NORMANDY ’44 – D-Day & the Battle for France

A New History, By James Holland

D-Day and the 76 days of bitter fighting in Normandy that followed have come to represent the most defining episode in the Second World War in the West.  It is a story that has remained at the heart of the narrative of the war – the subject of books, films, television series, documentaries, and comic books.  The story is a familiar one and yet it is also a narrative entrenched by both myth and assumed knowledge.

In this new narrative history, James Holland peels back the layers to present a broader overview, one in which much of what think we know about D-Day and the Normandy campaign is challenged.  This is an account in which supply and ‘big’ war, as demonstrated by the Allies, ultimately dwarfs the strategic, operational and tactical limitations of the German forces.  It is an account in which air power plays a more dominant role and where the mechanics and operational level of war are laid bare, demonstrated through the experiences of those who were there and lived and fought through this extraordinarily brutal campaign.  And the shocking violence and carnage of the battle is revealed in disturbing and unflinching detail; in terms of daily casualties, it was worse than any in the First World War.

Drawing on archives and testimonies from around the world and introducing a cast of eye-witnesses that includes foot soldiers tank men, fighter pilots and bomber crew, sailors, civilians and resistors, and commanders through to those at the coal-face of the violence, this is a narrative of those defining moments of 1944, rich in fresh analysis but rooted in human drama, that will stand for a generation and more.