Book review: D-Day, the Battle for Normandy


Anthony Beevor published his D-Day, the Battle for Normandy, in 2009, adding another popular work to an ever-growing literature on the subject.

It is a well-written narrative and could serve as a useful introduction to those not yet familiar with the subject, the more so as it contains insight and perspective. To be sure the book, as far as the reviewer can ascertain, makes no particularly new or startling claims, but it should make one think. Unlike most books on the 1944 liberation of France, Beevor begins his book the weekend before the invasion, focusing on the lonely task of Dr James Stagg, the chief weather forecaster; and continues to the liberation of Paris. Most other works end with the destruction of German 7th and 5th Panzer armies in the “Falaise Pocket”, which I’ve always thought premature.

But it is interesting Beevor eschewed the usual Alliance politics and preparations for what considered the greatest amphibious operation in history. Nothing here about Stalin’s demand for a second front, the wrangling between the US and Britain over who would command and when or where the landings would take place. Since that has been exhaustively explored elsewhere the reader suffers no loss.

Anthony Beevor

D-Day, the Battle for Normandy