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This Essay Is A Review Of Stephen Ambrose's "D Day"

707 words - 3 pages

Stephen Ambrose, a military historian famous most recently for his assistance to Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks in the making of HBO's Band of Brothers utilizes oral histories from over 1400 sources in this book. His sources come from the United States, Canada, Britain, France and even Germany. His information is so thorough that he even lists information about the various military divisions from each country, types of weapons used, particular biographies of numerous soldiers and the beaches in which the battles were fought.Through these oral histories, research and interviews with those who stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, Ambrose gives major detail about the most notorious invasion in history. Termed "The Longest Day" by then General Dwight D. Eisenhower, D-Day is considered by some to be the most important day in modern history.Ambrose' first interview in the making of this book was with General Eisenhower. This occurred in 1964 when Mr. ...view middle of the document...

The final product was a 32-foot boat with enough room for 32 soldiers. (Imagine - One foot per grown man?!) The boats were made of steel and wood. They were not expensive to make and the design was not difficult. They were not comfortable, but were perfect for their intended use. They handled the rough ocean waters well and held a platoon.Termed "Operation Overlord", the invasion of Normandy was planned several years in advance. The ultimate goal of the Allied Forces was remove Germany from Western Europe. Hitler thought he had created an invisible "Atlantic Wall" that was untouchable by the rest of the world. Little did Hitler know that troops, weapons and vehicles were secretly shipped across the Atlantic Ocean for two years prior to the Invasion of Normandy.The first entry into Normandy was performed by the Pathfinders, an airborne unit. They flew in approximately one hour before the ground troops landed ashore the beaches. Pvt. William True of the 506th Squadron states that there were people down there, "shooting at me. Trying to kill Bill True!" The young men who were really just big boys were the intended of each and every bullet firing from the guns of the Germans.Interestingly, Ambrose' interviews reveal that the Axis fighters were mostly Russian, Polish, Hungarian and some were even of the Orient. Few were of German descent. They came from weak countries who forced their youths to fight for Hitler's cause. The only alternative of the young boys and men was automatic death by shooting.Ambrose' research was so meticulous that he and his assistants interviewed civilians at home in an attempt to get their viewpoint of D-Day. An English writer for the New Yorker, "Mollie Panter-Downes" wrote, "Everyone is existing merely from one ordinary day to the next, waiting for the gret, extraordinary one." Another woman from the States , Mrs. Randolph Edwards of Norfolk, Virginia named her daughter Dee Day Edwards when she heard the news of the invasion on June 6, 1944.I feel this book is a remarkable piece of work. Considering the research began in 1964, Ambrose's extreme dedication is apparent. I also wonder if Ambrose's interest in the survivors of World War II might have been somewhat therapeutic to them.

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