This new paperback edition contains Book One and Book Two of this series, revealing the hidden side of D Day which has fascinated readers around the world. Almost all accounts of D Day are told from the Allied perspective. But what was it like to be a German soldier in the bunkers of the Normandy coast, facing the onslaught of the mightiest invasion in history? What motivated the German defenders, what were their thought processes - and how did they fight from one strong point to another, among the dunes and fields, on that first cataclysmic day? This book sheds fascinating light on these questions, bringing together statements made by German survivors after the war, when time had allowed them to reflect on their state of mind, their actions and their choices of June 6th. We see a perspective of D Day which deserves to be added to the historical record, in which ordinary German troops struggled to make sense of what was facing them, and emerged stunned at the weaponry and sheer determination of the Allied troops. Above all, we now have the unheard human voices of the individual German soldiers - the men who are so often portrayed as a faceless mass.
A member of the 116th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division, veteran Harold "Hal" Baumgarten gives his firsthand account of the June 6, 1944, landing on Dog Green sector of Omaha Beach. A multidecorated hero, Baumgarten was wounded five times before being evacuated. In 1991, he served as a consultant for the filming of the WWII movie Saving Private Ryan.
Author: Jonathan Mayo
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2014-05-27
Told in a purely chronological style, this fascinating account vividly details the authentic stories of regular people caught up in the historical events of D-Day. June 6, 1944 was a truly historic day, but it was also a day where ordinary people found themselves in extraordinary situations... Lieutenant Norman Poole jumped from a bomber surrounded by two hundred decoy dummy parachutists. French baker Pierre Cardron led British paratroopers to his local church, where he knew two German soldiers were hiding in the confessional. Southampton telegram boy Tom Hiett delivered his first “death message” by midday. At the sound of Allied aircraft, Werner Kortenhaus of the twenty-first Panzer Division ran to collect his still damp washing from a French laundrywoman. And injured soldiers wept in their beds in a New York hospital, knowing that their buddies lay dying on the Normandy beaches. Drawing on memoirs, diaries, letters, and oral accounts, D-Day is a purely chronological narrative, concerned less with the military strategies and more with what people were thinking and doing as D-Day unfolded, minute-by-minute. Moving seamlessly from various perspectives and stories, D-Day sets the reader in the midst of it all, compelling us to relive this momentous day in world history.
Author: Joseph Balkoski
Publisher: Stackpole Books
Release Date: 2006
"Balkoski is in top form in this groundbreaking analysis of the other half of America's D-Day."--Dennis Showalter, author of Patton and Rommel Although the assault on Utah Beach ultimately became one of the most successful military operations of World War II, its outcome was anything but certain. Not only was Utah the most isolated of the five D-Day beaches, but the airborne assault was of unprecedented size and complexity. Despite the perils, American troops confidently cascaded into that far corner of Normandy and contributed decisively to the Allied triumph on D-Day. With verve and authority, Balkoski describes how that victory was won.
Author: Richard Hargreaves
Release Date: 2008-08
The Normandy campaign from the German perspective Covers D-Day, Villers-Bocage, Cherbourg, St. Lô, Caen, Avranches, and other battles in hedgerow country Erwin Rommel, Michael Wittmann, and Kurt Meyer appear Drawing on letters, diaries, firsthand accounts, and official documents, The Germans in Normandy paints a vivid and frequently horrific picture of life for the men who held Hitler's vaunted Atlantic Wall when the Allies invaded France in June 1944 and who put up a bitter but ultimately hopeless defense throughout that summer. These are the German soldiers who manned the pillboxes on Omaha Beach, fired the machine guns across farmfields, and commanded the Tiger tanks. To read about the war from their point of view is sobering and informative.
Günter Koschorrek wrote his illicit diary on any scraps of paper he could lay his hands on, storing them with his mother on infrequent trips home on leave. The diary went missing, and it was not until he was reunited with his daughter in America some forty years later that it came to light and became Blood Red Snow. The author’s excitement at the first encounter with the enemy in the Russian Steppe is obvious. Later, the horror and confusion of fighting in the streets of Stalingrad are brought to life by his descriptions of the others in his unit – their differing manners and techniques for dealing with the squalor and death. He is also posted to Romania and Italy, assignments he remembers fondly compared to his time on the Eastern Front. This book stands as a memorial to the huge numbers on both sides who did not survive and is, some six decades later, the fulfilment of a responsibility the author feels to honour the memory of those who perished.
