I had to use this book together with "The 25 Essential World War II Sites: European Theater: The Ultimate Traveler's Guide to Battlefields, Monuments, and Museums" since this book doesn't describe the museums well enough, to determine if you really want to go there or not. The other book describes the museums better but has a foul rating system. This book is similar to that one in one respect and that is that it was written for an American audience. Oh yes, it will have itineraries for all five beaches and a sixth one for the British paratroopers that jumped in to take Pegasus Bridge and the Merville Battery, but we have different ways of looking at things. The book tells you how much time you ought to spend in each museum, at each monument and we soon discovered when in Normandy, that Americans look at museums differently than us. We started to call it an American visit when we looked at the times alloted. That nationality rushed in to a museum and looked quickly at the items displayed, didn't read any of the signs and stood and had ridiculous arguments in front of the objects instead of reading and settling their minds. In other words, Americans can go in to a museum and be ready to move on in the 35-45 minutes alloted in the book. Or like this American lady said to her daughter in the Caen Memorial, "we'll stay an hour". If you are serious about your visit, you need to get another book than this one. First of all to get the addresses for your GPS because our GPS did not take the longitude and latitude numbers. Secondly, you need to make up your own itinerary because a museum that says that it takes 35 minutes to visit, will take about 2-1/2 hours in reality, to visit if not more. Just as an example: On itinerary six, when you go where the "red devils" went, it suggests that you go and visit the Caen memorial before you start the tour. Well, we did that and it takes 9 hours to visit the Caen memorial if you skip some of the signs. If you read everything, you need to be there at opening at 9:00 and you will leave when they close at 19:00, meaning that you can not make it to any other place that day! It is also a very expensive museum, costing more than 18 Euros, so you don't want to hurry through it. Another problem was one that we encountered when we went to find "Piper" Bill Millin's monument. After a lot of wrong driving we came to the spot, but the statue is still not erected there since they still have not enough money for it. You start wondering about having purchased the book in the first place when that happens!
I had this book with me all over but found it mostly frustrating and not very helpful. The only thing it really helped with was to show some of the museums and routes and then I collected pamphlets in Normandy to plan my real trip around the place. I had to abandon the book in other words and rely on my own itinerary, created from the pamphlets the museums print themselves, and put in the hotel lobbies and at the museums.
Unlike the other reviewer I found this title really useful. I have both the full version and the pocket version and if your spending a few days to a week touring the Normandy Battlefields and surrounding area it is far handier and less detailed than the fuller version. We used it constantly for a 5 day trip and found it invaluable for viewing beaches.
This was an amazing book and was our guide to all of the D-Day beaches and history surrounding Normandy in the war. Each itinerary is very comprehensive and, if you follow it from start to finish each takes hours; however it is easy to read ahead and go straight to the places that interest you. Also, the book starts the tour from west to east on each beach, whereas we were driving east to west. Simple solution: read the book back to front. Amazingly informative and very well research; couldn't recommend this enough.
Please note: this book is not as titled. It is actually a pocket battlefield guide to the Normandy Landing Beaches D-Day, i.e. very similar to the full size Normandy D-Day landing beaches. I ordered this expecting a more general view of the Normandy campaign only to find that the book looks nothing like the picture and has a competely different title. The actual book is green, not brown, with a different picture. It has the same ISBN so it is the book they are trying to advertise. Having said all that the book is fantastic, as are all Major and Mrs Holt's books, and is invaluable if going to the landing beaches - just don't buy both the pocket and full size books!
I used this on a recent rip to Normandy and it was excellent. The suggested 'day trips' were good as were the directions they give. A very informative, easy to use book, that also gives information on the history of the site you visit. well worth every penny!
This discreet little pocket book really is all you need for you trip over to normandy to retrace the beach landings. Its very informative regarding places you really need to visit along with maps of the area and a brief history surrounding all aspects on the build up to the war and during the invasions. Well worth the price.
Very good, small enough to carry around, plus very detailed information. I'm very glad to have bought this for my trip to Normandy and would definitely recomend buying this little book to visit the landing beaches.