I have now read 3 of Robert Kershaw's books on WW2. It is clear that he is an expert in his field and his books have always been very in depth.
This book is no different. I enjoyed the way that the German view of the batle was perceived. It allows the reader to get straight to the terror of the allied invasion and the realisation that the German war machine was going to be forever changed as a result of the landings.
If there is a slight criticism, then I would say that as per most D-Day histories it tended to centre around the landings at Omaha - with good reason due to the appalling losses suffered by both sides.
Another excellent piece of history supplied by Mr Kershaw - a true genius in the field of WW2 history, I look forward to his future work.
Robert Kershaw has done an exceptiona job so far of relaying history in a lively and narrative fashion. You never get the impression he is dumbing down his book (for example, Ambrose 'band of brothers' series) or recycling old hat and secondary sources.
Much like his other books - this one presents a good account of one of the pivotal events in the second world war. Although it was a forgone conclusion that the landings would have succeeded (even if Omaha had wallowed and been pulled, several other beaches were already wide open and being landed) the casualties and subsequent slowdown would have changed the map of Europe forever.
In particular I enjoyed the various perspectives, from behind the sandbags and barbed wire of german bunkers on the beach, to the dazed civilians, to the confused reactions of the german rear command - everything is captured.
This is great introduction into the events of this period - if you enjoyed this book you would also enjoy Max Hastings book on the subject as well - which pulls more facts into the account - although not as many first hand accounts.
In a crowded field of books on the subject, this is one of the better offerings. The author writes out of thorough research and brings reasoned evaluation of the progress of the battle from the viewpoint both of the Allied and the Axis powers. Beginning from the disastrous Operation Tiger in Lyme Bay, he leads into the familiar story of the airborne invasion and the landings on the Normandy beaches.
For the most part the focus is on the soldier on the ground, though at times we are given an overview of the strategic intentions of the allied generals and the defensive strategies of their German counterparts. Familiar as this story is, it still has the power to thrill as we see again the courage, the fear and misery experienced by the men in battle, and the triumph of the Allies' planning, intelligence and masterly deception of their opponents.
The book is well-illustrated with many contemporary photographs.
Unfortunately there are a number of spelling howlers (presumably the author's own) as well as a sprinkling of printing errors and some odd editorial inconsistencies, such as printing in full offensive swear words but blanking out milder ones. The publisher should surely be able to achieve a higher standard.
This is one of the best books on D-Day I have ever read. And I read most of them. Sharp analyses, great personal accounts and the feeling you are there. This author is very good in painting a complete picture. If you want one book that tells you the story about D-Day then buy this one.
Robert Kershaw is in my opinion one of the best military historians of modern times. He has the ability to provide a clear account of the"big picture" by presenting individual accounts from those involved which bring his books to life. His style is never dry and is able to address a serious subject in such a way that it is nevertheless thoroughly entertaining to read. I have read most of his books and this is certainly up to his usual standard. If you want to understand the invasion and its immediate aftermath then look no further. Highly recommended.
There are few books that come close to describing what it was like on D-day, but Kershaw is an abslolute master of his subject. As a former soldier he has that vital element of practical experience and an eye for the nub of tactical essentials. Even better than Beevor ...and that is praise indeed...if you are genuinely interested in military history anything by this author should be snapped up. Brilliant stuff....