With D-Day’s 75th anniversary this Thursday, June 6th, we at Bookstr would like to recommend three non-fiction books for you to read. From inspiring to harrows, these books will go beyond painting a picture in your mind of what happened that day but instead give you an on the ground look as well as a bird’s eye view of that day in human history.
Image Via The Telegraph
Published September 28th, 2010, this book has renowned historian Antony Beevor, author of Stalingrad and The Battle of Arnhem, “presents the first major account in more than twenty years of the Normandy invasion and the liberation of Paris”. It goes beyond D-Day and shows us how important that day was. From the experiences of American, British, Canadian, and German soldiers, as well as the French civilians and resistance groups, this book chronicles “more than thirty archives in six countries”.
Image Via The Boston Globe
The Guardian writes that the book “…moves from the weather drama to surveillance of the assault beaches, to individual accounts of each beach, to the breakout for Paris, the action never lets up,” and highlighted how many perspectives of the same side were shown, such as showing the Germans with “with a proper view of the difference between those who retained a moral sense and those in whom it had long disappeared”.
When asked if any accounts he researched epitomized the Battle for Normandy, Anthony Beever replied to The Telegraph that:
Well, there was a wonderful account from a young anti-tank gun officer in the Warwicks [the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment] which had been captured after trying to engage a German Panzer Division. The Germans treated them terribly well and gave them wine.
2. Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany
Image Via Goodreads
If you want to go further than the liberation of France and instead go from D-Day to all, literally all, that happened after it, then pick up Historian Stephen E. Ambrose’s hefty non-fiction book. Published September 24th, 1998 by Simon & Schuster, this 528 page book will move you through “ordinary men in the U.S. army” continues where Ambrose left off in his #1 bestseller D-Day. Citizen Soldiers, starting from 0001 hours, June 7th, 1944 until the end at 0245 hours, May 7th, 1945, with the allied victory.
Image Via Washington Post
Kirkus Reviews stated that “[w]ith remarkable immediacy and clarity, as though he had trained a telescopic lens on the battlefields, Ambrose offers a stirring portrayal of the terror and courage experienced by men at war” and Publishers Weekly signed off with calling the book “an excellent and engrossing new look at the Normandy invasion”
1. Operation Bodyguard: The History of the Allies’ Disinformation Campaign Against Nazi Germany Before D-Day
Operation Bodyguard: The History of the Allies’ Disinformation Campaign Against Nazi Germany Before D-Day might say exactly what it is about, but few today know the true story.
Image Via Amazon
Taking a key from the maxim, “He who defends everything, defends nothing,” the Allies hired theater actors to act as troops, created fake radio shatter, fake reports on troop movements, and put General Patton in charge to give this faux army some credibility. Keying in on this fake radio chatter, the Nazis drew their focus away from the Normandy beaches.
As a result, this operation thinned out their troop movements, combined with General Eisenhower ordering the invasion on a day the Nazi believed the Allies wouldn’t attack, was able to give the Allies an edge on that day on the beach.
Image Via History.com
Now, for curiosity’s sake, if you had to pick two books out of this list of three, which would you choose? And what will you be doing to commemorate D-Day?
Featured Image Via BBC