We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
The Dead and Those About to Die Audiobook

The Dead and Those About to Die: D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach

Regular Price:$24.49
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

A white-knuckle account of the First Infantry Division’s harrowing D-Day assault on the eastern sector of Omaha Beach - acclaimed historian John C. McManus has written a gripping history that will stand as the last word on this titanic battle. Nicknamed the Big Red One, First 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 50 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 19 hours of hell - and their ultimate triumph - on June 6, 1944.

©2014 John C. McManus (P)2014 Gildan Media LLC

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (474 )
5 star
 (210)
4 star
 (178)
3 star
 (73)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.4 (436 )
5 star
 (235)
4 star
 (138)
3 star
 (52)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.2 (434 )
5 star
 (176)
4 star
 (178)
3 star
 (60)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 07-04-14
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 07-04-14 Member Since 2011

    I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    529
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    256
    246
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    57
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Detailed Account of D-Day"

    John C. McManus gives the reader an in depth account of what occurred on D-Day on the eastern sector of Omaha Beach. This was where the First Infantry Division had been commanded to attack. The men who had engaged in many battles for the past year felt that they should have been allowed to go home. However, the brass had a different idea. Their division was known to get the job done, Therefore, they sent the First.

    The invasion was harrowing, to say the very least. Men were shot dead in the water, which continued to get deeper. The packs the men carried made it almost impossible to tread through the deep water, let alone trudge up the sandy beach.

    The beach was inundated with bombs that continued to explode, taking the soldiers with them. Those that made it to the beach had to find cover so as not to be killed or wounded. However, there was hardly any cover to be found. Trenches were dug, cliffs were found but nothing would keep the German's from firing.

    The First Infantry Division were not cowards and the medals that some won and the death of too many proved that this was so.

    The book was researched in depth. The author used names of the men that were too many to remember. He bared wide open the description of how the men struggled. What happened to the men when the bombs exploded beneath them. All of the gory details were in the words spoken by the narrator, Dan Hagen. He did a very good job. The character's that spoke left no idea of who it was because their sentences were short but their fighting was not.

    I found this book provided me with the best description of what occurred on Omaha Beach on D-Day. The men faded into the darkness, both American and German. Tomorrow would come with the sun. Some men slept, yet other's laid awake. Both sides patrolled throughout the night.

    The words, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, were not used, instead the words, Battle Fatigue. The words were and are one and the same.

    Purchase, The Dead and Those About to Die, and you will be sure to listen and know just what Omaha Beach was then and remembered now and forever. The hallowed ground where American's fought and died to preserve world peace will maintain its memories forever, never to be forgotten.

    38 of 46 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Matthews, NC 11-28-15
    Wayne Matthews, NC 11-28-15 Member Since 2016

    I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5766
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1372
    894
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    193
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "D-day history."

    With The Dead and Those About to Die historian John C McManus writes about the famed First Division's assault on a section Omaha Beach. This is not a comprehensive history of the WWII D-day invasion; it is a history of what happened that day on a section of Omaha Beach from the perspective of individuals. There is much horrible death and uncommon feats of valor.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 06-18-15
    Mark 06-18-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good account of the Big Red One!"

    Thoroughly enjoyed the narrators performance, the style of the book and the historical accuracy of events. All enthusiasts of ww2 military history will enjoy this book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Hawryluk 06-13-15
    N. Hawryluk 06-13-15 Member Since 2016

    SpikeDelight

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    39
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Overstuffed With Great Stories, Becomes Tiresome"

    Book is packed with incredible, brutal and heroic accounts of soldiers taking part in the D-Day invasion. Unfortunately there are just too many incredible accounts, and it begins to sag under its own weight. Maybe this won't bother others, but I found the pacing combined with the exacting detail regarding numbered combat zones and weaponry grating after about the halfway point. Narrator's drone doesn't help, though I'm not sure how much he can be blamed. Overall it's a worthy read for the scenes within, I just think it could be more cohesive as a work.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    El Guapo 08-08-16
    El Guapo 08-08-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Big Red One gets the job done"

    The Omaha Beach landings from the perspective of the division considered the shock troops of the US Army.. The Big Red One had assaulted the beaches of North Africa in Operation Torch, and Sicily in Operation Husky. They were experienced and tougher than Christmas fruitcake, unlike the rookie 29th Division who landed on the beach with them. But it was the Big Red One who were the crucial element that day in Normandy. They were the ones who led the way off the bloody beaches. All in all, this is my second favorite account of the Normandy landings. My favorite, and the definitive account, being the Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan. The narrator did an excellent job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Oswego, IL, United States 07-10-16
    James Oswego, IL, United States 07-10-16 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    88
    51
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Never forget"

    So poignant and moving with extraordinary primary accounts of history. It made me cry, made me consider the moment by moment terror these men and women lived through. God bless them all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paige 06-01-16
    Paige 06-01-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    81
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good but lacking"

    Good information and actually summed up well in he end. But, overall filled with terms and acronyms that a layman doesn't know and too many names and places to actually keep straight. A glossary, map and list of names would have been helpful.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt hamilton, New Zealand 11-27-15
    Matt hamilton, New Zealand 11-27-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just a great read"

    Very well spoken, shocking chapter in war history but needs to be told and this is the best chronicle of it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Romeo421 06-12-15
    Romeo421 06-12-15 Member Since 2016

    Hi

    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great history"

    Great book. Most Americans are probably unaware of the sacrifices made by the Big Red One. This book reminds us if those. Thank a soldier, buy them a beer or a burger and thank them.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles 06-11-15
    Charles 06-11-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "awesome account of D-day"

    Really depicted what happened that day and the struggle those men went through to take that beach.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.