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D-Day Remembered

Friday 6 June is the seventieth anniversary of D-Day, the assault on the coast of Normandy that opened the Western Allies’ invasion of German-occupied France, code-named Operation Overlord. In the following months the Allies continued their push into France, culminating in the Liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944.

With the passage of seven decades, fewer and fewer veterans of the invasion are still around to give their own account of what happened on that day, when 150,000 American, British, and Canadian soldiers crossed the English Channel to land on the beaches of Normandy or parachute in behind the German lines.

The story of D-Day, which involved more than a year of planning, has been the subject of hundreds of books, and yet the final word cannot be said to have been written on such a complex and rich subject. The following is a partial selection of books on D-Day from Richland Library’s collection.


Amazon Says: The #1 internationally bestselling history of D-Day is now enhanced with rare video footage from the NBC News Archives for the ultimate narrative of the battle for Normandy more...
Amazon Says: The #1 internationally bestselling history of D-Day is now enhanced with rare video footage from the NBC News Archives for the ultimate narrative of the battle for Normandy. The definitive account of the Normandy invasion by the bestselling author of Stalingrad and The Fall of Berlin 1945 From critically acclaimed world historian, Antony Beevor, this is the first major account in more than twenty years to cover the whole invasion from June 6, 1944, right up to the liberation of Paris on August 25. It is the first book to describe not only the experiences of the American, British, Canadian, and German soldiers, but also the terrible suffering of the French caught up in the fighting. More French civilians were killed by Allied bombing and shelling than British civilians were by the Luftwaffe. The Allied fleet attempted by far the largest amphibious assault ever, and what followed was a battle as savage as anything seen on the Eastern Front. Casualties mounted on both sides, as did the tensions between the principal commanders. Even the joys of liberation had their darker side. The war in northern France marked not just a generation, but the whole of the postwar world, profoundly influencing relations between America and Europe. Beevor draws upon his research in more than thirty archives in six countries, going back to original accounts, interviews conducted by combat historians just after the action, and many diaries and letters donated to museums and archives in recent years. D-Day will surely be hailed as the consummate account of the Normandy invasion and the ferocious offensive that led to the liberation of Paris. less...
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Amazon Says: Probably the most famous combat photographs ever made were those taken on the beach in Normandy during the D-Day invasions by Robert Capa, shooting for LIFE and going in with more...
Amazon Says: Probably the most famous combat photographs ever made were those taken on the beach in Normandy during the D-Day invasions by Robert Capa, shooting for LIFE and going in with the first wave. The saga of those images has been told before and will be again in this commemorative book: How Capa got out alive (he would later be killed while covering war in Southeast Asia), how he got his film back to London for transfer to New York, how most of his images were ruined and the 11 frames that survived had taken on a grainy quality that seemed to reflect the shaking beach under German bombardment, and even how Steven Spielberg used that look to inform the first half-hour of his classic film Saving Private Ryan. Armed with two cameras, LIFE's Capa volunteered to hit the French coast, code-named Omaha Beach, with the first wave of 1st Division soldiers, and later remembered (in the kind of first-hand testimony that will fill this book) bullets tearing "holes in the water around him," and then what he saw as an idyllic shoreline becoming "the ugliest beach in the world." Henry Luce, looking back, said LIFE had not been born as a war magazine in 1936, but that world events made it one-it was necessary for the people at home to see what was really happening over there. By the time 1.5 million American servicemen and women were squeezing into Southern England in advance of 1944's Operation Overlord invasions, a sizable battalion of LIFE photographers was among them. If Capa's pictures became the most famous, there were so many others by Landry, Morse, Silk and more. America looked to LIFE to tell the story 70 years ago, and will do so again in this book. less...
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Amazon Says: Now illustrated with an extraordinary collection of over 125 photos, Stephen E. Ambrose’s D-Day is the definitive history of World War II’s most pivotal battle, June 6, 19 more...
