Today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
On June 6, 1944, Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France. It was a massive assault that coordinated air, sea, and land power. Over 160,000 troops, 13,000 aircraft, and 5,000 ships were involved. The success of this mission turned the tide of the war and sealed the defeat of Hitler’s Third Reich.
I spent the morning pouring over The Americans on D-Day and In Normandy: Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives by Brooke S. Blades. This is a captivating entry in the Naval Institute Press’s Images of War Series.
When I was a kid, I’d spend hours pouring over my parents’ Time-Life photography books. It was often the images of war that held my attention and that I kept returning to. This is that kind of book.
It’s an excellent introduction to D-Day using photographs and maps from WWII along with some contemporary photos that show how landscapes and street scenes have or haven’t changed over the decades since Operation Overlord, the code name of the invasion. This book looks at both the military and some civilian experiences in France.
If you know nothing about D-Day, this would be a great place to start. The rare photographs will also make it a must-read for the WWII enthusiast.
From the publisher:
The experiences and achievements of the United States land, sea and air forces on 6 June 1944 and the weeks following have been deservedly well chronicled. Omaha Beach saw the fiercest fighting of the whole OVERLORD invasion and the opposition faced in the US sector shocked commanders and men at all levels. The outcome was in the balance and, thanks to the courage and determination shown by the attackers, game-changing failure was narrowly averted.
This superb Images of War book examines, using contemporary and modern images and maps, the course of the campaign and its implication for both the American troops and the civilian population of the battle zone.
These revealing images, both color and black and white, are enhanced by full captions and the author’s thoroughly researched text.
The result is a graphic reminder of the liberation of Northern France and the extraordinary sacrifice made by men not just of the United States military but the other Allied nations.
Title: The Americans on D-Day and In Normandy: Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives
Author: Brooke S. Blades
Publisher: Naval Institue Press | March 1, 2019
Source: Review copy
Bottom line: If you know nothing about D-Day, this would be a great place to start. The rare photographs will also make it a must-read for the WWII enthusiast.