A Critique of 'D-Day June 6,1944: The Climatic battle of WWII'


The book D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II was written by Stephen E. Ambrose, and published by Simon & Schuester in New York. This book begins with a prologue that is followed by 32 chapters, a glossary, endnotes, a bibliography, an appendix, and an index. The first ten chapters give the events that lead up to D-Day, it discusses a variety of topics ranging from, general topics like the attackers and the defenders, to topics like what kind of weather conditions would be necessary for the invasion. Chapters 11 through 14 discuss the air invasion that occurred shortly after midnight, and the air and naval bombardment of the beaches prior to the infantry landing on the Normandy shore. Chapters 15 through 25 cover the landings on the beaches and the struggles of the American forces to get up the bluffs and inland. Chapter 26 titled "The World Holds Its Breath", is exactly what it says, it gives a view of the home front during the invasion. Chapters 27 through 31 talk about other allied landings on the beaches. Chapter 32 ends the book by giving a summary of the accomplishments of D-Day, and giving the general feelings toward the success of the invasion after the first day of fighting. This book was written to provide everyone with an up close and personal view of WWII.

The first two chapters on the book are titled " The Attackers" and "The Defenders". In these two chapters the author talks about the warring nations. The Germans who originally used blitzkrieg style warfare to remove the allied powers from Europe, by 1944 had dug in, and was now a complete opposite of what they once were. This would have probably worked just fine had the Nazis not conquered more territory than they could defend. Hitler knew that an invasion was immanent and that if he could send the allies back into the channel with great loses it would take months to organize another attempt, and hopefully by then Roosevelt and Churchill, would be gone.

The allies had to penetrate Hitler?s Atlantic Wall. This stacked the deck in Hitler?s favor, because the Allies would have to cross the English Channel an make an amphibious assault on the German fortifications. Prior to WWII there had only been two times that an attack such as this was successful One was led by Julius Ceaser, and the other was led by William the Conqueror. The Allies had managed three successful landings by 1943 in North Africa, and the Mediterranean. They would have the guns of the American and British Navy the two strongest at that time. They lacked a good landing craft for the infantry to go ashore in, this problem was solved with the advent of the Higgens boat. There was also a problem that no one could do anything about, they were allies, and there were many negative feeling between the American soldiers in Britain, and the British soldiers. Not only did the allied commanders have to face Hitler?s army, they also had to keep the peace between their own men.

The next chapter introduces the commanders of both armies. The fist part of the chapter talks about how the lives of Dwight Eisenhower and Erwin Rommel. Were almost a mirror image of the others both were of German descent both played sports, both joined their country?s respective military academies, both had risen to the top through there missions in North Africa in the earlier part of WWII. Next the author describes the confusion that Rommel has to deal with because of the German command structure. He also talks about the strenuous schedules of both Rommel and Eisenhower. This chapter is important because it allows the reader to understand where the leaders are thinking when they are making their decisions on what way to win the war.

Chapters four through ten discuss all of the little details that went into planning the operation. Many obvious things such as deciding on a landing place were very complicates, due to the geography of the French coast, not only did the landing site have to have a way to get infantry on land, it also had to have a port at the site or preferably nearby. Then they had to consider the strength of the German fortification on and around