NORMANDY ’44 BOOK
I first visited Normandy in 2004 at the time of the 60th anniversary of D-Day and in many ways this book is the culmination of the research I have been doing on the subject ever since.
My view of the war changed dramatically over a dozen years ago when I realised there was an entire aspect of war – the operational level – that had been largely left out of the narrative. Rather, successive historians had focused largely on the strategic level – the overall aims and high command – and the tactical, that is, the coal-face of war and the actual fighting. That bigger picture of supply and organization had been given scant regard.
The aim with this book is to present a broader narrative that throws a quite different light on one of the most important moments in recent history. I hope people will discover a very fresh analysis and that a lot of quite entrenched myths have been both questioned and kicked into touch.
NORMANDY ’44 TV SERIES
The new three-part TV series based very heavily on the book is available now. It’s a journey around Southern England and then the invasion beaches and deep inland across much of Normandy.
Accompanying me on this trip was Mike Simpson, former US Army Ranger and Special Forces physician. He’d not been to Normandy before so it was brilliant to see and hear his perspectives, which were always pertinent and borne from his extensive front-line experience over thirty years of serving in multiple theatres with the US Army.
We had unprecedented access to several key locations, including Brecourt Manor, where Dick Winters and the men of Easy Company took out four German guns on the morning of D-Day, and also roamed across many of the battlegrounds of the 77-day Normandy campaign, many of which are barely trod these days but which should not be forgotten.
Normandy today is a beautiful place once more as we’re showcasing in this series. I hope people who watch it will learn lots that’s new and will come away with a very fresh and different perspective on not only D-Day but the entire campaign.
NORMANDY ’44 PHOTOS
Quite understandably, there has to be a limit to how many pages of photos are inserted into a big, fat narrative history like Normandy 44, but fortunately there’s nothing to stop us from putting up a whole load more here on the Griffon Merlin website.
No-one was taking as many photos in Normandy as the Americans, so inevitably there are more US photos here than British, Canadian and Germans. None the less, I think they’re fascinating and cast a bit more light on those events of 1944.
I hope you find them so too.