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Pegasus Bridge: D-Day - the Daring British Airborne Raid [Paperback]

Stephen E. Ambrose
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Nov 2002
D-Day before dawn. Minute by minute, hour by hour the danger grows...In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, a small detachment of British airborne troops stormed the German defence forces and paved the way for the Allied invasion of Europe. Pegasus Bridge was the first engagement of D-Day, the turning point of World War II. This gripping account by acclaimed author Stephen E. Ambrose brings to life a daring mission so crucial that, had it been unsuccessful, the entire Normandy invasion might have failed. Ambrose traces each step of the preparations over many months to the minute-by-minute excitement of the hand-to-hand confrontations on the bridge. This is a story of heroism and cowardice, kindness and brutality - the stuff of all great adventures.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; New edition edition (4 Nov 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074345068X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743450683
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

About the Author

Stephen E. Ambrose, leading World War II historian, was the author of numerous books on history including the Number 1 bestselling BAND OF BROTHERS, D-DAY (on which SAVING PRIVATE RYAN was based) PEGASUS BRIDGE and WILD BLUE. He is founder of the Eisenhower Center and the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. He died in 2002.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up the Ox and Bucks. 21 Aug 2005
This is the story of the Ox and Bucks regiment who captured Pegasus bridge on D-Day. This book is superb and gives an excellent account of the importance of the mission and the training of the men leading up to the actual assault and capture of the bridge. It then goes on to explain how the bridge was held and includes good detail of when the re-enforcements arrived. This book is written very well and it has lots of eye witness accounts in it by people who were actually there. I visited the bridge during the 60th anniversary of D-Day and I would certainly reccommend reading this book prior to visiting the bridge. This will ensure that you know the full facts and will increase your interest when you see the bridge and its surrounding areas. This book has inspired me to purchase another book titled "The devils own luck" which is about the Ox and Bucks regiment after Pegasus bridge up to the end of the war.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A short but well written book 8 Sep 2003
By Vic
I couldn't put this book down, very well written and moves along at a nice pace. Covering everything from the 2 year period before the landings to the 'where are they now' summary. The only fault I can bring is that it is too short, missing out on other vital story lines from the event - but I suppose you have to draw the line somewhere, and the author does explain that this book was written as a lighter experience for him after his Eisenhower epic he had just finished.
Ambrose has a problem with criticizing other sections/high command without elaborating - but again there were other stories to tell from that day.
Altogether a good read and a nice prelude to more investigation of the event.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspirational account of heroic bravery 31 Aug 2004
Much like the other reviewers here, I could not put this book down. Ambrose has captured the personalities well in this account and builds a solid background to the key characters and the events leading upto the attack itself as well as focusing on the day itself.
Also of note is the respect paid to all parties at the bridge that day: you feel as much respect and admiration for the German commander and the French Gondreé family (whose cafe was key terrain in the attack) as you do for the British glider pilots and soldiers.
I was left feeling disappointed that the unit that had been assembled and had trained so hard for one day was then allowed to drift from battle to battle when they could have been put to so much more use. You also feel a tinge of sadness as the numbers dwindle at each annual reunion at the bridge as time marches on after the war ended.
I read this in the weeks running up to the 60th anniversary of D-Day, and was fortunate enough to see an interview with Jim Wallwork, the pilot who earnt the honour of "the best flying of the entire Second World War". Having read the book, my only regret was that I couldn't reach into the TV and shake his hand.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ripping yarn 16 Dec 2002
By Jim
This is a reprint of one of Ambrose's earlier books, and it's come to light because of the popularity of Band of Brothers. It's very much in the same style as B-o-B, easy to read, interesting, lucid, and not at all like the dire Wild Blue.
It tells the story of one of the British Army's most dashing actions in a very personal way - concentrating on the characters involved in the glider landing on Pegasus Bridge. The timeline is well maintained, and it makes it a real page-turner.
To be picky, I would have liked to have read more about the reasons the paras stayed in the field so long after D-Day, rather than just criticising High Command; and the book doesn't say much about the battle the relief troops had to keep out German counter-attacks, even though it was serious enough to call for support from the glider troops they had relieved. Better maps would have been nice, but as Ambrose includes copies of the actual orders given to the unit, and the intelligence briefing they used, you always know roughly where you are.
In short - read 'Pegasus Bridge', especially if you enjoyed Band of Brothers or Blackhawk Down. And it's much better than Wild Blue. Honest.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Boys' Own" adventure 10 Jan 2006
By Teemacs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
...except this one happens to be true. Of all the stories of 6 June 1944, few are as extraordinary - or as important - as this one. The description of the taking and holding of Pegasus Bridge by British airborne troops under the command of the late Maj. John Howard just after midnight on 6 June, including the training leading up to it and the aftermath, is an amazing one. The glider landing, in a tiny space through barbed wire and within yards of the bridge itself, was described as the best bit of flying of the whole of the war. It all went perfectly to plan, one of the few things on D-Day that did. One can only wonder what would have happened had it not - and be thankful that it did (not to mention that Hitler had gone to bed and could not be disturbed to release the Panzer Divisions under his personal command).

One of the old soldiers interviewed by Ambrose stopped a German tank by holding his fire until the thing was almost on top of him. "Now don't you be making me out to be some sort of hero!" he said. To which Ambrose delightfully retorted that he didn't make heroes, he merely wrote about them. And he does very well. The story is well-written and gripping.

A nice touch. One of the reinforcing paratroopers dropped in after the initial glider assault was a Captain Richard Todd. Todd was later to play Maj. Howard in the Darryl Zanuck fim "The Longest Day".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant, well done to these brave men.
Published 24 days ago by Chrissie Hudd
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great value
Published 28 days ago by PJ
5.0 out of 5 stars ... had covered this in history at school instead of boring Kings and...
If only we had covered this in history at school instead of boring Kings and Queens!
A great book that let's you know exactly what it was like for the men (HEROES, everyone of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by ady
5.0 out of 5 stars so it is good to be reminded of the grim cost of war
D-Day is a vague memory. I was 9 years old at the time, so it is good to be reminded of the grim cost of war. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paul Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Diary of real hero,s
The detail of the operation and build up is amazing with good cameos of participants particularily drawn to Wally and the gun at the bridge ,pluss the interviews of the Germans ,a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by chris lowe
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent true story
A fantastic account of the Pegasus Bridge raid, it was entertaining and technical without being overly technical, I really enjoyed reading this book. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr savage
Published 5 months ago by DOREEN COLLINS
5.0 out of 5 stars A great tale of a daring airborne assult.
This was a really good account of the glider attack on German forces guarding two vital bridges in France. Read more
Published 5 months ago by JPB
5.0 out of 5 stars In anticipation of another excellent read
I bought this book for my daughter's boyfriend. He had already finished Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose so a take from the British perspective seemed a logical step forward. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Helen F Bowen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read & fast moving action
so much information on individuals that it really brings it home to you what they went through to make it easy for the invading troups
Published 7 months ago by ppnj
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