June 6, 1944: The Voices of D-Day

Gerald Astor, Author St. Martin's Press $25.95 (370p) ISBN 978-0-312-11014-7
Astor ( The Blood-Dimmed Tide: The Battle of the Bulge By the Men Who Fought It ) here recreates the biggest amphibious assault in history, told in large part by the soldiers, sailors and airmen who survived the ordeal 50 years ago. Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of German-occupied France, was staggering in its scope: on June 6, 175,000 troops and their equipment--which included 50,000 vehicles--crossed the English Channel in a 5000-vessel armada to do battle with well-entrenched German troops in Normandy. Despite horrific losses, the Allies succeeded in gaining a precarious foothold by nightfall on D-Day. Astor's mosaic portrait of the fighting--the Canadians at Juno Beach, the British at Sword Beach, the Americans at Omaha Beach, plus supporting air and naval units--vividly demonstrates how the victory was accomplished. His account of the U.S. Ranger assault on the German artillery positions atop Pointe du Hoc is especially memorable. Astor's narrative is noteworthy for its immediacy and for the way he presents his spokesmen in the context of their families, schools, hometowns, nations and finally of their military training. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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