- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: The History Press (1 May 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 075242842X
- ISBN-13: 978-0752428420
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.6 x 19.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,350,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
D-Day, the First 72 Hours (Revealing History (Paperback)) Paperback – 1 May 2004
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"startling...the author reveals the real reason why the daring attack failed"
About the Author
William F. Buckingham is a leading expert on the First and Second World Wars. His other books include Tobruk: The Great Siege 1941-42, D-Day: The First 72 Hours and Paras: The Birth of British Airborne Forces. Supervised for his PhD by the doyen of First World War studies Sir Hew Strachan, he now teaches History at the University of Glasgow. He is currently writing a definitive new history of the Battle of Arnhem, also for Amberley Publishing. He lives near Glasgow.
Top Customer Reviews
In fact the British and Canadians broke through much stronger defences than those faced on Omaha and then defeated the only dangerous counter attack of the day - only failing to take Caen, which they are always criticised for - because it was far to ambitious an objective for any unit to achieve, and was also swarming with German armour. The near disaster on Omaha was caused not by the defences but by the lack of training the U.S. forces received prior to the attack (most of which consisted of practising boarding landing craft) coupled with micro managing by the U.S. high command. For the same reason the U.S. 4th Division at Utah, faced with only light defences, actually performed badly once ashore, moving slowly inland with an astonishing lack of urgency that the author compares unfavourably with the heroics performed by the highly trained and motivated American airborne divisions the 4th was supposedly meant to rescue. All this is eye opening to say the least - especially if you've ever read anything by Stephen Ambrose.
The work starts by providing useful information on the training and preparation that these assault units undertook before venturing to Normandy. Although the first few chapters do feel like they have been padded out, its only till later in the book that the information in these few chapters really start to show their relevance when Buckingham analyses the events of 6 June and beyond, showing that events unfolded as they did largely due to pre-invasion training, organisation and command changes.
For the invasion itself he makes the rarely seen point of explaining why the beaches were codenamed as they were, and that the most developed and in-depth defences in Normandy lay in front of the Second British Army landing zones; one of the reasons, along with a panzer division counterattack, why Caen was not captured on 6 June. Buckingham acknowledges the fact that all units landing did not complete all there assigned objectives and provides analyses of this subject asking some tough questions. He also provides scathing criticism where he feels it is mostly deserved; in the latter case, it is mostly aimed at the organisation and command structure of the American assault formations (it should be noted that he highly praises the actions of the American parachute formations for their actions and fighting near enough non-stop since they landed). While I cannot comment if these criticisms are just deserved, due to a lack of knowledge about American actions in Normandy, his comments do provide interesting reading and food for thought.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very little I can add to Grev's review. Buckingham's stated aim is to cover in detail the 3-day period when the Battle of Normandy was effectively decided; he does precisely that. Read morePublished 15 months ago by George Baileyovsky
Very much for those into details. Well written although a bit overkeen to fight a battle about whether British or American troops performed better.Published on 29 Aug. 2014 by GrumpyGrizzly