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D-Day, June 6, 1944: The Battle for the Normandy Beaches

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  24,202 ratings  ·  716 reviews
It is the young men born into the false prosperity of the 1920s and brought up in the bitter realities of the Depression of the 1930s that this book is about. The literature they read as youngsters was anti-war and cynical, portraying patriots as suckers, slackers and heroes. None of them wanted to be part of another war. They wanted to be throwing baseballs, not handgrena ...more
Paperback, 656 pages
Published June 1st 2002 by Pocket Books (first published June 6th 1994)
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Tom Mccutchan It is 583 pages if you don't include the glossary, endnotes, and appendix.…moreIt is 583 pages if you don't include the glossary, endnotes, and appendix.(less)

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Sep 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
May 8, 1994

Dear Prof. Ambrose:

I have read most of your books and enjoyed them immensely. I was therefore eagerly awaiting the publication of your new book about D-Day. It finally arrived at our bookstore and I immediately began, greedily, to devour it.

As it turns out, last Tuesday, I journeyed to Altoona, one-hundred miles east of here, to take my father to a hospital for some exploratory surgery. My father was an army medic, helping to chase Rommel through North Africa. He made it to Sicily whe
Jun 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
As a brit this book really annoyed me. It’s not about the Normandy landings; it’s about the American landing on Omaha Beach. At every opportunity Ambrose trivialises and criticises the British, Canadian and other allied forces while giving us a chest thumping partisan view of the unequalled bravery of the Americans. The bias is embarrassing and a colossal show of disrespect to the soldiers of every other nation in the allied forces.
May 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
My father (Warner Hamlett -D-Day vet and still doing well) was interviewed and quoted in this book. He is 93 years old and relives WWII every night in his dreams. He still goes out to his homemade bomb cellar during thunderstorms and screams in his sleep.

Stephen Ambrose is an excellent author. He double checks his details and sources, using first-hand accounts of events. My father was in the 29 infantry out of South Boston, VA when they stormed Normandy Beach. The book tells the story of D-Day s
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those with a general interest in WWII
Stephen Ambrose enjoyed tremendous popularity in the 1990's with his WWII books about the fighting in Northwestern Europe. The books were massive bestsellers and made him a household name. Of course a historian enjoying such popularity means that other historians and history buffs will be examing his/her's work with a fine tooth comb. Late in his life ,and continuing since his death, reports surfaced documenting/alleging longtime patterns of plagiarism and inaccuracies in many of his published w ...more
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Reading this you'd be forgiven for thinking that the US was alone at Normandy. One-eyed puffery and tabloid in its execution, as is Ambrose's way.

There are vastly better books on D-Day (Beevor and Hastings for a start).
Carol Storm
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Compelling, suspenseful, inspiring and heartbreaking. The pace of the narrative never flags. Absolutely the finest popular history ever written about the D Day Invasion. Ambrose has the right mix, combining an endless series of fascinating personal accounts from English, German, and American troops, plus balancing out the strategic overview with detailed analysis.
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is based on the oral histories of 1,400 men who were involved in D-Day. The majority of the book deals with one 24 hour period. Midnight, June 5/6 until midnight June 6/7. I learned about D-Day growing up. Mostly this was facts and figures. I have seen several movies about D-Day. Some were good. With the exception of a few names such as Roosevelt, Churchill, Eisenhower, and Montgomery I didn't know the people involved in one of the most historic events of the 20th century. In this book ...more
Oct 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Extraordinarily interesting anecdotes? Check. Chest-thumping patriotism? Check. Unbiased, carefully vetted history? Ehhhhhh.
Peter Schmeltzer
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii
The greatest generation.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The beach was just a complete shambles. It was like an inferno. There were bodies everywhere and some wounded being attended to. As I went by a tank I heard people screaming for morphine. The tank was on fire and they were burning to death. There wasn't a thing that I could do about that... Around midnight... I remember thinking, 'Man what a day this has been. If every day is going to be as bad as this I'll never survive the war.'" - Captain James Roberts (Easy Red Sector, Omaha Beach)

This book
Don Stanton
Mar 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Probably one of the top three of all of his books concerning the war in Europe. It is a great place to start reading his series of books about WWII. It would be great to read this and Pegasus Bridge at the same time.
If you have an ability visualize, you will be moved.
I was in France in September of 2008. I'm not a tour guy, so we just go were and when we want to go. Chelly, my wife, and I went to the cemetery in Normandy. I was nearly overwhelmed at the sight. When We came to the long stairway
Feb 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful. I highly recommend Ambrose for historical reading. He makes things interesting and detailed and you feel like you really get to know somewhat what it was like being there. I will definitely be reading his other books. It's embarrassing that it took me almost 7 months to read this one though!
This book was a testimony to me that Heavenly Father was with those soldiers that day. It reminded me of Captain Moroni and the title of liberty-when you are fighting for your liberty and your wiv
Apr 07, 2011 added it
Shelves: kill-kill
I am currently listening to this audio book while at the same time reading the paperback of Anthony Beevor's D-Day book. I don't usually do that, listen to an audio book and read a paper copy book on the same topic. But in this case I am enjoying doing it, as I am really getting a full scope picture of this fascinating time in American history. ...more
May 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book was terrible. It was biased, factually inaccurate and reflected the author's sycophantic relationship with Eisenhower rather than any objective understanding of the events of June 6 1944. ...more
Jason Long
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Too much American "Hoo-ah" and not enough credit given to the British and Canadian forces (only the last 10% of the book is allocated to them). Ambrose even repeatedly sees the need to reiterate that the British could have done more had they not continuously stopped for tea. ...more
Sep 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ambrose sacrifices research for the sake of a flowing narrative.
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A great reminder of why we Americans should proudly stand for our flag!
Jesse Washburn
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good pacing and organization. Great first person anecdotes. The dark humor quotes by soldiers injected some great comedy. I'm no historian, but I felt some obvious US bias when negative actions of the Americans were overshadowed by worse examples of the Germans immediately after. Interesting read and look at a different time. ...more
Biar Menghayati ditambah membaca pidato Ike pada saat D-Day

