Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris; June 6 - Aug. 5, 1944; Revised (Anglais) Broché – 1 juin 1994
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
Présentation de l'éditeur
The armies of six nations met on the battlefields of Normandy in what was to be the greatest Allied achievement of World War II. With dramatic, driving power, John Keegan describes the massed armies—American, Canadian, English, French, German, and Polish—at successive stages of the invasion. As he details the strategies of the military engagements, Keegan brilliantly shows how each of the armies reflected its own nation's values and traditions. In a new introduction written especially to commemorate the 50th anniversary of D-Day, he contemplates the ways the events at the battle of Normandy still reverberate today.
“The best military historian of our generation.” –Tom Clancy
“John Keegan writes about war better than almost anyone in our century.” –The Washington Post Book World
“Very dramatic… Very well done… a book which conjures romance from some very hard fighting.” –A. J. P. Taylor, The New York Review of Books
“The story of this vast, complex, and risky amphibious assault, and the campaign which followed, has been told many times, but never better than by John Keegan.” –The Wall Street Journal
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Keegan takes a somewhat different slant on telling the story of Normandy. He takes the battle beyond the D-Day invasion right through the breakout and the Liberation of Paris. He also does not deal with the events chronologically but rather from the differing viewpoints of the six nationalities represented in the fighting. For this reason, I would not recommend that this be the first book a reader grabs when desiring to learn of the invasion of Normandy or D-Day (Operation Overlord). Most other books (like those of Ambrose and D' Este) present the events in a more sequential fashion and thus more understandable to the novice.
Six Armies in Normandy would serve to embellish that basic understanding with perspectives and viewpoints, which make understanding the battles much more complete. Consider this book an "advanced course" in the liberation of France.
The book has adequate maps and photos, contains a complete order of battle, cites from a robust bibliography and is fully indexed.
John E. Nevola
Author of The Last Jump - A Novel of World War II
As such it presents a thrilling and wonderfully readable account of how one of the most momentous clashes of the century began and unfolded on the beaches, along the coastline, and then on into the bucolic fields, villages, and countryside of France itself. Like an afternoon's excursion into Hell itself, one quickly becomes embroiled in the vision of battle across the face of Normandy, watching as a cauldron of murder and mayhem pours itself onto the face of France, witnessing the Allies as they successfully beat back the counter-offenses by the German panzer divisions. Keegan focuses on specific engagements, brilliantly recreating the atmosphere of conflict and chaos such as the fabled 101st Airborne drop into several Normandy villages along the coastline, being furiously chewed up by German ground forces even as they attempt to land.
Keegan's approach here is to show that the landing was just the beginning of the liberation of France, and as any serious student of the war along the Western Front can attest, the Germans were tenacious and dogged in their defense, and the road to Paris and the liberation of all of France was one both hard-fought and well sprinkled with the blood of both combatants and non-combatants alike. Far from being a beaten force that was to be run over by the Allied machine, the German Wehrmacht still had the discipline, the determination, and a ready reservoir of self-reliance and battle experience to use in fighting the invaders. The battle for France was anything but a cakewalk, and herein the author handlily demonstrates the extraordinary degree to which each of the six armies used everything possible that was at their disposal to fatefully influence the eventual result. This is a wonderful book, one that both entertains and edifies. It is also one that I have read several times, and I recommend it for anyone who wants to take a wonderful look at the nature of the battle of France from the foot soldier's perspective.
The details regarding the Polish 2nd Armored division are excellent and this is the first detailed account I've read regarding their valiant stands. The Canadian contribution is also detailed very well. The German officer corps is treated with respect as able opponents. Crimes committed by the 12th SS against the Canadians are highlighted.
The French are treated pretty harshly and in my opinion fairly. LeClerc's run to Paris was a tactical error that was heavily influenced by politics not strategy that SHAEF intended to simply encircle. The French enjoyed a relatively unharmed capital due to their quick surrender and Hitler's decision to defend Normandy (and the subsequent collapse of the Western front).
My big problem with this book (and the reason for 4 stars instead of 5) is Keegan's handling of Montgomery. Keegan clearly thinks highly of Montgomery and his tactics. This clearly disagrees with everything else I've read or studied. "Monty's" victory over the Afrika Corp which won him fame was predominately due to supply limitations on Rommel's part and failure of the Wehrmacht's encription. XXX Corps advance on a single tank front on an exposed roadway during Operation Market-Garden is another clear example of his poor understanding of the combat particular to WWII in my opinion. Montgomery is also given credit for pinning down the Panzer divisions near Caen in Normandy so the Americans could advance. IF anything, this was due to the Wehrmacht's underestimation of the American army and not an accomplishment of Montgomery's.
All in all, a great book, but not one of Keegan's best.
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