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D-Day VS Longest Day

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by zman, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. zman

    zman Member

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    D-Day by Antony Beevor is supposedly the first to tell the story from all sides (Canadians, Brits, US, Germans, and even the French) but I could of swore Longest Day did this before D-Day was ever published. Which should I read? What is the better of the two would you say?
     
  2. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    The book by Beevor is a bit more acedemic if you know what I mean, troop numbers, actions, units, and with fewer personal memories of the men included in the book. I just finished re-reading Beevor's D-Day, and it has been quite a while since I read The Longest Day. That said, The Longest Day is a bit Americentric, but a much easier "read" than the Beevor work.

    By that I mean Ryan's writting style is a tad easier to read (for myself), and more of a page-turner than Beevor's style. Read them both, but for a good start The Longest Day may be the place to start, it reads more like a novel than a history book.
     
  3. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    I didn't find Beevor's book hard going unlike some, like Clint, its been many years since I last read The Longest Day. One other one thats a good read but I stress goes belong D-Day is The Struggle for Europe by Chester Wilmot.
     
  4. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    I don't know that "hard going" would be the words exactly, it is just that the much newer D-Day covers more "stuff", where the Ryan book concentrates on the landings themselves. The Beevor work better explains the weather problems faced by Stagg, and the horrific fighting after the invasion itself to wrest control of the Normandy area from the Nazis.

    I think that both books are superb personally, the newer D-Day has the advantage of more material being released for research by authors than was available when Ryan wrote his book.

    I wondered at the age of the poster asking the question, and for a "start off" book The Longest Day is a great point from which to "kick-off" any story about the invasion, makes you want to learn more and the newer D-Day: The Batttle for Normandy is a great follow-up.
     
  5. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    I agree, thats the best way to get going on the subject.
     
  6. zman

    zman Member

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    Would it hurt to start off with D-Day anyway?
     
  7. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Nope, go either way. Both are fine books, the newest one simply has more data in it that was released recently. The older one is (Longest Day) was after all written in the fifties when much of the 50 secrecy laws were still in effect.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I would also point out that "The Longest Day", IIRC, covers only June 6, 1944; whereas Beevor's book covers the whole Normandy campaign.

    IMHO, read Ryan's book first, than move on to Beevor's.
     
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  9. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    That is the way I would approach the subject as well, the Ryan book will whet the appetite for more detail, which will be easily supplied by Beevor's work.
     
  10. zman

    zman Member

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    Alright I'll try it. Thanks for all your help guys.
     
  11. Sigma214

    Sigma214 Member

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    I would also add to the mix, Stephen Ambroses' book "D Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II". An excellent read.

    Buzz
     
  12. STURMTRUPPEN

    STURMTRUPPEN Member

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    both are good books anyway
     
  13. WotNoChad?

    WotNoChad? Member

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    Solid suggestion. Ambrose is an excellent source.
     
  14. André7

    André7 Active Member

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    Hasn't Ambrose been attacked for historical innacuracy?

    I've heard that he fabricated a few incidents that have been brought into question by eye witnesses.

    Cliff Chadderton of the Canadian war Amputees, a veteran of D-Day, also accused Ambrose of writing from a bias against the various other allied powers (British, Polish, Canadian, Free French,etc.).

    I have shied away from reading it so far because of some of these accusations.

    That said, I enjoyed "Pegasis Bridge" and "Band of Brothers" and I read most of "Citizen Soldiers" (though I found it less involving).
     

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