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The Telegraph - The D Day Landings (Paperback)

D-Day & Normandy

By Philip Warner, Foreword by W F Deedes, Introduction by John Keegan
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 309
ISBN: 9781526764164
Published: 5th June 2019

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Seventy-five years have passed since that most mighty of armadas embarked across the English Channel. With hindsight, we know that Operation OVERLORD was a resounding triumph but, at the time, the risks and stakes were immense and the outcome far from a foregone conclusion. Set against the invading force was not only a ruthless enemy in formidable defensive positions but the uncertainties of the elements.

As Bill Deedes points out in his Foreword, it was the ‘ordinary man’ who turned this great undertaking into a reality and Philip Warner’s The D Day Landings reflects this by being a rich collection of personal accounts by just such individuals. We hear the experiences of RAF pilots who dropped the parachutists and towed the gliders; of sailors of the Royal Navy who had to negotiate minefields and other obstacles; and of a wide spectrum of soldiers. Some such as infantry, tank crews, gunners and sappers came face-to-face with the enemy while others, for example doctors and chaplains, provided vital support. Hostile fire does not distinguish between those roles any more than it does between high and junior rank. It is a fascinating privilege to share these widely diverse individuals’ experiences and emotions at such a defining moment both in their lives and in the history of the world.

Today no matter how hard we try, we cannot really know what was really going on through the minds of those thousands of men who so selflessly stepped into the unknown in the pursuit of freedom. But we are unlikely to come closer than by reading this evocative book so sympathetically compiled by a man who knew the fortunes of war better than most. Each section is introduced by clear explanation of the action concerned and the text is enhanced by maps and photographs.

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About Philip Warner

Philip Warner (1914–2000) enlisted in the Royal Corps of Signals after graduating from St Catharine’s, Cambridge in 1939. He fought in Malaya and spent 1,100 days as ‘a guest of the Emperor’ in Changi, on the Railway of Death and in the mines of Japan, an experience he never discussed. A legendary figure to generations of cadets during his thirty years as a Senior Lecturer at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, he will also be long remembered for his contribution to more than 2,000 obituaries of prominent army figures to The Daily Telegraph. In addition he wrote fifty-four books on all aspects of military history, ranging from castles and battlefields in Britain, to biographies of prominent military figures (such as Kitchener: The Man Behind The Legend, Field Marshal Earl Haig, Horrocks: The General Who Led From the Front (Pen & Sword, 2018) and Auchinleck: The Lonely Soldier (Pen & Sword, 2006) to major histories of the SAS, the Special Boat Services, Phantom and the Royal Corps of Signals. 



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