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Tonight We Die as Men: The Untold Story of Third Battalion 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment from Toccoa to D-Day (General Military) Hardcover – 10 Apr 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (10 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846033225
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846033223
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 465,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Featured in The Daily Mail and World War II Magazine

"...I recommend any WW2 history enthusiast, particularly those interested in airborne troops or the Normandy invasion, to check out this book. The new material presented in this book is refreshing considering many other works on Normandy are largely regurgitate existing research, while the descriptive narrative makes it... a page turner." --Peter Chen, ww2db.com

"[the authors] flesh out the personalities mentioned in the book so that by the time the regiment is in England and preparing for its baptism of fire in Normandy, the reader has developed a fondness for each trooper... It will be hard to find a better book about a single airborne battalion in World War II." --Mason Webb, World War II History

"Together, Gardner and Day have reconstructed the battalion's experiences, from training in Toccoa, Georgia, until the end of the Normandy campaign. The book is based on legions of interviews with veterans, new photographic evidence from the Air Photo Archive at Keele University, many battlefield visits, and a meticulous accounting of the battalion's key actions in Normandy." --John C. McManus, Military History Quarterly

About the Author

Ian Gardner served for five years in Support Company,10th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment as a medic, before leaving the Territorial Army in 1993 due to a parachuting injury. Ian has always loved military history but it was several years after leaving 10 Para that his interest in WWII US Paratroopers really began. Inspired after a visit to Normandy in 2000 he decided to focus on the 101st Airborne Division and in particular the 3rd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Currently a self-employed graphic designer, this book is his first historical work co-written with Roger Day. He is married, has two teenage children and lives near Aldershot in Hampshire, UK. Roger Day's family have lived in and around the village of Ramsbury for generations. Roger spent his childhood and early adult years living in the village and during that time became very interested in the wartime history of Ramsbury and the surrounding area. His interest in local wartime history resulted in the publication, during 1999, of his first book entitled Ramsbury at War . In addition to co-authoring "Tonight We Die As Men" with Ian Gardner, Roger is currently working on a history of the Second World War ammunition depot that was located in Savernake Forest, Wiltshire, UK. The author lives in Hampshire and Wiltshire, UK.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Clarke on 14 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am amazed that it has taken 65 years to pull this human story out of the bag, demonstrating how ordinary young people can bond to achieve extraordinary things.

'Tonight We Die as Men' is the most detailed and enlightening web of personal accounts I have ever read of the invasion of Europe - placing the period from D-Day to the end of WW2 in a new, wider context for me.

I was particularly impressed by the quality of the first hand accounts as experienced by real people, both military and civilian. The way the two are spliced not only reinforces the accuracy of the account but better explains how it felt to be there. It was refreshing to see new relevant pictures too.

Most importantly, as a (peacetime) ex-paratrooper I could taste and feel the fluidity of momentum and purpose that comes from shared experience - and the unconditional iron loyalty of true friends. This unspoken bond is something veterans keep to themselves and always find impossible to explain. So good job.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Paul Woodadge on 15 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
As the editorials say, this is a brilliantly written WWII history. The story of Colonel Sink's 3rd battalion 506th from creation to the end of the Normandy campaign is masterfully told by Gardner and Day in this hard-to-put-down book. By combining official wartime archives and data, new "on the ground" research and extensive veterans' accounts this fascinating history is accurately, respectfully and entertainingly told. It's also worth stating that the book is also laid out very nicely and comes with many more photos than you would normally expect from a book of this type.

I expect a lot of books will be released in this D-Day 65th anniversary year, but I doubt any will surpass this one in terms of quality.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By I. Fry on 11 May 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ramsbury at WarI found, once started, I could not put this book down. We all know of Stephen E. Ambrose and "Band of Brothers." This added a valuable dimension to timeline historical writing. I have travelled the same modern roads that are the pre D-Day roads in Wiltshire around Ramsbury and Aldbourne, and in Devon around Exeter and Upottery. I have travelled the roads in Normandy around St.Come-du-Mont and St.Mere-Eglise. I say this book is worthy of accolades. Buy it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ms. S. J. Speechley on 12 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
hello - i met thom whilst looking for self storage to put some of my recently departed fathers belongings into storage. i asked him if he was reading anything interesting and he explained the background of the book he was reading. he explained the background of the book then stopped and asked me if he was boring me - my response 'was no - its like chatting with my dad' - my dad who we laid to rest the day before so very sadly. my brother has returned home from aus so ive bought him a copy - i rang him today and he was at duxford air museum - one of the many places dad took us as nippers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. J. Skillman on 15 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Band of Brothers brought us Easy Co 506th.101st AB
Tonight We Die As Men..... brings us 3rd Battalion,506th of the 101st AB.. companies G,H and I and their Objectives for D Day,6th June 1944.
The wooden road and foot bridges at Brevands.
If you want a book that is detailed with many pictures and maps so that you can follow the route the Paratroopers took from their DZ to their Objectives and describing personal experiences some funny most exciting this is the book.
St Come Du Mont/The Locks at Barquette/Frigot farm all of which are basically unchaged since the war so you can go there to this day and see what's what...all have stories attached to them and this book explains them in detail.
Vetrans miryad accounts of the days in June are enthraling.
The Battle of Bloody Gulge against FJR6 and 17 SS Pnzr grenadiers is very well explained.
Lots of veterans have contributed to this book.
One of the better books I have read on the Normandy campaign. A must get.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read many books on the 506th, D-Day and the Normandy Landings in general but this book told me much, much more. Having visited the Ramsbury area and Normandy many times it still shed new light on many places I have already been to and will be used for reference on future visits. It highlighted many places that are still recognisable today and is a great background read with maps and photos of the areas concerned.
The first hand accounts from the veterans make you realise the shocking brutality of war and what these men went through but also had me laughing with the small stories of the lighter moments. You begin to realise that these were just normal young men trying to cope in extraordinary circumstances and it is an amazing journey with them through the book.
This is an excellent book for anybody with an interest in WWII, D-Day & the Normandy Campaign. You will not be disappointed!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Griffin on 16 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
A thoughtful, well written and comprehensive history and, at the same time, a good read too. I recommend this book wholeheartedly; it is personal and moving and as mentioned in the earlier review, a very human take on exploits in the second World War.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Martin Kilroy on 24 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book really puts you on the ground with the 506th in action. Its begins with the training and building of friendships and cameraderie prior to D-Day. As a reader you are then taken into battle with them and experience all of the emotions of men under intense pressure. These men go into battle, friends being killed and injured all around them, ammunition running low, but still there is time for humour.

As a reader of many books on D-Day and its battles, this book give a completely new insight into how airborne forces of the day went to war. Jumping into enemy territory, lightly armed with limited supply drops, you have to be made of the right stuff. Such is the writing of this book it is very hard to put it down. I cannot recommend it highly enough, you will not be disappointed.
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