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History Happy Hour

Episode 98: Normandy Master Class

In the spirit of the first ever Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours Normandy Master-class I am including my favourite books on each of the invasion beaches. Obviously this only touches the surface.

D-Day Pegasus: The Red Devils in Normandy, Lloyd Clark A short, but very complete, introduction to the role of the British 6th Airborne Division on the left flank of the Allied landings. Covers a part of the story that most Americans do not know enough about.

Caen Controversy: The Battle for Sword Beach, Andrew Stuart A thorough history of the landings of 3rd British Infantry Division and attached units on the left most invasion beach of D-Day that also delves into the controversy surrounding the “failure” to seize Caen on the first day of the invasion.  

Juno Beach: Canada’s D-Day History, Mark Zuehlke Zuehlke is one of Canada’s most prolific military writers. His history of Canada’s D-Day landings in well written and thorough. If you will only read one book about Juno beach you can’t go wrong with this volume. If you want to delve a bit deeper, this is the first book in a trilogy that discusses the role played by 1st Canadian Army in the whole Normandy campaign.  

Gold Beach, Simon Trew Another in the Battlezone Normandy series that gives a short, but thorough, history of the landings on Gold Beach. I particularly like Trew’s discussion of the battles on the high ground overlooking the beach and the actions that led to Stan Hollis being awarded the Victoria Cross.  

Omaha Beach & Utah Beach, Joseph Balkoski Joseph Balkoski is, unquestionably, the dean of American historians writing on the Normandy landings. His two books on the American landing beaches remain unsurpassed for their coverage of the two U.S. landing beaches. It also doesn’t hurt that Joe is a frequent guest on HHH.  

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