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D-Day: June 6, 1944:  The Climactic Battle of World War II

D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II [Kindle Edition]

Stephen E. Ambrose
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Published to mark the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, Stephen E. Ambrose's D-Day: June 6, 1944 relies on over 1,400 interviews with veterans, as well as prodigious research in military archives on both sides of the Atlantic. He provides a comprehensive history of the invasion which also eloquently testifies as to how common soldiers performed extraordinary feats. A major theme of the book, upon which Ambrose would later expand in Citizen Soldiers, is how the soldiers from the democratic Allied nations rose to the occasion and outperformed German troops thought to be invincible. The many small stories that Ambrose collected from paratroopers, sailors, infantrymen, and civilians make the excitement, confusion, and sheer terror of D-day come alive on the page. --Robert McNamara


Thomas B. Buell "Chicago Tribune" Historians and public alike should be profoundly grateful to Ambrose...for assembling this comprehensive and permanent record that will be forever a resource for remembering Normandy.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 55435 KB
  • Print Length: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (23 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AK78PA0
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
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More About the Author

Dr. Stephen Ambrose was a renowned historian and acclaimed author of more than 30 books. Among his New York Times best-sellers are: Nothing Like It in the World, Citizen Soldiers, Band of Brothers, D-Day - June 6, 1944, and Undaunted Courage.He was not only a great author, but also a captivating speaker, with the unique ability to provide insight into the future by employing his profound knowledge of the past. His stories demonstrate how leaders use trust, friendship and shared experiences to work together and thrive during conflict and change. His philosophy about keeping an audience engaged is put best in his own words: "As I sit at my computer, or stand at the podium, I think of myself as sitting around the campfire after a day on the trail, telling stories that I hope will have the members of the audience, or the readers, leaning forward just a bit, wanting to know what happens next." Dr. Ambrose was a retired Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans. He was the Director Emeritus of the Eisenhower Center in New Orleans, and the founder of the National D-Day Museum. He was also a contributing editor for the Quarterly Journal of Military History, a member of the board of directors for American Rivers, and a member of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council Board. His talents have not gone unnoticed by the film industry. Dr. Ambrose was the historical consultant for Steven Spielberg's movie Saving Private Ryan. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks purchased the film rights to his books Citizen Soldiers and Band of Brothers to make the 13-hour HBO mini-series Band of Brothers. He has also participated in numerous national television programs, including ones for the History Channel and National Geographic.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Just browsing the other reviews is reassuring - I am not alone in regretting Ambrose's terribly one-sided view of the conflict in Normandy.

Ambrose was clearly a hard-working historian whose contribution in collecting hours of eyewitness accounts will be valued by generations to come. But his shortcomings are clear in this book - he is biased, as other reviewers have expressed, and he is a poor writer, incapable of injecting the events he is describing with any drama. Max Hastings is a proper writer, so if you want a much better book, I commend you to Overlord.

