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  2. The Longest Day
  3. The Longest Day : The Classic Epic of D-Day by Cornelius Ryan (1994, Paperback, Reprint)
  4. The Longest Day () - IMDb

Since my wife and I plan on traveling to Normandy at that time I felt it was important to read the latest works on the topic. As I began to familiar On June 6, thousands will descend onto the beaches of Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the allied landing that would eventually bring an end to Nazi domination of Europe during World War II.

As I began to familiarize myself with the history of the events that led up to the invasion, the invasion itself, and its historical ramifications I felt revisiting Ryan's work a useful place to start. His research consisted of hundreds of interviews of the participants including Americans, Canadians, British, French, and German soldiers and civilian, along with primary documents that were available.

In his account we can discern the difficulties in planning the invasion, carrying it out, and its emotional and physical impact on those who approached the Normandy beaches, and what transpired once they landed. In the end roughly 12, allied soldiers perished in the attack, with the Americans bearing half the number of casualties. Ryan possesses an almost intimate knowledge of what transpired, particularly the thoughts of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, who believed an allied invasion would coincide with a Russian move in the east.

Since a Russian attack was delayed because of a late thaw in Poland, Rommel decided to travel home on June 5th. Rommel firmly believed that he had left the beaches protected with the numerous underwater obstacles he created as well as the 60 million mines that were buried on the beaches. For Rommel, the key was to destroy invasion forces in the water before they could reach land. Whether he is describing the actions of allied midget submarines X20 and X23 off the shore of Normandy, the inability of the German command to obtain permission to release the 12th SS and Panzer Lehr divisions to combat the invasion, the experiences of individuals as they tried to cope with what was occurring around them, Ryan places the reader in the middle of the action, and one can visualize what is happening very clearly from his descriptions.

Ryan is correct in his account of how the German High Command reacted to reports of the allied landings.

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Ryan provides individual stories of the participants ranging from Lt. There are several interesting aspects dealing with the technological ingenuity of the allies, particularly the creation of two floating harbors that were towed across the channel, each harbor amazingly replicating the size of Dover, England. The invasion was a logistical nightmare and Ryan does a wonderful job providing insights into how certain problems were dealt with. Shelves: the-olden-days , military-history , bookmooch , nonfiction , mine-mine-mine , dead-trees.

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My first comment in Goodreads about this book is: "an orgasmic experience". Haha, I know some people will be intrigued by such clause and I did receive one comment. Anyway, I did mean it. This book is orgasmic. This kind of book can not be shortened into a three-hour movie, it has to become a series. It is not only about D-Day, but also about the bac My first comment in Goodreads about this book is: "an orgasmic experience".

It is not only about D-Day, but also about the background stories of that blessed day. Using more than 1, sources for this book — former US, British, Allied Forces soldiers, inhabitants of Normandy, even lots of former Nazi officers — Cornelius has successfully blended all their stories even if it is only a scrap of details into a masterpiece. My head shook with disbelief a number of times when reading this book. How could the Third Reich become so dim-witted? Bear in mind that D-Day operation, better known as Operation Overlord, had so many flaws in it, from the planning to the execution, which made it bound to fail.


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For example, intelligence report that killed hundreds of US Rangers to destroy a battery of guns which never existed. However, the Wehrmacht seemed to create better mess. Hence, they went into almost complete disarray. Imagine this: the only division stationed in Normandy Seventh Army was the last division that was notified of an ongoing invasion.

The Longest Day

Imagine this: there was a ready-to-fight panzer division who were forced to sit down watching helplessly the Allied Forces swarmed into Normandy just because Hitler's staff decided not to notify the Fuhrer and let him sleep in the make-believe beautiful world of Berchtesgaden until afternoon, while D-Day was started since midnight and H-Hour 6. Furthermore, the exalted, legendary Field Marshall Rommel, who knew from day one that Normandy was not invincible, seemed to be forgotten in the frenzy; nobody told him about the landings before it was too late.

