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: 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: 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: 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: 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.
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 authors 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: David C. Isby
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Release Date: 2016-03-08
A collection of original writings drafted by German commanders present at the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II. In one of history’s most violent battles, Allied troops gathered along the shores of southern England, preparing for the invasion of Hitler’s Fortress Europe. Facing them—from the Pas-de-Calais to Brittany—were German troops, dug in, waiting and preparing for the inevitable confrontation. This is the perspective of the enemy combatant—a series of in-depth accounts written by German commanders at the behest of the US Army after the war in an attempt to analyze their strategy in the event of future conflicts. These once private accounts detail everything from the planning stage of the invasion, to the uncertain waiting, and finally to the ordeal of D-Day itself—the reactions to the first reports of troop landings and a blow-by-blow account of the battle. Fighting the Invasion paints a vivid picture of D-Day from the German side, bringing home the entire experience from the initial waiting to the bitter fighting on the beaches and in running battles in Normandy villages.
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.
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: Roderick Bailey
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2010-01-26
6 June 1944: the day Allied forces crossed the Channel and began fighting their way into Nazi-occupied Northwest Europe. Initiated by airborne units and covered by air and naval bombardment, the Normandy landings were the most ambitious combined airborne and amphibious assault ever attempted. Their success marked the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany. Drawing on thousands of hours of eyewitness testimony recorded by the Imperial War Museum, Forgotten Voices of D-Day tells the compelling story of this turning point in World War 2. Hearing from paratroopers and commandos, glider pilots and landing craft crewmen, airmen and naval personnel, we learn first-hand what it was like as men waited to go in, as they neared the beaches and drop zones, and as they landed and met the enemy. Accounts range from memories of the daring capture of 'Pegasus' bridge by British glider-bourn troops to recollections of brutal fighting as the assault forces stormed the beaches. Featuring a mass of previously unpublished material, Forgotten Voices of D-Day is a powerful and important new record of a defining moment in modern history.
Author: Max Hastings
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2015-11-17
On June 6, 1944, the American and British armies staged the greatest amphibious landing history to being Operation Overlord, the battle for the liberation of Europe. Despite the Allies' absolute command of sea and air and vast firepower, it took ten weeks of fierce fighting for them to overpower the tenacious, superbly skilled German army. Now, forty years later, British war correspondent and military historian Max Hastings has drawn on many interviews and newly available documents to construct a dense, dramatic portrait of the Normady invasion that overturns the traditional legends.
Even Stalin was awed by D-Day. 'In the whole history of war,' he wrote to Churchill, 'there has never been such an undertaking.' Those who took part in the great cross-Channel invasion, whether soldier, sailor or airman, would never forget the sight. It was by far the largest invasion fleet ever known. Nor, of course, would the German defenders alerted at the last moment on the Normandy coasts. The very scale of the undertaking and its meticulous planning were unprecedented, but although the beachheads were established as planned, it soon became clear that the next stage of the battle would be far more difficult than anyone had imagined. The thick hedgerows of Normandy were ideal for the defender, and the Germans, especially the Waffen-SS divisions, fought with cunning and a desperate ferocity. As they made their way inland, the British, Canadian and American forces became involved in battles whose savagery was often comparable to the Eastern Front. Casualties began to mount and so did the tension between the principal commanders on both sides. French civilians, caught in the middle of these battlefields or under Allied bombing, endured terrible suffering. Even the joys of Liberation had their darker side. The war in northern France marked not just a generation but the whole of the post-war world, profoundly influencing relations between America and Europe. Making use of overlooked and new material from over thirty archives in half a dozen countries, D-Day is the most vivid and well-researched account yet of the battle of Normandy. As with Stalingrad and Berlin - The Downfall, Antony Beevor's gripping narrative conveys the true experience of war. Antony Beevor's books include Crete - The Battle and the Resistance, which won a Runciman Prize, Paris After the Liberation, 1944 - 1949 (written with his wife, Artemis Cooper), Stalingrad, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature, Berlin - The Downfall, which received the first Longman-History Today Trustees' Award, and, most recently, The Battle for Spain. His books have appeared in twenty-nine foreign editions and sold nearly four million copies. www.antonybeevor.com
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: 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.