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The Dead and Those About to Die: D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach (DUTTON CALIBER) Paperback – May 21, 2019
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Nicknamed the Big Red One, 1st Division had fought from North Africa to Sicily, earning a reputation as stalwart warriors on the front lines and rabble-rousers in the rear. Yet on D-Day, these jaded combat veterans melded with fresh-faced replacements to accomplish one of the most challenging and deadly missions ever. As the men hit the beach, their equipment destroyed or washed away, soldiers cut down by the dozens, courageous heroes emerged: men such as Sergeant Raymond Strojny, who grabbed a bazooka and engaged in a death duel with a fortified German antitank gun; T/5 Joe Pinder, a former minor-league pitcher who braved enemy fire to save a vital radio; Lieutenant John Spalding, a former sportswriter, and Sergeant Phil Streczyk, a truck driver, who together demolished a German strong point overlooking Easy Red, where hundreds of Americans had landed.
Along the way, McManus explores the Gap Assault Team engineers who dealt with the extensive mines and obstacles, suffering nearly a fifty percent casualty rate; highlights officers such as Brigadier General Willard Wyman and Colonel George Taylor, who led the way to victory; and punctures scores of myths surrounding this long-misunderstood battle.
The Dead and Those About to Die draws on a rich array of new or recently unearthed sources, including interviews with veterans. The result is history at its finest, the unforgettable story of the Big Red One’s nineteen hours of hell—and their ultimate triumph—on June 6, 1944.
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“Magnificent! I could not put this book down. John McManus has expanded our knowledge of D-Day history by a considerable factor. It is a great read and will appeal to both devoted students of World War II as well as those with a more casual interest. Don't miss it!”—Joseph Balkoski, author of Omaha Beach and Utah Beach
“The Dead and Those About to Die is a gripping, first-hand account of the desperate battle for Omaha Beach on D-Day by the legendary 1st Infantry Division, the Big Red One. On the 70th anniversary of that momentous event, John C. McManus’s tale of courage under fire is a vivid reminder that freedom isn’t free and that when the chips are down stalwart American soldiers will always answer the call of duty.”—Carlo D’Este, author of Patton: A Genius For War and Warlord: A Life of Churchill at War, 1874-1945
“I closed this book with the deepest respect.”—Paul Kennedy, New York Times bestselling author of Engineers of Victory and The Rise and Fall of Great Powers
“This is as real as it gets without having been there.”—Walter R. Borneman, national bestselling author of The Admirals, Winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award
“John C. McManus has created a portrait with words as Spielberg did with images in Saving Private Ryan. Of course, creating such a vivid picture with words is, for my money, far more difficult.”—Paul Reid, co–author of The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965
“A skilled and highly talented author, John McManus has delivered another first-rate piece of scholarship. The Dead and Those About to Die is a tour de force of historical writing.”—Robert von Maier, Editor-in-Chief of Global War Studies
“McManus’s masterful work deserves a place alongside those of Cornelius Ryan, Stephen Ambrose and Rick Atkinson.”—David L. Roll, author of The Hopkins Touch
“John McManus’s brilliant chronicle of the Big Red One’s experience on Bloody Omaha captures the grit, pathos, and valor of the battle like no other book that I have read. This is gripping history—beautifully and masterfully told by one of America’s premier historians.”—Patrick K. O’Donnell, national bestselling author of Dog Company
“[A] powerful book.”—St. Louis Post–Dispatch
About the Author
- Publisher : Dutton Caliber; Reprint edition (May 21, 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1524745502
- ISBN-13 : 978-1524745509
- Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.01 x 0.81 x 8.95 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #144,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Okay, I should be finished, but . . . he should have included photos of each of the obstacles on the beach.
I do recommend this book and it really has added to my understanding of that day of days. Kudos to the author and may God bless all who have served or are serving in the Big Red One. What we owe them is incalculable.
The author uses the KISS principle in breaking down the invasion of the Big Red One. He uses easily understood maps to let the reader follow the process of an absolutely chaotic day. A great book to add to one's library.
The author touches on all facets of the invasion plan - training, D-day, reinforcements, support and weaves them into a cohesive read that lets the reader know all the things that went into the invasion plus all the things that went wrong - but more importantly how a few men brought order to a precarious situation.
East side of Omaha Beach, it was honestly an agony to read at times.. I did feel like I was there, every bit as much, if not more, than
when I watched "Saving Private Ryan"'s opening scene ( and yes, I know, that took place on the other end).
I had heard that the day was won at Omaha by small groups of men led by gallant officers and NCO's and
that there was supporting gunfire from Naval destroyers off the coast, but that's all I knew. This book
does an outstanding job ( in my opinion ) in describing exactly how all this came to be. I will never
think of D Day in the same terms again. The descriptions of how all this went down were very
accurate, very personal, extremely moving...
I had actually visited Omaha Beach in October of 2008, it was a beautiful day... I was on the West end and
could not believe though how one could see EVERYTHING, there was absolutely no place to
hide. The whole beach did indeed appear as if it could have been a giant killing field.
The men who took the initiative on this very grim and miserable day have to forever be among America's
The only question I have unanswered is : " why/how on earth did the pre-invasion naval bombardment
leave the defenders on Omaha completely and utterly unmolested ?
I do wish that the author would have discussed at least briefly that ( if I am correct ?)
Bradley ( even if but for a moment) considered calling it off as it looked like an utter
and complete catastrophe. If it was up to me, and if the landing did fail, I would
have pulverized the entire area for a few weeks with a non-stop "24/7" bombardment
of Naval 16" and 5" guns, and would have dropped napalm & 500 lb. bombs on
every square inch of the place, every day, then invaded it again. Sorry, I just had to
get that off my chest. Sorry, but this book did not exactly evoke a lot of compassion
for the Germans who were there, and that's just me, not the book..
If you are interested at all in D-Day, please give this book a chance, I could
not put it down !!!
Top reviews from other countries
Hopefully consigned to History, never more to be repeated.