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on 14 April 2009
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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on 15 May 2009
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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on 11 May 2009
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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on 12 May 2009
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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on 15 October 2009
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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on 9 December 2009
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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on 13 November 2009
Everybody knows about Easy Company. Everybody has seen the great series of Band of Brothers.
Everybody knows that story. And then, out of nowhere, there comes this book.
A story about a battalion that is not that well known, but has fought just as hard.

"Tonight we die as men".
The title alone says it all.
Readers will learn where the title of the book comes from, and it makes so much sense after reading the stories in here.
Personal stories about US paratroopers who jumped into France by parachute during the night of 5-6 June, 1944. D-Day.
This book tells the tales of the young men who landed in the fields nearby the little farms and bridges just south of St Come du Mont.
The book starts with the stories that lead up to D-Day. Young men volunteering for the Airborne units, going through the rough training, and being shipped over to England, and staying at Ramsbury. A wonderful account about this period has been written by Roger Day. Detailed information about life in this small village, and the time leading up to D-Day.
Then the paratroopers of 3rd Battalion, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne hear their objectives:
To capture and secure the bridges over the river Douve.
The men get ready for action, and take off from England, and jump into the fields of Normandy, France.
What follows in the book then, are amazing true stories by survivors who were there.
Ian Gardner digged up facts that have been forgotten or misunderstood for decades.
Hearing the personal stories from the soldiers, the people who lived in the farms and villages, combined with detailed background information, maps and beautiful photographs, make this book very hard to put down.
I received the book 2 days before I left to visit Normandy. I read and read, and I visited the places that are mentioned in this book. Being there, and reading the book, made this story come to life. There is also a DVD available to get even more information about these actions that is very well worth the buy as well.
In my opinion, this is one of the best books I have ever read on Airborne actions.
Truly a must for anyone who is interested in D-Day objectives, 506th, or Airborne units and actions.
Ian Gardner is a great writer, and did a great job in getting all this information.
While I was reading the book, I completely forgot everything around me, and it felt like I was one of the men over there in Normandy.
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on 16 April 2009
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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on 17 April 2013
This book appealed to me as another aspect of the D- day story following on from the story of Easy company of Band of Brothers fame.
However the confusion and savagery of the battle is in my opinion related in a way which gives the impression that Easy company had a much better time of it.
Of course this account centres on the early period after the invasion in more detail than Band of Brothers.
The story is filled with first hand accounts from those who were there and survived what must have been a terrifying experience.
The reader is taken through the days after the invasion in detail and given a view of life and death in the fields and villages of Normandy
This is not a book to be compared to Band of Brothers,but is in my view a complimentary account.
One criticism I do have is that the detailed maps do not show up as well as I would have expected on my Kindle Fire HD even using the zoom facility which is a shame as they will certainly have added to the narrative. This is not of course any fault on the part of the author.
Overall a very good read.
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on 10 May 2013
This is a fantastic piece of history. It takes a microscopic look at one regiment from it's creation, through training, deployment, and it's experiences in the days before and after D-Day.
If you want to know how a military unit operates, how it functions, both in and out of the war zone, then this would make interesting reading. The human stories are here, the 'friendly fire', the in-fighting, the fear and the courage.
The authors have done a fantastic job in researching their subject in minute detail. They have spoken to a large number of veterans, before it is too late, and have related their stories in a logical, clear way.
As a general reader, with no connection to the subject unit, I probably wouldn't want to read another similar book about a different unit, but I am glad that I read this one.
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