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Paperback The Longest Day : The Classic Epic of D-Day Book

ISBN: 0671890913

ISBN13: 9780671890919

The Longest Day : The Classic Epic of D-Day

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Book Overview

The classic account of the Allied invasion of Normandy. The Longest Day is Cornelius Ryan's unsurpassed account of D-Day, a book that endures as a masterpiece of military history. In this compelling tale of courage and heroism, glory and tragedy, Ryan painstakingly recreates the fateful hours that preceded and followed the massive invasion of Normandy to retell the story of an epic battle that would turn the tide against world fascism and free Europe...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Never-ending Day.

Cornelius Ryan's "The Longest Day" is assembled as a mosaic of scenes occurring at both sides of the Channel and afterwards on France. It shows all the main actors in action, ranging from Generals and Marshals thru Privates to Civilians. It is divided into three parts: "The Waiting" encompassing since the first invasion planning thru Eisenhower's decision to launch the assault against meteorological odds. This section reviews German defense plans, displaying Rommel's ingenuity in devising obstacles to the assault; the enormous Allied effort to secretly reunite troops and baggage; the failure of German High Command to acknowledge intelligence of the eminent invasion and finally the hair-raising suspense introduced by stormy weather. "The Night" describes the massive paratroop and glider-bound troop's assault and how the scattered soldiers, fighting their own fear and disorientation, pushed ahead to conquer their targets. "The Day" focuses on the beaches' assault, reviewing from "Bloody Omaha" till more calm (comparatively) "Juno". Based on eye witness accounts the book gives the reader a vibrant relation of the momentous Day. Especially thrilling are the portrayals of American Brig. Generals Theodore Roosevelt and Norman Cotta; the German Maj. Werner Pluskat and the British Lord Lovat and his blow-piper side kick. Those 24 hours should had seemed, as the title implies, an eternity to everyone involved! This book stands on par with two more remarkable ones: Toland's "The Battle of the Bulge" and Collins and Lapierre's "Is Paris Burning?" I warmly recommend this work to WWII buffs and readers interested in first hand accounts of crucial events! Reviewed by Max Yofre.

Truly a CLASSIC - Want to Learn About D-Day, Start Here!!!

Often the term "classic" is thrown around in the literary field without much regard to the real breadth of genre and writings, and is thus cheapened in use. When one describes Cornelius Ryan's "The Longest Day" as a classic piece in the WWII genre believe it. Such a term is NOT hype when used in the same sentence with this book. So many things about the "The Longest Day" make it truly a classic: First, Cornelius Ryan is a Master storyteller. Certainly it helps that Ryan was a war correspondent who experienced life in the combat zones of the ETO! Ryan's writing style is lilting and fun, his writings are easy reads yet full of historical depth. Sure his books are "popular" reading not simply deep academic works, but they ARE important contributions to the historical literature. Second, the story is simply one so compelling that even the best novelist would have a hard time toping. By combining writing talent with a great human story, "The Longest Day" represents literature at its best - in any genre. Third, historical content - the story told in "The Longest Day" - as just mentioned - is so compelling that it need not be, and was not, embellished to make it readable. Ryan has done the hard work of culling documents and interviewing numerous sources to gain factual clarity. Again, it is clear that his time spent as a correspondent helped his fact gathering abilities and thus contributed greatly to the success of this book. If you want a story of D-Day that covers THE DAY (and a few proceeding and following in much less detail) from both sides of the fence, Allied and Axis; from the air, sea and land; from perspective of Coastguard Coxswain to rifleman on any one of the beachheads to a German artillery officer caught in the midst of the greatest show of democracy to Generals running the show, this is the book to start with. Great depth and broad breadth! As the 60th Anniversary of D-Day approaches why not pick up a "classic" to get a feel for what the Greatest Generation gave to the world on June 6, 1944. Five stars, two big thumbs up.

The Single Best Book On D-Day Yet Written!

Famed author Cornelius Ryan has a unique and appealing way of telling a story that makes his books quite unique, and this huge best seller is no exception. Here he sets the stage for his brilliant trilogy on the war in Europe by chronicling the events surrounding the fabled Allied sea-borne assault in Normandy on June 6, 1944. Its total cost in terms of human life and unnecessary destruction is a cautionary lesson for history. Like his other books, this is a story told at every level, but concentrating on the faithful recollections of the actual participants in the action. Thus, the reader is wept into the action as we get a voyeur's view of the moment-to-moment development of the story as it unfolds in all its horrific detail.There is a virtual cornucopia of information presented here, and Ryan's approach is scrupulously faithful to the facts, all of them, regardless of the source. Therefore, there is a great deal of attention paid not only to the recollections and experiences of the Allied assault troops, but to German defenders and French civilians caught in the terrible crossfire of the opposing forces. This was the book that originated the man-on-the-ground perspective that has been subsequently used to such advantage both by Ryan and number of notable others. There is little apparent effort here to color the results and make the Allies more circumspect and less provocative in making and activating their star-crossed assault. One gets the sense on reading this, as with each of Ryan's three books on the European campaign, that this is the whole story as best he could determine it, and he makes an extraordinary effort to include as much relevant information by way of using both recollection and contextual data to bolster a comprehensive picture of the battles as they unfolded all over Normandy and its environs. The late author Ryan was one of a handful of masterful storytellers and historians who emerged from the Second World War to chronicle its events so masterfully. Like John Toland, William Shirer, and a number of notable others, Ryan illuminated and familiarized a generation of readers with the human stories of war and destruction, and brought these otherwise unbelievable and incomprehensible experiences home to a waiting world of ordinary and otherwise bewildered citizens. This is one of the best of the efforts, shining the light of truth on one of the greatest moments in modern history, when the Allies stood fatefully in the breach, about to take the European continent back by force of arms from the terrible totalitarian forces that had stolen it so cruelly and violently four years before.

the gold standard

This is the gold standard among military history books, the masterful story of D-Day, the first day of the Allies' climactic invasion of Normandy.This is an eminently readable book, one that most readers -- even those without interest in military or history books -- will find impossible to put down, even though the outcome is well known. Cornelius Ryan brings surprising clarity to the multi-faceted D-Day operation, allowing us to view the events of June 6, 1944 from many perspectives: German, French, British, Canadian and American. My only complaint with "The Longest Day" -- a quibble, really -- is that the soft-cover version I purchased lacked any maps, which would have been useful for a geographically-challenged reader such as me.If you've seen the movie, I'd encourage you to read the book. If you haven't seen the movie, read the book and then rent the movie. You'll find it an enjoyable experience, worthy of all the 5-star ratings you see here.

Great Book about the first twenty-four hours of D-Day

A masterful account of the first twenty-four hours of the D-Day invasion. Mr. Ryan transports the reader all over the battlefield, giving numerous perspectives (both allies and axis) to the events that unfolded on June 6, 1944.When I was a company commander serving in Germany, I required all my company officers to read this book as part of their professional development. They all thanked me afterwards for introducing them to one of Mr. Ryan's classic WWII books.I highly recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in WWII, or has read any of Mr. Ryan's other books (A Bridge Too Far, The Last Battle). Personally, I read this book and viewed the film (which is also a classic) before visiting the Normandy beaches. I felt this preparation made my trip to Normandy more meaningful and enjoyable.
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