Amazon Says: Now illustrated with an extraordinary collection of over 125 photos, Stephen E. Ambrose’s D-Day is the definitive history of World War II’s most pivotal battle, June 6, 1944, the day that changed the course of history. D-Day is the epic story of men at the most demanding moment of their lives, when the horrors, complexities, and triumphs of life are laid bare. Distinguished historian Stephen E. Ambrose portrays the faces of courage and heroism, fear and determination—what Eisenhower called “the fury of an aroused democracy”—that shaped the victory of the citizen soldiers whom Hitler had disparaged. Drawing on more than 1,400 interviews with American, British, Canadian, French, and German veterans, Ambrose reveals how the original plans for the invasion had to be abandoned, and how enlisted men and junior officers acted on their own initiative when they realized that nothing was as they were told it would be. The action begins at midnight, June 5/6, when the first British and American airborne troops jumped into France. It ends at midnight, June 6/7. Focusing on those pivotal twenty-four hours, the book moves from the level of Supreme Commander to that of a French child, from General Omar Bradley to an American paratrooper, from Field Marshal Montgomery to a German sergeant. Ambrose’s D-Day is the most honored account of one of our history’s most important days. less...
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Amazon Says: Seventy years ago, more than six thousand Allied ships carried more than a million soldiers across the English Channel to a fifty-mile-wide strip of the Normandy coast in Germ more...
Amazon Says: Seventy years ago, more than six thousand Allied ships carried more than a million soldiers across the English Channel to a fifty-mile-wide strip of the Normandy coast in German-occupied France. It was the greatest sea-borne assault in human history. The code names given to the beaches where the ships landed the soldiers have become immortal: Gold, Juno, Sword, Utah, and especially Omaha, the scene of almost unimaginable human tragedy. The sea of crosses in the cemetery sitting today atop a bluff overlooking the beaches recalls to us its cost. Most accounts of this epic story begin with the landings on the morning of June 6, 1944. In fact, however, D-Day was the culmination of months and years of planning and intense debate. In the dark days after the evacuation of Dunkirk in the summer of 1940, British officials and, soon enough, their American counterparts, began to consider how, and, where, and especially when, they could re-enter the European Continent in force. The Americans, led by U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall, wanted to invade as soon as possible; the British, personified by their redoubtable prime minister, Winston Churchill, were convinced that a premature landing would be disastrous. The often-sharp negotiations between the English-speaking allies led them first to North Africa, then into Sicily, then Italy. Only in the spring of 1943, did the Combined Chiefs of Staff commit themselves to an invasion of northern France. The code name for this invasion was Overlord, but everything that came before, including the landings themselves and the supply system that made it possible for the invaders to stay there, was code-named Neptune. Craig L. Symonds now offers the complete story of this Olympian effort, involving transports, escorts, gunfire support ships, and landing craft of every possible size and function. The obstacles to success were many. In addition to divergent strategic views and cultural frictions, the Anglo-Americans had to overcome German U-boats, Russian impatience, fierce competition for insufficient shipping, training disasters, and a thousand other impediments, including logistical bottlenecks and disinformation schemes. Symonds includes vivid portraits of the key decision-makers, from Franklin Roosevelt and Churchill, to Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower, and Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, who commanded the naval element of the invasion. Indeed, the critical role of the naval forces--British and American, Coast Guard and Navy--is central throughout. In the end, as Symonds shows in this gripping account of D-Day, success depended mostly on the men themselves: the junior officers and enlisted men who drove the landing craft, cleared the mines, seized the beaches and assailed the bluffs behind them, securing the foothold for the eventual campaign to Berlin, and the end of the most terrible war in human history. less...
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Amazon Says: A white-knuckle account of the 1st Infantry Division’s harrowing D-Day assault on the eastern sector of Omaha Beach—acclaimed historian John C. McManus has written a g more...
Amazon Says: A white-knuckle account of the 1st Infantry Division’s harrowing D-Day assault on the eastern sector of Omaha Beach—acclaimed historian John C. McManus has written a gripping history that will stand as the last word on this titanic battle. Nicknamed the Big Red One, 1st Division had fought from North Africa to Sicily, earning a reputation as stalwart warriors on the front lines and rabble-rousers in the rear. Yet on D-Day, these jaded combat veterans melded with fresh-faced replacements to accomplish one of the most challenging and deadly missions ever. As the men hit the beach, their equipment destroyed or washed away, soldiers cut down by the dozens, courageous heroes emerged: men such as Sergeant Raymond Strojny, who grabbed a bazooka and engaged in a death duel with a fortified German antitank gun; T/5 Joe Pinder, a former minor-league pitcher who braved enemy fire to save a vital radio; Lieutenant John Spalding, a former sportswriter, and Sergeant Phil Streczyk, a truck driver, who together demolished a German strong point overlooking Easy Red, where hundreds of Americans had landed. Along the way, McManus explores the Gap Assault Team engineers who dealt with the extensive mines and obstacles, suffering nearly a fifty percent casualty rate; highlights officers such as Brigadier General Willard Wyman and Colonel George Taylor, who led the way to victory; and punctures scores of myths surrounding this long-misunderstood battle. The Dead and Those About to Die draws on a rich array of new or recently unearthed sources, including interviews with veterans. The result is history at its finest, the unforgettable story of the Big Red One’s nineteen hours of hell—and their ultimate triumph—on June 6, 1944. INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHS less...
