Along with the dozens of books recounting D-Day in detail, there are several that seek to make this historical military engagement more accessible by focusing on visual elements of the battle.
The only known drawings from the day are presented in Drawing D-Day: An Artist’s Journey Through War by Ugo Giannini, with Maxine Giannini (Dover, out now). Ugo, a soldier and artist, landed on Omaha Beach with a platoon of military police assigned to accompany the U.S. Army’s 29th Infantry Division. He ended up spending June 6, 1944, and part of June 7 on a bluff overlooking the shore, where he began to draw what he had witnessed. The volume includes those drawings, which depicted heavily burdened infantrymen as well as a bombed-out village and the casualties he saw among its ruins. The memories of what Ugo observed are also represented by abstract paintings he created four decades later.
The Americans on D-Day and in Normandy: Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives by Brooke S. Blades (Naval Institute, out now), part of the Images of War series, is one of several new titles that relies on photographic images to recreate that pivotal moment in history. Martin Morgan’s D-Day: A Photographic History of the Normandy Invasion (Crestline, out now) includes 450 dramatic photos taken on D-Day and during the following week. There’s also Nicholas A. Veronico’s D-Day: The Air and Sea Invasion of Normandy in Photos (Stackpole, June), which includes the lesser-known air component of the Allied attack, considered to have been the largest single-day aerial operation ever.
Map lovers will be interested in the Smithsonian Institution’s World War II Map by Map (DK, Sept.), which includes maps of the events of D-Day, as well as maps charting the progress of other milestones in the war, such as the Dunkirk evacuation, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the Battle of Stalingrad.
Bauernfeind Press’s 101 Objects Series turns to June 1944 with Ingo Bauernfeind’s The D-Day Landings in 101 Objects (June). The intriguing volume uses 101 artifacts to familiarize readers with the Normandy invasion, including the dummy tanks used to confuse German reconnaissance planes, which helped to make the landings successful.
Drawings, photos, maps, and artifacts are not the only options for presenting D-Day visually. In September, Thames & Hudson is publishing World War II Infographics, compiled by a diverse team that includes data designer and graphic artist Nicolas Guillerat; Jonathan Fenby, former editor of the Observer and the South China Morning Post, and author of books on the conflict; Guerres & Histoire magazine managing editor Jean Lopez; and WWII authorities Nicolas Aubin and Vincent Bernard. Originally published in France in 2018, the book is already an international bestseller. The contributors employ state-of-the-art infographics to make the mass of data now available about WWII comprehensible, covering the mobilization of troops, the production of armaments, and population displacements. The war’s major battles are also covered, and the volume analyzes the Normandy invasion through numbers and graphics.