by: Fay Baker [ ]
This offering from Pen and Sword titled The D-Day Landings, endeavours to provide the reader with the sights sounds and thoughts of those landing on the Normandy beaches on D-Day. A large portion of the book is written using the words who survived those fateful first hours of Operation Overlord. As the landing craft doors opened and spilled their cargo onto the French beaches, to begin the liberation of Europe.
This offering from Pen and Sword, is a soft back book of 310 pages and authored by Philip Warner along with a forward by W F Deedes and an introduction from John Keegan. Philip Warner (1914–2000) enlisted in the Royal Corps of Signals after graduating from St Catharine’s, Cambridge in 1939. He fought in Malaya and spent 1,100 days as ‘a guest of the Emperor’ in Changi, on the Railway of Death and in the mines of Japan, an experience he never discussed. A legendary figure to generations of cadets during his thirty years as a Senior Lecturer at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, he will also be long remembered for his contribution to more than 2,000 obituaries of prominent army figures to The Daily Telegraph. In addition he wrote fifty-four books on all aspects of military history, ranging from castles and battlefields in Britain, to biographies of prominent military figures (such as Kitchener: The Man Behind The Legend, Field Marshal Earl Haig, Horrocks: The General Who Led From the Front (Pen & Sword, 2018) and Auchinleck: The Lonely Soldier (Pen & Sword, 2006) to major histories of the SAS, the Special Boat Services, Phantom and the Royal Corps of Signals. This book is primarily a written offering, but does have a nice small photographic section, the contents of the book are laid out as follows:
Invasion from the Air – The RAF, the gliders and the parachutists
On The Beach – The Sappers and Others
The Armoured Corps
Marines and Commandoes
Intelligence and Signals
The Medical Services
The Royal Army Service Corps
The Royal Artillery
The French View Point
The Allied Armies
The text is well written, and is in a font that is easy to read. The words presented here are those individuals who were there on the day. The written accounts from these people have been presented by the author in a logical order of events as they occurred. The book presents you with an overview which is short and to the point; the words of the men who took part in this operation are the important part and cover a broad range of individuals from the lowliest private to those in command.
The words provided by those involved, vary in length and detail, but each of their contributions are worth taking the time to read, such as those of Lance Corporal PG Barton, who landed on Juno Beach with a bang due to the landing craft hitting a mine, which made for a rotten start to his day.
The memories of Mr LM Cloutt, made me laugh – he was a co-pilot on a Dakota, his job was to read the map and follow the terrain on the final approach, in order to aid him in his task he opened the side window of the aircraft to get a better view of the ground, this resulted in his map exiting the aircraft leaving him with a very small portion of it which he has kept to this day. His visits to Netheravon and materials and film shown to them there were the only reason the plane made it to its intended destination.
This book presents us with the memories of individual who took part in conceivably one of the most important points in modern history. The memories included here cover every branch of the British Armed Forces and not forgetting the Canadians, it must be remembered that these recollections are of those who in many cases are longer alive to share their stories. The memories of French civilians on seeing the D-Day armada are a very welcome addition, as they are the words of those who suffered under German occupation.
Pen and Sword has presented us here with a great insight into the stoic mentality of those who survived the landings on D-Day. The way they have presented their information is in a very matter of fact way, there are contributions that will make you smile, some that will make you laugh, but mostly make you think of the people whose lives were put on the line on the 6th June 1944, who Through the luck of turning left instead of right remained alive long enough to share a little of what they went through with us and brought together in this offering.
Fay Baker takes a look at a Pen and Sword offering titled 'The Telegraph - The D Day Landings'.
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| || ||ISBN 9781526764164|
| || ||£14.99|
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| || ||Jul 09, 2019|
Copyright ©2019 text by Fay Baker [ ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.
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