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Amazon Says: In his celebrated bestsellers Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat, Ben Macintyre told the dazzling true stories of a remarkable WWII double agent and of how the Allies more...
Amazon Says: In his celebrated bestsellers Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat, Ben Macintyre told the dazzling true stories of a remarkable WWII double agent and of how the Allies employed a corpse to fool the Nazis and assure a decisive victory.  In Double Cross, Macintyre returns with the untold story of the grand final deception of the war and of the extraordinary spies who achieved it.    On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and suffered an astonishingly low rate of casualties.  D-Day was a stunning military accomplishment, but it was also a masterpiece of trickery. Operation Fortitude, which protected and enabled the invasion, and the Double Cross system, which specialized in turning German spies into double agents, deceived the Nazis into believing that the Allies would attack at Calais and Norway rather than Normandy. It was the most sophisticated and successful deception operation ever carried out, ensuring that Hitler kept an entire army awaiting a fake invasion, saving thousands of lives, and securing an Allied victory at the most critical juncture in the war.    The story of D-Day has been told from the point of view of the soldiers who fought in it, the tacticians who planned it, and the generals who led it. But this epic event in world history has never before been told from the perspectives of the key individuals in the Double Cross System. These include its director (a brilliant, urbane intelligence officer), a colorful assortment of MI5 handlers (as well as their counterparts in Nazi intelligence), and the five spies who formed Double Cross’s nucleus: a dashing  Serbian playboy, a Polish fighter-pilot, a bisexual Peruvian party girl, a deeply eccentric Spaniard with a diploma in chicken farming and a volatile Frenchwoman, whose obsessive love for her pet dog very nearly wrecked the entire plan. The D-Day spies were, without question, one of the oddest military units ever assembled, and their success depended on the delicate, dubious relationship between spy and spymaster, both German and British. Their enterprise was saved from catastrophe by a shadowy sixth spy whose heroic sacrifice is revealed here for the first time.    With the same depth of research, eye for the absurd and masterful storytelling that have made Ben Macintyre an international bestseller,  Double Cross is a captivating narrative of the spies who wove a web so intricate it ensnared Hitler’s army and carried thousands of D-Day troops across the Channel in safety. less...
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Amazon Says: Of the nearly 15,000 Allied paratroopers dropped into France on D–14 (two weeks before D–Day), only one regiment––the 3,000 men of the 505 Parachute Infantry––had more...
Amazon Says: Of the nearly 15,000 Allied paratroopers dropped into France on D–14 (two weeks before D–Day), only one regiment––the 3,000 men of the 505 Parachute Infantry––had been tested in battle, and so they were given the toughest mission. For a few critical days, while the fate of occupied Europe hung in the balance, these troopers held their ground against savage assaults. In doing so, they changed the course of World War II. Within hours of landing in Normandy, the paratroopers of the 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment had gathered in the darkened fields outside Ste. Mere Eglise and moved rapidly to the edge of town. A French civilian pointed out the German positions, and in a lightning attack the GI's liberated the first town in Europe, planting the United States flag on top of city hall. Shortly after daylight, as reports streamed in, Allied commanders were shocked to learn that the 505 was the only one of six U.S. parachute regiments to hit its mark. Because Ste. Mere Eglise was the gateway to Utah Beach, the regiment––now fighting virtually alone––hastily dug in to await the German counterattacks that were sure to follow. Colonel Bill Ekman and his men held critical ground: half of the American invasion force was to pass through this area, and that would only happen if the 505 held Ste. Mere Eglise. It was an almost unimaginable challenge: at ten that morning the German attacks began, and by early afternoon enemy armored columns were slamming GI lines from three directions in an attempt to reach the vulnerable invasion beaches. But despite heavy losses, the 505 was still in control of Ste. Mere Eglise on June 8, when they were relieved by units that came across the beach. When their unseasoned replacements faltered, U.S. commanders called on the exhausted paratroopers to stay in the fight and lead the series of ground assaults that would secure the invasion. A single unit, a relative handful of men, had helped turn the course of one of the most important battles of the war. less...
