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Pegasus Bridge: 6 June 1944

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  6,935 Ratings  ·  189 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, ...more
Published May 31st 1984 by George Allen & Unwin
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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  ·  review of another edition
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
'Aussie Rick'
Nov 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Robert Zverina
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
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
Sammy Duncan
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Costa Panayi
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book, got it free with 'Band of Brothers' as well!
Actually preferred this to 'BoB' as Pegasus Bridge was more about a specific event/soldiers/few days as opposed to a over a year with many different events, so you got to 'know the soldiers more'

Really enjoyable
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good D-Day book. Focuses on British paratroopers.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great story to be understood, and well told.
Lynn Diane
Interesting book. I learned some new things about the war. Ambrose tends to do that.
James Christensen
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story of first paratroopers/gliders on the ground during D-Day, covering a vital left flank. Well written & enjoyable read.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Excellent read. Based on eye witnesses from both sides, updated.
Having recently been there I thoroughly enjoyed going deeper
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ambrose is such a marvelous researcher, he finds the best resources to give him the real story. Well-written and interesting. Gives a highlight to the British troops on D-Day.
Helena R-D
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Straightforward and fleshless history that I would use as a text if I was teaching about WW2, to be honest.mthe man knows his stuff and I hope someday this gets the miniseries treatment it deserves.
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You would almost think this fiction: On the eve D-Day 1944, tow half a dozen Horsa gliders filled with elite British troops to the French coast and release them to land near the bridge over the Caen Canal. These Horsa gliders aren't the little two or three-seaters that budding civilian pilot first practice in. The Horsas hold around 30 men, all laden with as much ammunition as possible. Once on the ground, the soldiers , under the command of Major John Howard, are tasked with a seemingly impossi ...more
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was pretty much what I expected from a true WWII story--a cool new perspective on early events of D-day and definitely a new locale to visit in the future. Wouldn't call it groundbreaking but it's a quick read and at least interesting.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 10-out-of-10
10/10 This is history that reads like a novel. It's a great collection of interwoven personal stories on both sides of the battle. It has fairly strict chronological order which I like in a history book. As a bonus, it follows through and tells about people's lives after the battle.
Phil Whittall
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Growing up I lived on WWII stories and I wanted to be a commando. Soldiers who fought in that war were heroes to me, including my own grandfather. Like most boys I wanted adventure, bravery and chances to make history.

War, it turned out wasn't nearly as glamorous as I thought and amongst the heroes are some cowards and the real reason courage and bravery stand out so brightly is because there is an awful lot of fear around. Next to great good was great evil and I was no longer in a rush to kill
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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
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