Author: James Lucas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2013-11-20
While Allied propaganda would have us believe that during World War II the German population were downtrodden workers, with no rights and under the power and influence of the all-controlling Gestapo, the truth is somewhat different. While the Allies saw Hitler as an evil to be removed from power, in 1933 the German people saw him as a saviour, able to rescue them from the humiliation the Treaty of Versailles imposed on them. In the early days of the Nazi regime, the German people widely felt that they had social benefits unmatched by its neighbouring states, and that its poverty had been eliminated while its economy had been stabilised. James Lucas presents a fascinating insight into the real Reich, a glimpse into the life on the German home front, from the role of women to the propaganda machine, assessing the German view of how the war would be fought, and how Hitler directly intervened in all level of party politics and decisions. Case studies of operations Barbarossa and Sealion provide an insight into military decisions of a wider scale. After many years' research and interviews with civilians and German soldiers, Reich offers a study of the social, economic and military phenomena of the Nazi regime.
Author: Cornelius Ryan
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2010-02-16
The unparalleled work of history that recreates the battle that changed World War II -- now in a new edition for the 50th anniversary of D-Day. Newly in print for the first time in years, this is the classic story of the invasion of Normandy, and a book that endures as a masterpiece of living history. A compelling tale of courage and heroism, glow and tragedy, The Longest Day painstakingly recreates the fateful hours that preceded and followed the massive invasion of Normandy to retell the story of an epic battle that would turn the tide against world fascism and free Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany. For this new edition of The Longest Day, the original photographs used in the first 1959 edition have been reassembled and painstakingly reproduced, and the text has been freshly reset. Here is a book that is a must for any follower of history, as well as for anyone who wants to better understand how free nations prevailed at a time when darkness enshrouded the earth.
Author: Mary Louise Roberts
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2014-05-16
“Like big black umbrellas, they rain down on the fields across the way, and then disappear behind the black line of the hedges.” Silent parachutes dotting the night sky—that’s how one woman in Normandy in June of 1944 learned that the D-Day invasion was under way. Though they yearned for liberation, the French in Normandy nonetheless had to steel themselves for war, knowing that their homes and land and fellow citizens would have to bear the brunt of the attack. Already battered by years of Nazi occupation, they knew they had one more trial to undergo even as freedom beckoned. With D-Day through French Eyes, Mary Louise Roberts turns the usual stories of D-Day around, taking readers across the Channel to view the invasion anew. Roberts builds her history from an impressive range of gripping first-person accounts of the invasion as seen by French citizens throughout the region. A farm family notices that cabbage is missing from their garden—then discovers that the guilty culprits are American paratroopers hiding in the cowshed. Fishermen rescue pilots from the wreck of their B-17, only to struggle to find clothes big enough to disguise them as civilians. A young man learns how to estimate the altitude of bombers and to determine whether a bomb was whistling overhead or silently headed straight for them. In small towns across Normandy, civilians hid wounded paratroopers, often at the risk of their own lives. When the allied infantry arrived, they guided soldiers to hidden paths and little-known bridges, giving them crucial advantages over the German occupiers. Through story after story, Roberts builds up an unprecedented picture of the face of battle as seen by grateful, if worried, civilians. As she did in her acclaimed account of GIs in postwar France, What Soldiers Do, Roberts here reinvigorates and reinvents a story we thought we knew. The result is a fresh perspective on the heroism, sacrifice, and achievement of D-Day.
Author: George Wilson
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 2010-11-10
"If you survive your first day, I'll promote you." So promised George Wilson's World War II commanding officer in the hedgerows of Normandy -- and it was to be a promise dramatically fulfilled. From July, 1944, to the closing days of the war, from the first penetration of the Siegfried Line to the Nazis' last desperate charge in the Battle of the Bulge, Wilson fought in the thickest of the action, helping take the small towns of northern France and Belgium building by building. Of all the men and officers who started out in Company F of the 4th Infantry Division with him, Wilson was the only one who finished. In the end, he felt not like a conqueror or a victor, but an exhausted survivor, left with nothing but his life -- and his emotions. If You Survive One of the great first-person accounts of the making of a combat veteran, in the last, most violent months of World War II. From the Paperback edition.
