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Ingo Degenhardt

Books covering D-Day and the Battle of Normandy

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Hi all,

 

I could not find any section here regarding books so I post it here.

I am looking for a good book that covers the events from DDay until the end of the Normandy battle. A general overview, so to speak. Not too brief, not specializing in tank warfare, but providing detailed accounts of the major events. Best with photographs.

Can anyone recommend something like this? 

Ingo

 

ps: written in English would be no problem

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Outstanding in my opinion

-Six Armies in Normandy by John Keegan

-Decision in Normandy by Carlo D'Este

 

Very good, but not as good as the first two titles

-The Battle for Normandy by Robin Neillands

-D-Day by Stephen Ambrose

- The Struggle for Europe by Chester Wilmott (very dated by today's standards)

 

There are probably hundreds of other books that cover some or all of the Normandy campaign, but the first two titles I've listed are, for me, the most balanced and well written.

 

Cheers,

Centaur

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What about "Overlord: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy 1944" by Max Hastings and "D-Day: The Battle for Normandy" by Antony Beevor.  Both excellent books and seem to cover exactly what you are looking for.

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18 hours ago, Centaur95 said:

Outstanding in my opinion

-Decision in Normandy by Carlo D'Este

 

There are probably hundreds of other books that cover some or all of the Normandy campaign, but the first two titles I've listed are, for me, the most balanced and well written.

 

Cheers,

Centaur

 

I'll second Centaurs recommendation of Carlo D'Este's book, I read this a few years back, it is a very good read.

 

 

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There is a reference section in each of the modelling review sections, Ground War in Normandy would be in the AFV Section;

 

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/forum/467-reference-material/

 

Plus a couple I recently reviewed and can recommend.

 

 

 

 

22 hours ago, Ingo Degenhardt said:

Hi all,

 

I could not find any section here regarding books so I post it here.

I am looking for a good book that covers the events from DDay until the end of the Normandy battle. A general overview, so to speak. Not too brief, not specializing in tank warfare, but providing detailed accounts of the major events. Best with photographs.

Can anyone recommend something like this? 

Ingo

 

ps: written in English would be no problem

 

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23 hours ago, AndrewE said:

What about "Overlord: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy 1944" by Max Hastings and "D-Day: The Battle for Normandy" by Antony Beevor.  Both excellent books and seem to cover exactly what you are looking for.

These two and Six Armies in Normandy are a pretty complete reading list!

best,

M.

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I've read Beevor's book and whilst it's a good narrative, I'd argue that it doesn't have the depth that Keegan and D'este bring to the camapign. Ditto for Hastings - a good read but lacking some of the depth of the other options.

 

D'este brings his experience as a career US Army Officer to the table, which to me is especially valuable as his perception is different from that of a pure academic. (it balances the academic histories. It's not better or worse - just different.)

 

One book I did omit from my list was Rick Atkinson's third book in his trilogy on the US Army - 'The Guns at Last Light', The whole trilogy (An Army at Dawn, The Day of Battle and The Guns at Last Light) covers the development of the US Army in Africa and Europe through WWII and is a masterwork - readable, intellectual and also honest about the highs and lows of the army's development.

 

The choice of books is a very personal one, so i appreciate others might have differing views on particular authors.

 

Cheers,

Centaur

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I strongly support Centaur95's thoughts. D'este is the book I would recommend if someone wanted just one book that has thorough coverage from planning to execution. I also enjoyed Hastings and Beevor very much.

 

Atkinson is one of the best military series I've read, but the third volume is focussed on the US Army and covers their actions from the moment of landing, so it probably won't have the scope that you asked for. Read the trilogy for an experience I hope you will enjoy as much as I did.

 

Phil 

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.

 

Too many books concentrate on Omaha beach for D-Day itself.  For ALL its faults I find "Six Armies in Normandy" better balanced.

 

I think "balance" is something noticeably lacking for most books about D-Day.  The two big problems are a bias between the US and British/Canadian actions (it would be better if the authors just treated them as "the allied army") the other is the still prevalent "Nazi Supermen" trap that some authors fall into.

 

I'm afraid that one book will not be enough.

 

.

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I've read several Beevor histories (Stalingrad, Berlin and Ardennes): I've found them all very readable and well supported by maps.  I recently started Keegan's "Six Armies In Normandy" but am finding that a little dificult to get into: slightly ponderous dated style or me getting intellectually lazy - you choose.  No knowledge of any of the others.

 

I also have Twenty First Army Group: Normandy to the Baltic published in 1946 and written by one Field Marshal The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein: suspect that that may not be altogether free of bias.  Chockful of lovely maps though.

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5 hours ago, Seahawk said:

I've read several Beevor histories (Stalingrad, Berlin and Ardennes): I've found them all very readable and well supported by maps.  I recently started Keegan's "Six Armies In Normandy" but am finding that a little dificult to get into: slightly ponderous dated style or me getting intellectually lazy - you choose.  No knowledge of any of the others.

 

I also have Twenty First Army Group: Normandy to the Baltic published in 1946 and written by one Field Marshal The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein: suspect that that may not be altogether free of bias.  Chockful of lovely maps though.

Keegan - ponderous? Yeah, you're probably right but my first exposure to him was through reading The Face of Battle and The Mask of Command and it was the level of analysis that attracted me.

 

As an aside, Carlo D'este's books on the battle for Sicily (Bitter Victory) and Winston Churchill (Warlord) also make very good reading.

 

Montgomery was most definitely a questionable source for a balanced viewpoint. His star has definitely waned since the '60s.

 

Cheers,

Centaur

Edited by Centaur95

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I can recommend Villers-Bocage Through the Lens (After the battle) by Dan Taylor. 

 

It has an in depth insight into the battle and a lot of high quality large photos and maps.

 

Regards,

 

Mark

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