Sadly, because Ambrose acted as an advisor on the movie Saving Private Ryan, his strange belittlement of the contribution on the non-US allies to D Day has probably become a received idea for millions of people.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good as a novel, based as an historical text 25 Jun 2001
If you are looking for an immensely readable novel about the D-Day landing, then this is the book for you. The pace is fast, and it doesn't get overly bogged-down in technical detail, or endless military jargon. What I find disappointing is the side-swipes at all non-US allied forces at all levels - from senior officers to foot soldiers. To read this book without prior knowledge of the operation would leave one with the impression that the British, Candians, New Zealand and other allied forces played nothing more than a diversionary role in an American operation. It is very disappointing to see such un-balance - clearly a book written for the U.S market and not the European one.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unbalanced Approach to History 19 Aug 2005
This is the first Stephen Ambrose history book that I have read and it is most likely that it will be the last too. If you read the title you would believe that this is an all-encompassing account of D-Day based on first hand accounts. However because I would guess 80% of the accounts are from US veterans the book reflects this. It would be far more honest to call this work "D-Day : An American Triumph" because that is the way it is portrayed. You have to question an author's objectivity when it becomes clear that Ambrose knew Eisenhower personally and is in awe of him, the source material is so skewed towards US accounts and that when you begin to read through you will see opinions given with little or no supporting evidence. There is a really patronising view given of all the nationalities - i.e. the British are a bunch of tea drinkers who are either eccentric boffins or timid, thick soldiers. The really disappointing element is that this was an operation that covered 5 beaches and airborne operations but we only get the detail on 2 beaches - you are not able to judge which landings were the most important militarily for the Allies because there is so much emphasis on the US beaches where they endured a truly hellish time before getting themselves established. There are better accounts out there.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars gripping yet badly biased 2 April 2003
I found reading this book a strange experience. It's a gripping read, very thorough in terms of detail and research, and it brings the realities of war into sharp focus. I couldn't put it down, despite the fact that I was on holiday and should have been out sightseeing.
Despite getting great enjoyment out of the book, it also left a rather sour taste in my mouth. The author is primarily concerned with the American contribution to the D-Day operations - fair enough, since I take it he's American. However, he is openly contemptuous of the role of the non-American forces involved. The Canadians get a slightly condescending, brief mention. The most offputing factor was his treatment of the British soldiers though - according to Ambrose, the British took on the 'easy' beaches, wandered ashore, had a cup of tea then packed it in for the day. Not only did we not do much on D-Day, but we scuppered the American soldiers by providing them with our amateurish, ad-hoc kit. I found this kind of stuff slightly offensive and disappointing. The one plus point in this regard is that he keeps his mention of British troops to a minimum, so you aren't reminded of his bias too frequently.
The book is a flawed yet entertaining read, and it has motivated me to do some further reading on the role of the British troops in the D-Day landings.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Putting the Record Straight 18 July 2008
Ambrose described an alleged incident on Omaha Beach in which a Captain Zappacosta threatened the British coxswain of his landing craft with a pistol in order to make him move closer inshore. Private Robert Sales, the only survivor of that landing craft has since stated that this was a complete invention. It never happened. Sales, who was angered by the allegation, challenged Ambrose in person and asked him to correct it but the writer just brushed it off. There is much more in this vein - Ambrose rarely missed an opportunity to disparage the British individually and collectively. If this is representative of the standard of his research, then this book should be treated with extreme caution. His sections on the Anglo-Canadian contribution to D-Day are in any case lamentably brief. This is just bad history. There are many excellent works about D-Day, but this isn't one of them.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appalling 2 Oct 1999
By A Customer
I am afraid that this is the worst D-Day book that I have had the mis-fortune to read. And I've read a lot I can assure you. It is un-balanced and all to often racist toward the British and Commenwealth countries. What happened to the author of the simply incredible "Pegasus Bridge"? One of Steven Ambrose's better attempts. A book that devotes about eight chapters on every aspect of Omaha beach while only giving the British one chapter each is terrible. I have read this book once since I bought it about three years ago. Just the chapter where he attacks the British as being "war weary" and loath to fight is enough for me. The worst book yet written on D-Day, and that includes Cornelius Ryans "The Longest Day", I ean even that book had suspense and balance, a lot more than this one does.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling
This is a fascinating and enthralling story. Although somewhat biased towards the American perspective, it does a pretty comprehensive job of describing one of the most significant... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Mr Gordon Davidson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Simply a great read.
Published 28 days ago by rtree
5.0 out of 5 stars D-Day
For me this is the definitive book on D-Day. Not only does Stephen Ambrose discuss the detailed operational planning but he, more than any other historian manages to capture the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Neil Lennon
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing find.
This book is by far one of my favourites on this particular subject.

It's got it all :
- good and clear historical facts
- nicely arranged
- nice... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Photoclix
5.0 out of 5 stars Much loved Xmas present!
Gave this to my very British father who was born in 1945 - he absolutely loved it. He knows his WW11 stuff and apparently it's a good one!
Published 7 months ago by Mrs B Allbutt
5.0 out of 5 stars d-day
A very good service, book well worth a read, although Mr Ambrose can be a bit one sided at times.
Published 10 months ago by Rafie 2
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
To my mind the ultimate book on D-Day, this was to replace my old worn out copy. Good condition for the price.
Published 11 months ago by Christoph
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellently written, but very centred on the USA
Cannot fault the writing and presentation. Only criticism is that it focuses on the American role in the landings. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr. D. G. Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Good history presented in a very readable way.
Stephen Ambrose wrote in a way that makes you want to read on and on. His books are detailed and as far as i am able to tell accurate.
Published 12 months ago by Mr Peter G Lee
2.0 out of 5 stars Bias but detailed... perhaps a bit too much!
This was tough to get through... having finished it I regretted starting it. A book that is heavily bias towards the Americans the detriment of the British. Read more
Published 15 months ago by R. Slee
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