The Americans, British, Canadians, Poles, Free French and Germans each had specific goals. Politics shaped many military considerations; where one began and the other ended was often unclear.
"The analysis of this historic action is carried out on many levels. Keegan weighs national character, illuminates the strategy of Allied and Axis leaders, and reminds us of the part played by heroism, individual and collective, in the outcome." (B-O-T Editorial Review Service)
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||20.00(w) x 20.00(h) x 20.00(d)|
About the Author
Sir John Desmond Patrick Keegan (1934–2012), was one of the most distinguished contemporary military historians and was for many years the senior lecturer at Sandhurst (the British Royal Military Academy) and the defense editor of the Daily Telegraph (London). Keegan was the author of numerous books including The Face of Battle, The Mask of Command, The Price of Admiralty, Six Armies in Normandy, and The Second World War, and was a fellow at the Royal Society of Literature.
Table of Contents
Six Armies in NormandyIllustrations and Credits
In the Invasion Area
1. Journey to the Second Front
2. All-American Screaming Eagles
1. The 3rd/505th at Ste Mère-Eglise
2. The 1st/505th at the Merderet
3. The 2nd/507th at Cauquigny
4. The 3rd/506th at the Douve Bridges
5. The 1st/502nd at WXYZ
6. The 3rd/501st at Pouppeville
3. Canada: to the South Shore
Dieppe: the Awful Warning
The German Defenders
4. Scottish Corridor
The Fight of the Panzer Divisions
The March to the Battlefield
The Fall of Cherbourg
The Great Storm
Scotland the Brave
Finding the Enemy
Across the River
5. Yeomen of England
Planning a Break-through
The Waiting Armour
Into the Corridor
Battle Group von Luck
6. The Honour of the German Army
The Will of the Führer
7. 'A Polish Battlefield'
'The Worst Day of My Life'
General Sikorski's Tourists
Contact at Chambois
8. Free France
La Division Leclerc
From the Atlantic Wall to the Iron Curtain
Appendix: British, American and German Divisions in Normandy, June 6th-August 25th, 1944
Index of Formations and Units
What People are Saying About This
Truly magnificent....The best military historian of our generation.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A very readable and thorough book on the Normandy campaign. It is a different viewpoint than either Ryan or Ambrose and compliments them very well. More macro in it's treatment.
Keegan is a marvelous writer. The best part of the book is about his almost magical childhood in the countryside of war-torn Britain. He enjoyed the best of times, sheltered from the horror and suffering, only later on experiencing the bleakness of post war Britain. The account of the Normandy campaign follows a cinematic approach. Keegan's narrative follows the action of distinct units. The reader witnesses the landing US 101st Airborne, joins the Canadians at Juno beach, the Scottish division's stopped breakout from Normandy, the English defense against the German counterattack, the vain German defense against the US onslaught and the Polish attempt at blocking a German breakout. Finally, the reader encounters the Free French liberating Paris. All in all, a gripping read in a NATO flavor - at times, it reads like the Russians were the true enemies, while the Germans just battled for the wrong side. The other problem is Keegan's cinematic approach. What happens to the units out of his focus, is not clear. Although it doesn't quite work as an operational history, it grips the reader as a popular account of some of the key scenes of Overlord and the Normandy campaign.
As entertainment, its a bit dry. But as a historical text, its fabulously entertaining. It lacks the personal accounts of Ambrose's books, but explains the big picture better (more forest, less tree).If you're curious to learn more about this segment of history, this book is concise, clear and well written.
To me, this is pasrticularly interesting for the author's introduction giving a child's-eye view of the build-up to the invasion, and for the account of the little-known Polish role in the campaign. Overall, it is more balanced than many accounts which focus on the Us role.
Sections of this book are great, others are very slow and tough to follow do to incessant references to divisions by number. If you are looking for a book on the D-Day Invasion, this is not it. However, there is some good context provided on the lead up to the battle, the situations on the ground after the invasion, and a fine epilogue.To sum it up, this is not for beginners, but some good information can be learned.
As the 60th anniversary of D-Day approaches, a revisit to Keegan¿s excellent book recalls those tumultuous days. The landings, and the subsequent battle for Normandy, have no parallel in history ¿ or ever will. A skilled historian is needed to unravel the strategy, tactics ¿ and the politics ¿ that surround the momentous events. And Keegan does it with skillful scholarship, embedding the details of conflict into the broader aspects of logistics that decided the fall of Hitler (despite his determined, experienced armies) and the victory of the Allies, with their superior air power. Keegan covers all aspects of the combatants, including the roles of the Poles, Canadians and French whose valiant efforts in Normandy are, regrettably, often overlooked. Neither does he ignore the role of the individual in history: the pressures on Montgomery to deliver a victory without the horrendous casualties he had seen during the First World War; the demands on Eisenhower ¿ which he resisted ¿ to fire Montgomery; and the intransigence of Hitler, who, imbued with a fanatical self-belief following his deliverance from an assassination attempt, stubbornly overrules his generals to hand a crushing victory to the Allies. Keegan tells all this ¿ and more- with a use of English rarely seen nowadays. He uses the full panoply of his art to tell the story of this immense, complex and unparalleled chapter of history. Many writers have told the story of the definitive moment in twentieth century history, but none better than Keegan.
Beautifully written, well researched and one of the key books about the war in the West in 1944. You can rarely go wrong with John Keegan, and this is one of his best