A combination of red tape, ignorance and cockiness ruined the Krauts, for sure. My favorite part of the book is "The Night" chapter. One could not compare the atrocities and horrors experience by the paratroopers and the sea-borne soldiers. No way in hell. The tales about bravado showed by the soldiers, paratroopers, sailors, medics, minesweepers, etc in this book were exceptional, spiced up with occasional humors. Fallacies from both sides seemed to create a number of hilarious events, such as when a small unit of Allied soldiers came across a German unit in a French rural road, both units only stared and passed each other and did nothing!

The Longest Day : The Classic Epic of D-Day by Cornelius Ryan (1994, Paperback, Reprint)

A day when all might and force of the free world came to liberate the occupied continent from a malevolence that the world had never seen before. A day to remember. View all 5 comments. Shelves: ww2.

The Longest Day () - IMDb

I've read it and seen the movie many times. Always good to go back and reread the stories of our hero WWII soldiers for inspiration and gratitude. May 14, Carly Friedman rated it it was amazing Shelves: nfbc-brs-and-botms , audiobooks.

First German to Spot D-Day Invasion Force in "The Longest Day"

Five stars! The Longest Day is a fascinating and informative examination of one of the most important days in recent world history. I knew allied troops landed, many people died, and it turned the tide on the war - and that is it. I honestly just started this book because a good group of people on the Nonfiction Book Club were doing a Buddy Read on it.


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Ryan is a fantastic author because I never felt c Five stars! Ryan is a fantastic author because I never felt confused despite my lack of previous knowledge. I hate war movies as a general rule and thought I would be either bored or overwhelmed by gruesome descriptions. Could not have been more wrong. The descriptions of the preparations, first landings by the paratroopers, and the invasion from the sea were fascinating.

I was even interested by the summaries of the communications that occurred between military leaders. I had no idea that miscommunication between German leaders and their assumption that Normandy was not the "real invasion" played such a role. Interviews and sources from both sides were integrated very well into the narrative. I was struck over and over by the courage and sacrifice demonstrated by these men. I know that should be obvious to everyone but sometimes it takes a book like this to really make you appreciate it.

Jun 21, Elliot rated it really liked it Shelves: military-history , non-fiction , world-war-2 , history. After reading The Longest Day it is immediately apparent why my copy of the book has the tagline, The classic epic of D-Day printed on the cover. In this book, Cornelius Ryan delivers a very human-oriented account of D-Day. Ryan begins with The Wait ; that is, he spends a little time describing the build-up to the invasion.

On midnight, June 6th, Ryan begins the tale of D-Day in earnest. He skillfully weaves the story of the preparatory airborne operations by drawing on the experiences of French resistance fighters, paratroopers, and Germans alike. The confusion and chaos on all sides is almost tangible. It seems ludicrous to me that the German higher command were so slow on the uptake that these raids were the preliminary steps of the long-awaited invasion.


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  • The narrative then changes gear to focus on the beach landings—arguably the most drama episode of D-Day. In the acknowledgments, Ryan states that he crafted the narrative from the knowledge gained by conducting interviews with over one thousand D-Day survivors, from all sides. I really enjoyed how balanced the narrative is, as Ryan would switch back and forth between American, British, French, and German perspectives. However, this book is only an average military history. Because it is not a traditional military history, I suspect that The Longest Day will appeal to a very wide audience.

    For those uninterested in the minutiae of tactics, organization, and other military details, but who want to learn the story of D-Day, I think this book is a perfect choice. In less than one month, we are going to celebrate the 75th year of D-day. I am lucky that my reread of this book is the 70th anniversary collector's edition. The additional materials, war diaries, photos and interviews are truly fascinating.

    Go get this version if you can. You could even get used to the small fonts as the materials are so engrossing. Aug 30, Yasmin rated it it was amazing. A surprisingly easy read and very cinematic indeed, a movie was made of it that I hope to see one day. The Longest Day provides a bird's eye view of June 6th, flitting from viewpoint to viewpoint, from general to private, allied to enemy. This is an excellent introduction to D-Day and doesn't get bogged down in the nitty gritty of this unit fighting that unit at exactly such and such minute, but for the first time I am realizing just what a massive undertaking D-Day was.