On this, the eve of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, one of history’s most infamous dates, it is a good time to reflect on the effort to liberate Europe during WWII and look beyond the commemorations that will likely be saturating the media. One of the best ways to do this is by reading a fresh new history of the event, like Normandy ’44 – D-Day and the Epic 77-Day Battle for France by James Holland.

About Normandy ’44 – D-Day and the Epic 77-Day Battle for France by James Holland:

“In Normandy ‘44, acclaimed WWII historian James Holland has crafted a fresh chronicle that reframes our understanding of D-Day and the Normandy campaign, challenging the accepted views that Germany only lost because of the Allies material advantage; that the U.S. dominated the Allied effort; that air power was of lesser importance than ground power. Drawing on archives and testimonies of eye-witnesses—from foot soldiers, tank men, commanders, fighter pilots, as well as civilians caught in the maelstrom—Holland recreates the brutal campaign that, in terms of daily casualties, was worse than any in World War I. Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery was in charge of Operation OVERLORD, whose main target was Caen, principal city in Normandy where rail, road, and river converged. Its capture took almost six weeks of bitter fighting from the bloody sea landing and chaotic air drop to the slog through the hedgerows and sunken lanes that were Normandy’s landscape. Holland introduces characters such as Sgt. Curtis Curlin of the 2nd Armored Division who ingeniously devised saw-teeth to be added to the fronts of Sherman tanks, and Major General Pete Quesada, Commander of US IX Tactical Air Command, who developed crucial communication techniques between his planes and troops on the ground.”

No doubt D-Day was an important day, but it was several weeks before the objectives were met and there was still plenty of challenges and battles to come. In his exquisitely researched and chronicled book, Mr. Holland expands on the story we think we know and provides background and detail that will make you appreciate the heroic efforts of the Allies even more than you most likely already do.

Normandy ’44 – D-Day and the Epic 77-Day Battle for France by James Holland is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.