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Overlord: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy 1944 (Pan Military Classics) Paperback – 21 May 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (21 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330513621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330513623
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sir Max Hastings is the author of twenty-five books, many of them about war. He was educated at Charterhouse and University College, Oxford, which he quit after a year to become a journalist. Thereafter he reported for newspapers and BBC TV from sixty-four countries and eleven conflicts, notably the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Vietnam and the 1982 Battle for the Falklands. Between 1986 and 2002 he was editor-in-chief of The Daily Telegraph, then editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and for his books, most recently the 2012 Chicago Pritzker Library's $100,000 literary award for his contribution to military history, and the RUSI's Westminster Medal for his international best-seller 'All Hell Let Loose'.

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Review

"Max Hastings's reportage of the battle is not unworthy to stand with that of the best journalists and writers who witnessed it. . . . A tribute to his skills as a historian." -John Keegan, "The New York Times Book Review" "Hastings combines a quick, clear prose with provocative and often brilliant analysis. His conclusions are sharp yet sound, his research through, and his history incisive. Of the many books that have been written on Normandy, it is quite simply the best." -"Dallas Morning News" "A brilliant and concise account." -"The Washington Post Book World" "A fine account of the strategy and tactics of the campaign. The author has been shot at himself. . . . This has done marvels for quickening his understanding of what such landings are like, and adds an extra cutting edge to his book. He goes over a well-worn path, full of pitfalls, and falls into none of them." - "The Economist"

About the Author

Max Hastings, author of over twenty books, was born in 1945. He was a scholar at Charterhouse and University College, Oxford, before working as foreign correspondent for newspapers and BBC television, reporting from over fifty countries. He was editor of the Daily Telegraph for almost a decade, and then for six years edited the Evening Standard. He has won many awards for his journalism, particularly for his dispatches from the South Atlantic in 1982. He was knighted in 2002.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 104 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Nov 2001
Format: Paperback
After reading 3 previous books about the D-day invasion, I can finally say that I won't be buying any more after reading this one. Other historians write as well as Max Hastings, but none have included both the perspective from the Allies as well as the Germans. When you put this book down, you'll have the experience of truly understanding what it was like to be in Northern France in 1944, and not only in the staff rooms of the generals involved, but also what the average private had to endure, in both armies. Anyone who is interested in this topic and doesn't read "Overlord" by Hastings is really missing out. Its money well spent.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By P. M. Knight on 29 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides a very informative picture of the D-Day landings and the immediate aftermath. It pulls no punches and gives an un-biased appraisal of each armies performance and command structure, warts and all. It understands that this was an action fought by men who were basically civilians from democracies, on the allied side, and the problems that such an army ineviatably has in pressing home battles that demand a high attrition rate. (Maybe Stephen Ambrose could take a lesson from this ).Recommended
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Hawthorn on 12 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
Probably the best book on the Normandy campaign just a shame that this excellent book is so badly let down by its presentation, unlike Monty who always made such a good show of such poor performance. Poor printing, especially of the nearly unreadable maps, really does an injustice to this excellent, judicious account.

Out of Ambrose, Beevor and Hastings I'd recommend Hastings, just make sure your have a good pair of glasses!
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By skorzeny@tiscalinet.it on 5 Dec 1999
Format: Paperback
I am an italian fanatic of the battle of Normandy who read a lot of books on this subject and I must say that this is my preferit book because it's the only who recreates in a detailed way,from the strategic to the tactical point of view(in particular way) the war between two different sides . When you arrive at the end of it you have really a complete vision of the difficulties of a battle that only on the russian front has been of a such intensity.It's a book similar to the books of Cornelius ryan but much more deep ,if you interest the war in Normandy and you want the best buy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Bruinsma on 5 Jun 2009
Format: Hardcover
For readers not initiated in army terminology, 'Overlord' might present a challenge, for they will be spending a lot of time in the (usefull) appendices with information about acronyms and army-structure.

'Overlord' is at times a personal account, given the picture of the authors father in an army vehicle and the authors own military experience.

Especially interesting is the emphases on the excellent skills of the German forces, despite the catastrophous decisions made bij the German commanders.

A rare occasion where calling a book 'depressing' is meant as compliment...
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By gwi on 20 Nov 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For military history buffs this is Max Hastings at his best (a good historian whose conservative politics don't intrude). The books covers the build-up in early 1944, then takes us through the invasion in it’s various phases culminating with the German collapse and retreat in August. Hastings's questions are fascinating. Why did the Germans not collapse faster, given allied air power and superiority in manpower and guns? Why were their small formations so effective, and why was morale so high (even though most officers knew the war was lost)? It’s highly readable stuff with excellent maps, and provides a nice balance between personal narrative (largely from soldiers' correspondence) and the big picture.
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57 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Normandy Battlefield Guide on 23 April 2008
Format: Paperback
Hasting's 'Overlord' has earned a reputation of being almost as close as one can get to becoming a definitive history of the 1944 landings in Normandy.

Whilst far superior to the work of 'historians' such as Stephen Ambrose, there is still an overwhelming feeling of this book being authored by a journalist and not an historian. Hastings makes many sweeping statements, many of which are totally unfounded, yet does very little to substantiate his claims. He constantly enforces the popular misconception, which have almost become fashionable, to criticise rather than to focus on the positives. Reading 'Overlord' found me actually questioning myself as to whether or not the Allies actually won the Battle of Normandy or not.

There is far too much unbalanced emphasis on the conceived failures, failures which can only be called such with the benefit of no small amount of hindsight. Operation Overlord was the biggest and best operation the western allies launched in WW2 and should be celebrated for what it achieved, not disected to an extent that only with that valuable aid of hindsight can decisions be doubted and triumphs blunted beyond recognition.

Hasting plays up the superiority of the German forces but, in my opinion, fails to give due credit to the forces (prodominantly British) that took on the bulk of the German elite, and beat them into submission within just 71 days in Normandy.

Whilst I dont agree with every sentiment expressed by historians like John Keegan, Carlo D'Este, Denis Whitaker and Terry Copp, these historians make much more effort to present an objective and substantiated account than Hastings achieves in this publication.
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