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The Dead and Those about to Die Lib/E: D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach Audio CD – Unabridged, May 1, 2014
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About the Author
Don Hagen has been behind the microphone since fifth grade. He is a nine-time winner of the Peer Award for narration/voice-over and twice winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award. He has also been heard in radio and television commercials and documentaries. In addition to his freelance voice work, he is a member of the audiobook narration team at the Library of Congress.
- ASIN : B08ZB919RR
- Publisher : Gildan Media Corporation; Unabridged edition (May 1, 2014)
- Language : English
- ISBN-13 : 979-8200622252
- 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.
John McManus knocks the cover off the ball with his thoroughly researched and easy-to-read account of the storied First Infantry Division's amphibious assault on Omaha Beach. Journal accounts and U.S. Army after-action reports shed further light on the exploits of a cadre of valiant Americans crashing through the Wehrmacht defense and its heavily fortified series of strongpoints overlooking the Allies' landing sites at Normandy. Focusing on the Big Red One's assigned sector of Omaha, McManus offers the inside story of how American forces were able to secure a beachhead that momentous day in June of 1944.
With names like 'Streczyk,' 'Richmond,' 'Pinder,' 'Strojny,' and 'Spalding,' courageous Big Red One Soldiers fought for a toehold on Easy Red beach. They negotiated a labyrinthine network of obstacles and mines one obstacle after another while taking withering fire from weapons of virtually every range and caliber. The Dead and Those About to Die is also the story of how the leaders of the First Infantry Division – Huebner, Wyman, Taylor, Richmond, and Monteith among them – established themselves in the U.S. Army's pantheon of heroes.
Major General Clarence Huebner, the Division Commander, brought further tempering to the battle-hardened First Division G.I.s while training them in England in preparation for what would prove to be the pinnacle of beach landings in WWII’s European theater. Long days of training would serve the Big Red One Soldiers well as they fought ferociously to get off Easy Red. Leadership won the day, however, as men such as Captain Kimball Richmond, a courageous combat officer of the first order, pushed forward through the nearly impregnable Wehrmacht defenses. Setting the example for the enlisted troopers is what Richmond did best. His leadership, and that of other First Division leaders, made all the difference in overcoming hardened Wehrmacht ramparts and superior firepower.
For his part, Colonel George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regimental Commander, recognizing that the key to success in amphibious operations is pushing through the initial shock and fear that causes men to freeze upon hitting the beach, led from the front. Upon landing, Colonel Taylor knew that his priority had to be getting the men moving off the shore. And, his calm, clear-headed personal example did just that – inspired the troopers to overcome their shock at the sights, sounds, and even smells of pitched battle, and fight on to their first-day objectives. Ultimately, his rallying cry, "There are only two kinds of men on this beach, those who are dead and those who are about to die. Let's get the hell out of here!" inspired the men of the Big Red One, drove them into the heart of the Wehrmacht's fortifications, and saved countless lives.
Through his extensive research, including records retrieved from German Army archives, McManus does a magnificent job recounting the extraordinary fight in the Easy Red sector of Omaha Beach. As well, he reinforces his accounts of heroic actions with quotes from those who observed them firsthand. The survivors acknowledge in their statements that they fought first and foremost for the man on their left and right.
The First Infantry Division accomplished the seemingly impossible. Despite a dug-in, hardened Wehrmacht coastal bulwark consisting of trenches, pillboxes, and casemates, as well as artillery, deployed in-depth, the heavily contested landing on Easy Red succeeded. Though the assault force lacked tanks in numbers sufficient to provide much-needed support to the Big Red One infantryman, he still found a way to win. Without a doubt, the First Division medics and Navy corpsmen struggling to sustain life amid horrific injury while remaining exposed to plunging fire from machine guns and a steady barrage of artillery shells, leave the reader in awe.
The Dead and Those About to Die ultimately reminds us that we, as Americans, owe a debt of gratitude to those Heraclitus refers to in his famous quote. Take Technical Sergeant Phil Streczyk, an E Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Soldier, inarguably one of the true heroes of the Normandy beaches, for instance. Streczyk remarkably broke through the Wehrmacht defense, attacked the enemy fortifications from the rear, cleared out trenches and pillboxes, and took prisoners. He received the Silver Star four times as a Big Red One Soldier serving in multiple campaigns in Tunisia, Sicily, and France. He earned the Distinguished Service Cross for his gallantry on Easy Red and farther inland. It is Soldiers like Streczyk who indeed "bring the others home."
Finally, the officers and men of the Big Red One landing at Omaha Beach left a legacy of courage that contemporary Big Red One Soldiers strive to honor still today. It is worth the price of this book to understand why.
Top reviews from other countries
Hopefully consigned to History, never more to be repeated.