by Jonathan Mayo
New York: Simon & Schuster Marble Arch, 2014. Pp. 304.
Illus., map, index. $25.00. ISBN: 1476772940
Eyewitness Accounts of D-Day as It Unfolded
British author and film documentarian Mayo tells the story of D-Day though hundreds of short items, mostly
personal recollections and quotes from memoirs, letters, official documents, news reports, and the like, including
such events as recollections
of Rommel’s wife’s birthday party,
FDR's D-Day radio message and prayer, reports about wargames, observations by glider pilots, many snippets of combat, and so forth.
These are linked by Mayo's asides and observations about the military situation.
Mayo has arranged these in chronological order into four “chapters” or sections. The first
two are short,
covering preliminary events in the weeks before the invasion
and then the events of
section covers the events of
in nearly 200 pages, and is followed by a shorter concluding section
titled “After D-Day.”
At times the accounts are almost literally minute-by-minute, cutting back-and-forth from place to place, landing craft to fighter bomber overhead to German observation post to troops huddled under cover against withering fire to Resistance workers conducting sabotage, and
back to the Home Front, whether in Britain or Germany or the U.S. Surprisingly, this
giving the reader
vivid, and often grim, picture of how many different people – British, French, German, American, Canadian, Russian, and others, whether soldiers, sailors, airmen, or civilians – experienced the events of the day.
While not a history of the landings, D-Day - Minute by Minute,
which has an excellent, detailed index,
reading for anyone interested in the war in Europe or in the nature of war.
Note: D-Day: Minute by Minute is also available in paperback, ISBN 978-1-7807, and as an e-Book, ISBN 978-1-4767-7295-0