As a new kind of thread, I'd like to discuss the value of this popular historian as a source on WW2, and the readability of his books. Since this man's books are widely read and the movies made of them widely seen, I think this is one of those authors many people may have many developed views on. Essentially what you get when you read Ryan is, in all three books, a description of the central event's prelude from a command level, then a description of the event from the soldier's level with details of command added. Personally, I think one of the downsides of his books is that his style is elaborate and uninviting: his pages are often filled with little more than incoherent listings of eyewitness reports strung together by their chronological order only. However, as far as I know he is consistently right about the events he describes, about the way things happened and about the facts he presents. Thus perhaps a bit of a difficult writing style to plow through is a small price to pay for the facts you get to know, and the fact that his books show the events through the eyes of normal soldiers as well as the highest generals he could still interview for his books. Apparently contrary to what Hollywood thought, I think his account of the battle of Berlin ("The Last Battle") is the best of his works. Instead of a description of what is essentially a local, if crucial, operation (Overlord and Market-Garden), "The Last Battle" is really a description of the end of the road for Germany in the military sense. It shows how the German supreme command was a heap of madmen commanding armies that barely existed; how voices of reason within this heap got nowhere with their objective descriptions of the situation; and how Germany's remaining field generals were left on their own in their desperate situations without being able to count on anything coming their way. It also puts an emphasis on the way Stalin abused the rivalry between Zhukov and Rokossovski to make them both advance faster! And beyond this command level reality, we get the civilian reality and the soldier's reality: the situation in Berlin before the final battle, and how the Berlin civilians lived through that disaster, among other things. A very good book, better in my opinion than The Longest Day or A Bridge Too Far because of its greater scope and less common field of inquiry. More people should read this one. What do you think?