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Omaha Beach: D-Day, June 6, 1944
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July 2017: Other Books > Omaha Beach by Joseph Balkosi - 4 Stars

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Regina Lindsey | 946 comments In preparation for my trip to Normandy I wanted a refresher on the battle. This was a good selection. The term D-Day always conjures up the iconic images of young men disembarking an amphibious assault on a beach in which enemy fire was strategically dished out from cliffs above. But, the battle is so much more than. It was the first of its kind and was intended to have various stages, almost all of which fell apart immediately. What Balkoski excels at is showing how all of these individual "disasters" added to the psychological stress of the men storming the beach. Already afraid and seasick, when the disembarked and realized the air and naval assault had unsuccessfully weakened the German defense the task ahead was even more daunting. Even though I'm an avid history reader I don't have a good mental map. Sometimes it is hard for me to read about battles in a place I've never been. Balkoski writes in a way that is simple and easy to follow.

I was disappointed, that once again, almost completely left out the Canadian's role. I always feel bad for the Canadians. I also thought the editors could have done a better job in selecting the first hand accounts included in each chapter. The selections didn't always advance the narrative.

Overall, a great look at one of the most notable battles in war history.

Booknblues | 1681 comments I enjoyed this book. I didn't realize before reading it how near to disaster it was.

I had to keep looking at a map while reading it and would love to walk the land and go down on the beach.

Regina Lindsey | 946 comments I'm really looking forward to getting there next week

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LibraryCin | 3808 comments Regina wrote: "I was disappointed, that once again, almost completely left out the Canadian's role. I always feel bad for the Canadians. ..."

Thanks, Regina! There is a Canadian author who has written on D-Day (and maybe more re: WWII). His name is Mark Zuehlke (sp?). I think one of his books (likely one I've read, but it's not specifically coming to me at the moment) focuses more on Juno Beach, which is where you would have found more of the Canadians.

Mark Zuehlke

Also, more generally about D-Day, I highly recommend: The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan. Written not long after WWII, it was a 5 star book for me.

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LibraryCin | 3808 comments Looked closer at Mark Z, and I've read three by him. Two of them focused on Juno Beach, and I liked the first one better:
Juno Beach: Canada's D-Day Victory, June 6, 1944

Regina Lindsey | 946 comments I've read The Longest Day. I thought about doing a re-read for this trip but decided to try a new work.

Yes, the Canadians were mainly responsible for Juno but there were some at Omaha. The author addresses Gold Beach, which was primarily a British focus but never mentioned Juno.

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LibraryCin | 3808 comments Ah, looks like my rating and review didn't make it here for "The Longest Day", so I've added it in, and while I'm at it, I'll paste my review here for you, as well:

The Longest Day / Cornelius Ryan
5 stars

This is a detailed look at D-Day, starting a couple of days beforehand, right through the entire day, June 6, 1944. Originally written in 1959, the book is based on questionnaires and interviews with many people who were there. We get to see what happened from various points of view – the Allies, the Germans, and even some of the French civilians living in Normandy at the time of the attack. This book brings you to the shores of the five beaches: Utah, Omaha, Juno, Sword and Gold, as well as Pointe du Hoc.

Wow! This reads like fiction and, even knowing the outcome, I found it quite suspenseful at times. I didn’t really know much detail about what went on, and for anyone with any interest in it, I think this is a must read.

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LibraryCin | 3808 comments And, I was at Omaha Beach a few years back. Pretty amazing, being there...

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LibraryCin | 3808 comments I might add this to my tbr.

My Grandpa was supposed to have been at D-Day. His boat got caught in a sandbar and they didn't get there. I think I have a newspaper article from my small town that told the story, but I wish, when Grandpa was around, I'd been more interested to listen to his war stories at the time. :-( He was willing to talk about it, but I just wasn't interested, then.

Regina Lindsey | 946 comments Awwwwww!

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Book Concierge (TessaBookConcierge) | 2657 comments My girlfriend's father was at Omaha Beach. One of my husband's good friends was part of the invasion. His unit hit Utah Beach. When he turned 90 a few years ago, my husband and I wrote up a "first-hand" account of his efforts on D-day, and had it framed for him. So many people didn't even know about his service!

I'm currently reading Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest .... we're past D-day in the narrative, but my stars, it's amazing any of them lived through that!

Regina Lindsey | 946 comments I know. It's scary to think how closely they came to disaster. Then to Mahoney how that would have impacted the rest at of the war.

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