Author: Vince Milano
Publisher: The History Press
Release Date: 2011-10-21
Based on first-hand testimony, this story of how one German division changed the course of the invasion, and almost the war, features previously unpublished photographs from participants In the cold morning of June 6, 1944, thousands of German soldiers were in position from Port en Bessin eastwards past Colleville on the Normandy coast, aware that a massive invasion force was heading straight for them, although according to Allied Intelligence, they shouldn't have been there. The presence of 352 Division meant that the number of defenders was literally double the number expected—and on the best fortified of all the invasion beaches. This infantry division would ensure the invaders would pay a massive price to take Omaha Beach. There were veterans from the Russian front among them and they were well trained and equipped. What makes this account of the bloody struggle unique is that it is told from the German standpoint, using firsthand testimony of German combatants. There are not many of them left and these accounts have been painstakingly collected by the authors over many years.
Author: Alex Kershaw
Release Date: 2012-10-30
The untold story of the bloodiest and most dramatic march to victory of the Second World War. Written with Alex Kershaw's trademark narrative drive and vivid immediacy, The Liberator traces the remarkable battlefield journey of maverick U.S. Army officer Felix Sparks through the Allied liberation of Europe—from the first landing in Italy to the final death throes of the Third Reich. Over five hundred bloody days, Sparks and his infantry unit battled from the beaches of Sicily through the mountains of Italy and France, ultimately enduring bitter and desperate winter combat against the die-hard SS on the Fatherland's borders. Having miraculously survived the long, bloody march across Europe, Sparks was selected to lead a final charge to Bavaria, where he and his men experienced some of the most intense street fighting suffered by Americans in World War II. And when he finally arrived at the gates of Dachau, Sparks confronted scenes that robbed the mind of reason—and put his humanity to the ultimate test.
Author: John Keegan
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2011-09-30
The Allied assault on Normandy beaches was an almost flawless success, but it was to take three months of bitter fighting before the German defence of Normandy finally collapsed and Paris was liberated. In this masterly and highly individual account of that struggle, the reader is subjected to the gruelling ordeals confronted by the combatants - each encounter related from the point of view of a different nationality. While transcending conventional military history, it provides an intensely vivid picture of one of the Second World War's most crucial campaigns.
Author: Sonke Neitzel
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-09-25
In November 2001, as the world still reeled from the attack on the Twin Towers, German historian Sonke Neitzel discovered an extraordinary cache of documents from the Second World War. The documents were the transcripts of German prisoners of war talking among themselves in prisoner of war camps, and secretly recorded by the allies. In these apparently private conversations the soldiers talked freely and openly about their hopes and fears, their concerns and their day-to-day lives. With a banality and ease which to the modern reader can appear shocking, they also talked about the horrors of war -- about rape, death and killing. Sonke Neitzel shared the material with renowned and bestselling psychologist Harald Wezler and they set about trying to make sense of the vast piles of documents, the hours of transcripts. The result is SOLDATEN, a landmark book which will change the way we look at soldiers and war, and is as relevant to our modern conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as it was to the soldiers of the German Army in 1945. Published to huge acclaim and controversy in Germany it was a number one bestseller there and reignited the debate about the banality of evil under the Nazi regime.
Author: Paul Carell
Publisher: Schiffer Pub Limited
Release Date: 1995-01-01
On the 50th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy: a revised and updated edition of Paul Carell's great classic. June 6, 1944 - D-Day. The day when, after years of preparation, Germany's opponents in the west - the USA and England - began the second front, long demanded by Stalin to take pressure off the Red Army. What really happened on that day? Why was the German command reluctant to believe in an invasion at this hour and on this coastal sector? Where was the German counterattack? Why were the panzer divisions, which were ready for action, not allowed to strike? What was going on with the Luftwaffe? Carell answers these questions convincingly, factually and in his typically gripping style. Furthermore, in this new revised and expanded edition he has taken into account the most recent results of historical research, especially the successful allied deception effort achieved by agents, phoney radio transmissions and sophisticated disinformation operations, details of which have only recently been revealed, and which led to fateful false estimations by Hitler and the German generals. Paul Carell is also the author of the highly successful Foxes of the Desert; Hitler Moves East; Scorched Earth; Operation Barbarossa in Photography; and Stalingrad: the Defeat of the German 6th Army. He lives in Hamburg, Germany.