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 th
Jackson Shampanier-Bowen
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Timons Esaias
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a classic retelling of the events of D-Day, the invasion of Normandy in WWII. It sets the stage, and then stays focused, for the most part, on the events of the first 24 hours. It's a page-turner, it is fascinating, and I would have it on my shelf in preference to The Longest Day, even though that work is justly famous.

Things that I especially admire about Ambrose's presentation:
-- He mentions, frequently, men who broke down. Too many military histories ignore the fact that people comple
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
About three months ago I came across The Rising Tide, by Jeff Shaara, in a box in my room. I have always been interested in the World Wars era, so I decided to give that book a try. I absolutely loved it and it inspired me to seek out new WWII novels. While searching for my next read, I came across D-Day and thought it would be a good book.

D-Day depicts the story of its namesake, both the day and preparations. On June 6, 1944, the United States and Great Britain led the Allied forces in a full-s
Michael Walker
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Stephen Ambrose's book is told from an American viewpoint; only a cursory run-through of other Allied participants in the Normandy invasion on D-Day is included at the end of the book, covering 65 pages (out of 583 total pages). Otherwise, a well-told account, giving first-hand stories (both oral and written) from those who participated; over 1,400 interviews! Also, the book covers a brief description of the planning phase during the run-up to June 6th, but focuses primarily on the events of tha ...more
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: well-written, wwii
While I read this, I wanted so badly to help those men somehow. To do something. But most of them are dead. All I could do was thank God that they were willing to sacrifice their all to protect the liberty of generations yet to come.
Gordon Leidner
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Superbly researched and written book that brings the stories of hundreds of heroes in to your living room. Difficult to put this book down, and even more difficult to read without weeping. This was truly as Tom Brokaw says, the greatest American generation.
Michael Wheatley
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matt Midlock
As much as I am interested in history I have an impossible time getting through history books.....

I am looking for an overall sweeping view of what happened and why it happened, but it seems like many books get mired in the details of divisions, troop numbers and vehicle acronyms. It's all just gobbledygook after a while and I'm not left with a sense of what actually happened.

I'm not faulting the author as those things are important to most history buffs - just not for me. Maybe I just need to
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent piece of research and writing. Another reminder of what the "greatest generation" did for our nation and our world. We as Americans need to utilize the insights provided to us by our ancestors to pull together and work with one another to improve the plight of all Americans. What has happened to our nation? The greed, the self-centeredness? Where is our sense of community? I am so proud of the people of this era who came together for the common good. I hope and pray that our generat ...more
David  Schroeder
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A solid yet brief history on D-Day by the master World War 2 historian, Stephen Ambrose. For anyone willing to understand the context and complexity to achieve such success from the mind of Eisenhower and Bradley to the preparation and response from Rommel, it is intriguing. Ambrose does a fine job following multiple stories of common soldiers, NCOs, and officers so the reader feels an ounce of what they experienced. I highly recommend.
Nov 07, 2020 rated it liked it
I have always had a soft spot for World War II vets. I can’t see them in a Fourth of July parade without crying. This is a great book about an important moment in history. I would have given the it a higher rating except that it is bogged down in a little too much military jargon for my taste and it meanders between anecdotes/perspectives in a way that can get a little tedious.
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Historically Accurate Historical Authors (non-fiction) 1 1 Oct 28, 2020 10:24PM  
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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. In his final years he faced charges of plagiarism for his books, with subsequent concerns about his research emerging after his death.

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“Pvt. Robert Fruling said he spent two and a half days at Pointe-du-Hoc, all of it crawling on his stomach. He returned on the twenty-fifth anniversary of D-Day “to see what the place looked like standing up” (Louis Lisko interview, EC).” 1 likes
“No matter how bad things got, no matter how anxious the staff became, the commander had to “preserve optimism in himself and in his command. Without confidence, enthusiasm and optimism in the command, victory is scarcely obtainable.” Eisenhower realized that “optimism and pessimism are infectious and they spread more rapidly from the head downward than in any other direction.” He learned that a commander’s optimism “has a most extraordinary effect upon all with whom he comes in contact. With this clear realization, I firmly determined that my mannerisms and speech in public would always reflect the cheerful certainty of victory—that any pessimism and discouragement I might ever feel would be reserved for my pillow.” 1 likes
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