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The Human Face of D-Day (Hardback)

Walking the Battlefields of Normandy: Essays, Reflections, and Conversations with Veterans of the Longest Day

Military > By Century > 20th Century WWII

By Keith Nightingale
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 288
Illustrations: 40 photographs plus 3 maps
ISBN: 9781636241029
Published: 31st March 2023


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Ever since Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, the men who survived have sought to return, to honour their dead, and to teach others of what they went through to liberate Europe.


Soldier Keith Nightingale has conducted terrain walks in Normandy for over forty years with veterans, active-duty military, and local French civilians. Over the decades Nightingale conducted dozens of formal interviews and informal conversations with many of the principals of the day, including Generals Bradley, Collins, Gavin, Ridgway and Hill. Added to this rare, new primary material from the top brass are numerous conversations with lower-ranking vets who did the heavy lifting, many of which took place as they actually walked the battlefield with Nightingale – Major Howard of Pegasus Bridge; LTC Otway of Merville Battery; Captain Piper of La Fière Bridge; LTC Vandervoort, CO of the 2-505/82d; Cpt Raeen of the 5th Rangers; Lt Dick Winters of Brécourt Manor; PFC Marcucci of Omaha Beach; and SSG Lem Lomell of Pointe Du Hoc.


This unique approach to D-Day combines the author's discussions with veteran and civilian participants in D-Day, his personal reflections on Operation Overlord, and the insights that occur – often at the very site of a battle. Interspersed with veterans' remarks, Nightingale's personal essays are inspired by specific discussions or multiple interviews. Taken together, the succinct, human observations of these participants illuminate the hard facts to create a unique work of long-lasting interest that will attract specialists, military history buffs, armchair generals, and general readers alike.

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About Keith Nightingale

Keith Nightingale was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in 1965 from Claremont McKenna College. He graduated from Airborne, Jumpmaster, and Ranger Schools and retired as a colonel in 1993. During that time he commanded four rifle companies, three battalions, and two brigades—all Airborne or Ranger units and some in combat. He served two tours in Vietnam, was part of the Iran hostage rescue attempt, commanded an assault force in Grenada, and managed the Department of Defense Interagency Counterdrug Task Force for Latin America from Panama. He was an original member of Joint Special Operations Command as well as a founding Plankholder for the 1st Ranger Battalion in 1974. After retiring from the military, he joined Science Applications International Corporation as Senior Corporate Vice President, managing over a thousand international contracts and security programs in the Middle East conflict zone. He presently serves as a consultant and advisor to several government personalities and organizations and conducts leadership seminars for several Fortune 500 companies. Col (Ret) Nightingale is a member of the 82nd Airborne and Ranger Halls of Fame.

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