.S. beaches. The book also discusses in significant detail the German side of the battle as well.

It is both a big hist
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wwii
What an amazing amount of research Caddick-Adams has done! Multiple stars just for the details he has uncovered and written about.

Having said that, it does take awhile to get through the details, and C-A sometimes seems to hide his analysis in the last sentence of the last paragraph. Since I'm looking for more analysis and less information about what the 2nd dress rehearsal for the Normandy invasion was called, it does become tedious reading at times. I really appreciated his criticism of Corne
Rónán Ó
Oct 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very, very in-depth and interesting. The first half is preparation and the second half is execution. Primarily from the Allied side with some peppering of the incompetence of the Axis on the most part.

As the story progresses across the 5 beaches stories start to obviously repeat themselves (I guess storming a beach head can only go a few ways) and this can be a bit of a slog. The stories behind each beach (if only a few miles) are all very interesting, varied and worth getting off the beach for.
Jeremiah Tesch
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well written and researched with insightful interpretation of events. I like how he mentioned the past films and writings about Overlord and commented on what they included or omitted. He also did a good job at outlining the social side of the soldiers’ presence in the UK which not all historians might do. Finally, he gave a voice to those who had been eclipsed in the past (Canadians, Poles, African Americans, etc.)
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
A very impressive piece of historical with with many stories that were new to me, even though I have read about the subject for many years.

Particularly thorough on the stories of the run up to and training for the actual landings.

My only quibble would be that the overall strategic plan and picture could be given a little more depth.
Allan Wood
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was one of the best accounts of D Day that I have read. I have read many! The difficulties that the Allied planners had for every phase Operation Overlord was well explained and easy to read. Excellent book.
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow what a great book! The level of detail combined with backgrounds and personal stories made this an excellent read. The corrections to what we "all know" about d-day were also very appreciated. ...more
C. William
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
the most detailed account you will find anywhere. This book should be on your shelf. if you study WW2.
Craig Winneker
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fascinating, well-written and authoritative. Includes recently revealed information. Very detailed but still readable.
Colin Freebury
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first part of this book describes preparations for D-Day in a comprehensive way that I hadn't seen before. Very readable and interesting. ...more
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What the author doesn't know about D-Day probably isn't worth knowing. ...more
Rich Taylor
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: militaryhistory
This is a very big book in every sense. Very comprehensive. I would recommend it!
Michael Rogers
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the best, most comprehensive book I've read about the lead-up to the D-Day invasion and the landings themselves. If you read one book on this historic event, this is it. ...more
Marcel Posthouwer
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great, detailed book about D Dat.
Edwin David
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely excellent, this must be regarded as the best history of DDay on the market.
Gareth Carter
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
900 pages, thoroughly researched, packed with immense detail and about a subject you *think* you know all about. But you dont. This was a superb read.
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Peter Caddick-Adams is a lecturer in military history and current defense issues at the UK Defence Academy. He is the author of Monte Cassino: Ten Armies in Hell and Monty and Rommel: Parallel Lives. He holds the rank of major in the British Territorial Army and has served with U.S. forces in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

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