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The Normandy Invasion, June 1944: Looking Down on War [Hardcover]

Roy M. Stanley
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 May 2013 Looking Down on War
The Normandy Invasion literally takes a different view of D-Day and just beyond, showing the well-known events using aerial photos. This is what anxiously waiting senior officers knew about progress in the early hours of 6 June 1944. The RAF and USAAF imagery used is almost entirely from long dormant U.S. Department of Defence Intelligence files. Examining the invasion scene beach-by-beach, the eyes of a trained, experienced photo interpreter uncover details a layman would certainly miss. This overview of Normandy landings and subsequent combat shows the scope and sweep of battle and helps explain why some objectives were reached, why some units forged ahead where others were stalled. We see the beaches as never before; their width at low tide; the support vessels off shore and equipment moving inland; formidable beach obstacles, and pre-invasion aerial reconnaissance. Think of this book as an adjunct to all the ground-level photos you have seen of men leaving landing craft or crouching beside sea walls - a different perspective on one of the momentous military actions of the last hundred years. Refer to this book when you read about D-Day and actually see what other authors have written about.

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The Normandy Invasion, June 1944: Looking Down on War + D-Day Manual: Insights into how science, technology and engineering made the Normandy invasion possible (Haynes Operations Manual)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (3 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781590567
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781590560
  • Product Dimensions: 25.3 x 20 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 693,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Looking Down On War: The Normandy Invasion is a must read for anyone interested in WWII History or more specifically the Normandy invasion. The book shows us the events of this part of WWII as it is not normally seen; from the air. This book is well laid out, the photographs are captivating and with Col. Stanly's dialog explaining what we are seeing in the photos you will get lost in the history. Recommended! Inscale

About the Author

Colonel Roy Stanley II, USAF (retired), became an Aerial Photo Interpreter in 1959 and went on to assignments with the Defence Intelligence Agency, the Air Staff and in Japan, Thailand and Vietnam. Now retired after 27 years' service he lives near Fredericksburg, Virginia. This is his seventh book. V Weapons Hunt and Axis Warships have been published by Pen and Sword Books in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfulfilled Expectations 1 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I expected to see more from the non-American beaches but was left feeling as though this was an opportunity lost. The reason for the paucity was explained and the author states he supplies information from a Photo Interpretor point of view. It's a pity he didn't stick to that.

There is an excellent photo from Sword Beach which shows Sherman Flails of the 22nd Dragoons in action. He reports flails were painted tan instead of the usual green of the rest of the vehicles. This is not true. The reason for this colour was due to flail chains penetrate to a maximum depth of 9 inches and the throwback covers the tank. In this case the top of the vehicles reflect the colour of the beach. The only Crocodiles to land came ashore via Gold Beach and nothing on Sword. Based on what little I know about Sword, I wouldn't trust the interpretations too much.

I'm sure I've seen more and better aerial shots at the Imperial War Museum.

For those with little knowledge of the invasion beaches this makes a reasonable attempt at enlightenment from an unusual perspective.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting book 26 Aug 2013
By Ghost24
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Lots of rarely seen and interesting photos of D-Day and the author uses his map interpretation skills to analyse the photos and events in an interesting and informative way. A highly recommended book for people interested in D-Day.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A further "look" at D-Day 29 July 2013
By Reccetecher - Published on
As a WWII history buff, I thought Col Stanley's book did a beautiful job of not only explaining but giving us some surprising glimpses of history on that momentous day back in June of '44. If your idea of D-Day has been formed by Hollywood films, you will, after reading this book, come away with an even better appreciation of what occurred along those forty-five miles of beach in Normandy. Stanley's narrative description of the events are bolstered by not only large amounts of imagery taken prior to D-Day, but by extensive imagery (discovered in the National Archives) that was taken the actual day of the invasion. I found Col Stanley's analysis of the assault on Pointe du Hoc to be particularly interesting. His study, using the imagery provided, will no doubt cause the reader to ponder the necessity of that operation in light of the heavy casualties the Ranger's suffered. I would also strongly suggest that the reader give the "Forward" a close read. To really get the most from Stanley's book, it's important to understand the author's experience as a photo interpreter and intelligence analyst and how he acquired the imagery used in his book. Ditto with the author's "Afterthoughts" at the completion of his book. Sure, it's "monday morning quarterbacking" but with all the experience of the planning staffs and senior officers, one still has to wonder why certain assault plans were adopted -- especially on Omaha Beach. All in all, a thoroughly interesting and enlightening read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed look at the battlefield 27 May 2014
By backpack - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting subject, especially if you are interested in nitty-gritty details of the Normandy Invasion in WWII. If you like aerial photography and maps, this is a book for you.
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointing! Could have done more! 5 May 2014
By Rick - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The pictures while interesting could have been explained in more detail. We the readers are not photo analyst. I don't want to be too hard on this as it was inexpensive, but would have liked more pictures more analysis.
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