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Pegasus Bridge

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  7,637 ratings  ·  218 reviews
In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, a small detachment of British airborne troops stormed the German defense 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 II.

This gripping account of it by acclaimed author Stephen Ambrose brings to life a daring mission so crucial that, h
Paperback, 199 pages
Published November 15th 1988 by Simon Schuster (first published May 31st 1984)
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Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my first experience with Ambrose, other than his Band of Brothers DVD set. I have to say that I really enjoyed the book and his style. If I didn’t know the taking of Pegasus Bridge was real I would have thought the story fiction with wonderful character development and plot twists and turns. Highly recommended for history buffs.
Fresh off his Eisenhower biography*, Ambrose was looking for a short and sweet subject. He found it and gives it to us short and sweet, without pulling any 'Ambroses'. It is most touching to see friendships develop between a few former adversaries. Also, in spite of the just resentment by the French civilian population, it's hard to be hard on young, conscripted Poles who relished wine and women more than weapons drill, wisely taking to their heels when confronted with devilishly blackened elite ...more
Jeff Dawson
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very quick and entertaining read on the British airborne assault of Pegasus Bridge. Being familiar with only the HBO adaptation on Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest (which is PHENOMENAL) I was curious to check out Ambrose's writing. I have Simon & Schuster to thank for the free copy of this one, simply for going through the trouble of signing up for their mailing list. Anyways, Ambrose clearly does his research and it shines th ...more
'Aussie Rick'
Nov 28, 2009 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
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
John Nevola
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-Casi periodismo.-

Género. Ensayo (en realidad es más una crónica o un reportaje, pero no tengo esa clasificación en el blog).

Lo que nos cuenta. Acercamiento a la operación aerotransportada británica para la toma de unos puentes sobre el canal de Caen con la intención de facilitar la penetración inmediata de las tropas que estaban a punto de desembarcar en Normandía durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, pero acercamiento también a los que participaron, a sus vidas e incluso a la gestión del propio l
Rob Roy
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 52-world-war-ii
Two bridges gave access to the British left flank at Normandy. These bridges need to be seized and held for the success of the invasion. The book is about the men of Company D of the British Airborne who were the first allied soldiers to land in Normandy, and they took and held those bridges. While it is a story of heroics, it is also a storey of planning and leadership. It is also about free men fighting those who are not.
Jan 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
"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
Jan 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 01, 2013 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
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It is one of Ambrose's best works. It moves very quickly and is quite clear. I own an eBook, I've owned a trade paperback, and I own the audiobook. He is good enough to point out some of the problems with the segments in the film, The Longest Day, covered by this book. It is long enough to get a sense of the key players. I will fault his description of the poor quality of British firearms. First, no Western Allie had a real answer to the German MG-42. The MG-42 was about the be ...more
Travis Ristau
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Michael Wilson
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii, history, non-fiction
Title: Pegasus Bridge
Author: Stephen E. Ambrose
Read by: Arthur Morey
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Length: Approximately 5 hours and 58 minutes
Source: Simon & Schuster Audio Digital Review Copy – Thank-you!

Pegasus Bridge is a riveting non-fiction narrative detailing the storming and taking of Pegasus Bridge, the first engagement of D-Day, June 6, 1944. Major John Howard and his men spent much time preparing for this day, but nothing can prepare them for the brutality of war.

Pegasus Bri
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nls-audio
Think D-day 1944, and you likely conjure up audio images of General Eisenhower broadcasting invasion orders to troops. American involvement in the invasion of Europe was widely and well taught in the schools in the time when I grew up.

But what about the British involvement in the invasion? Most of us don’t learn much about that—we get the broad-brush stuff, but the details are largely illusory. That’s true until you read this book.

This is the detailed and highly readable account of a group of Br
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1940, The German Parachute corps opened the way through Belgium with a "coup De Main" at the fort at Eben Emael, landing gliders on the fort to Capture it. In 1944, the night before D-Day, a small company of British Glidermen returned the favour, seizing and then holding two adjacent bridges, one over the Orne River, and one over the Caen Canal. These were classic grand tactical (and thus strategic) choke points that the Allies HAD TO HAVE in order to Hold their beachhead in Europe. This book ...more
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
not my normal reading matter but thought it looked an interesting subject and just the sort of book i would have bought my dad when he was still with us, and i have to say i was right.
he would have really enjoyed this book I think as did I.
the book basically tells the story of a british airborne mission during the early hours of d-day through the records and memories of the people there, not the general's/planners etc but the actual guys on the ground.
a couple of times i had to re-read sections
Robert Zverina
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm something of a WW2 buff. My parents lived through it as unwilling citizens of Nazi occupied Prague, and my step-father has his name on the wall of the Holocaust Museum in DC for his heroics and self-sacrifice as a "righteous gentile." There's much to be learned about pluck, resourcefulness, and character by reading WW2 accounts from all perspectives. Ambrose's D-Day, June 6, 1944: The Battle for the Normandy Beaches is a gripping, comprehensive account I strongly recommend. Pegasus Bridge is ...more
Andy Phillips
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
As someone who is interested in the subject but not an expert or historian I would recommend this book. Plus points:
1) There is a focus on one action so we get to see some of the personalities involved (including some on the German side and the French residents).
2) It's not a dry series of unit lists and movements like some military history books.
3) The book is relatively short so isn't a chore and doesn't include too much padding or irrelevant material. There is quite a lot of information about
Hank Hoeft
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pegasus Bridge demonstrates the value to historians of first-hand accounts related by those who participated in the event being described. It is a minute-by-minute--sometimes almost second-by-second--account of the critical mission of taking intact and holding a particular bridge in the first minutes of Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy in World War II. Ambrose lists the books used in his research in writing the book, but the bulk of the text is based on personal reminiscences of the ...more
Jeffrey Edick
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good book, a quick read because it is such a short, captivating story. Ambrose goes a couple years back before the battle and sets the stage by introducing the Major John Howard, who would run the operation, the man under which the mission would be a success. It is said the British beachhead Sword would not be secure if the 2 bridges just further inland could not be captured intact, and stop any German counterattack. Ambrose goes into great detail explaining the training of the glider pilots, th ...more
Sammy Duncan
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amazing story of a truly amazing episode in the history of warfare. When any student of military history studies planning and execution of a small-unit, military operation, several examples come to mind as excellent case studies (Eben Emael, 22nd SAS at the Iranian Embassy, 3/504 PIR at Nijmegen, 20th Maine at Little Round Top, Skorzeny at the Gran Sasso, etc.) and I believe Professor Ambrose has done a great service by detailing Major Howard and the Ox and Buck's capture of the Caen and Orne Br ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction
I like Stephen Ambrose’s books but they tend to miss much of the military details and focus on the human stories. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that - I like the inclusion of the human back stories - but much technical information is left out. Cornelius Ryan’s books on Arnhem and D-Day, and Max Hastings’ work on Operation Overlord, are exemplars in this respect. Still, Pegasus Bridge was an enjoyable read for a lover of military history like myself.
Mark Adams
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stephen Ambrose was a terrific writer, historian and authority on the events of the Second World War. This book is no exception. It focuses on what happened at an important fulcrum in Operation Market-Garden, and details the heartbreak and loss of a battle that Montgomery believed would end the war by Christmas.
Colby Duckett
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It is a book full of facts and interesting information. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that likes reading about war. The book is set up kinda like a journal. I really like the intensity of the book. My favorite part of the book is when the allies take over Pegasus Bridge because it is pretty intense.
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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
“I instinctively dislike ever to uphold the conservative as opposed to the bold” 0 likes
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