The late Stephen E. Ambrose used over 1400 interviews for his history of the D-Day invasion. This “oral history” approach brings the reader into the heart of the battle through eye-witness testimony. The tales of the front line infantryman sweeps the reader up into their personal histories. The story is told from the individual and small unit level often failing to describe larger unit actions or explaining how the individual actions fit into the total picture. Let is shared of what happened on the Canadian and British beachheads. Historical controversies are often given minimal coverage. These are simply good stories of many individual experiences.
The book is not a textbook for lessons on strategic decision making or to answer big picture questions. Ambrose touches on these larger issues in a general focus, but that is not his focus. This is a book about the American achievement in Normandy. The individual courage and independence of the American small unit leaders is big story of this book. Ambrose is right on target as he tells the story of their braveness and toughness. Read and reviewed in 1999 by Jimmie A. Kepler.