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Amazon Says: "I looked down and there were ships and ships and ships forever. I thought about how big this was and reality was beginning to come to me. This is the biggest thing that's eve more...
Amazon Says: "I looked down and there were ships and ships and ships forever. I thought about how big this was and reality was beginning to come to me. This is the biggest thing that's ever happened. And now what? What really are we getting into?" --Sergeant Tom McCarthy, 82d Airborne Division The Allied assault on the beaches of Normandy in World War II is perhaps the most important offensive ever launched. And Eyewitness D-Day, by award-winning author D.M. Giangreco in conjunction with Kathryn Moore, and edited and with a foreword by eminent military historian Norman Polmar, is the most personal portrayal of that event ever written. Featuring interviews with more than 50 survivors, it presents the harrowing inside story of June 6th, 1944, through the eyes of the courageous men and women who actually witnessed the fighting. Hundreds of contemporary photos, including wartime pictures of the veterans, and a detailed foldout map of the Normandy beaches, create a visually impressive record of the day. To bring the full force of the intimate recollections home, the volume comes with a full-length compact disc of interviews produced by Emmy Award-winning historical documentarians Rob Lihani and Rob Kirk--so you can listen directly to the dramatic accounts of the Allied soldiers, sailors, airmen, and medical personnel themselves. less...
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Amazon Says: Published for the 60th anniversary of D-Day, Voices of Valor, a lavishly illustrated book with audio CDs, presents gripping, first-hand accounts of the Normandy invasion with more...
Amazon Says: Published for the 60th anniversary of D-Day, Voices of Valor, a lavishly illustrated book with audio CDs, presents gripping, first-hand accounts of the Normandy invasion with a central narrative by one of America's preeminent historians. Voices of Valor is an intimate and lasting tribute to the soldiers who fought in Normandy, featuring 40 interviews drawn from the archival holdings at the Eisenhower Center Oral History Project, the largest collection of oral histories of D-Day. Within the book areaudio CDs containing the oral testimonies of veterens who were at Normandy. Based on the oral testimonies, the text of Voices Of Valor is written by Douglas Brinkley- acclaimed historian, author, and frequent on-air commentator - along with Vietnam veteren Ronald J. Drez- lecturer, historian, and reserch associate at the Eisenhower Center. less...
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D-Day by Martin Gilbert
Amazon Says: "The Allied landings in 1944 had all the prospects for disaster. Churchill thought he would be woken up to be told of massive casualties. Eisenhower prepared a somber broadcas more...
Amazon Says: "The Allied landings in 1944 had all the prospects for disaster. Churchill thought he would be woken up to be told of massive casualties. Eisenhower prepared a somber broadcast announcing that the enterprise had failed. The specter of failure was always present. After a failed landing the Nazi regime would have regained the ascendant. New, terrifying bombs and rockets were ready to be launched. Long-distance submarines were in the final stage of development. The last million Jews of Europe were listed for deportation and death. Failure at Normandy could have given Hitler the chance of continuing to rule western Europe, particularly if the United States, bloodied and defeated in Normandy, had decided-after two and a half years of focusing on Europe-to turn all its energies to the ever-growing demands of the Pacific, leaving Europe to its own devices. Had that happened, I doubt if I would have been alive to write this book, or free to express my opinions without fear of arrest." --Martin Gilbert less...
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Amazon Says: [This is the Audiobook CASSETTE Library Edition in vinyl case.] [Read by Fred Williams] In burnished, driving prose, John Keegan chronicles the 1944 invasion of Norm more...
Amazon Says: [This is the Audiobook CASSETTE Library Edition in vinyl case.] [Read by Fred Williams] In burnished, driving prose, John Keegan chronicles the 1944 invasion of Normandy, from D-Day to the liberation of Paris. At the same time, he furthers his exploration of the role which warfare and its institutions play in social life by showing how each of the six armies, while resembling one another in purpose and authority, is a mirror of its own nation's values. Each army is shown at successive stages of the invasion in a battle sequence testing them to the utmost: the Americans in their terrifying night drop on the eve of landings, the Canadians at the Omaha beachhead, the English savagely fighting their way inland, the Germans in their surprisingly strong resistance, the Poles in exile desperately blocking the German escape route, and the French at last liberating their City of Light. This extraordinary book is a shining addition to the dramatic literature of men at war. less...
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