D-Day

June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of WW II
Narrated by: Jesse Boggs
Length: 25 hrs and 17 mins
Categories: History, Americas
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,015 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Stephen E. Ambrose draws from hundreds of interviews with US Army veterans and the brave Allied soldiers who fought alongside them to create this exceptional account of the day that shaped the twentieth century. D-Day is above all the epic story of men at the most demanding moment of their existence, when the horrors, complexities and triumphs of life are laid bare and courage and heroism come to the fore.

©1994 Stephen E. Ambrose (P)2012 Simon & Schuster Audio

Critic Reviews

" D-Day is mostly about people, but goes even further in evoking the horror, the endurance, the daring and indeed, the human failings at Omaha Beach... Outstanding." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"Packed with drama and information, never losing sight of the horrors of combat, Ambrose's D-Day is the best book yet on what many historians consider to be the most important day of the twentieth century." ( San Francisco Chronicle)

What listeners say about D-Day

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What an epic story what great men

This is a book over 20 hours long but you could listen to it in one go. It is fantastic. The audible personal histories that a place and the right sections of the book add to the human side of the battle. By the end you know all the beaches, the French towns, the generals and some of the men. You get the overall picture of what happen, why, when and how. The analysis is good and you don't need visual aids to help you with maps, equipment, man power and the like. A well told story, entertaining and interesting. Worth the listen to if only to honour the men who died fighting this battle.Thank god for the yanks, Canadians, Brits and Free French who fought their way into Fortress Europa. Not to forget the non combatants, other nationalities and poor Eastern European conscripts. The story tells it all.

34 people found this helpful

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I learned something

Would you listen to D-Day again? Why?

No. I have been listening to audio books for at least 25 years and I have never listened to a book twice. I'm not going to start now.

What was one of the most memorable moments of D-Day?

I have read a variety of accounts of D-Day including several books but Ambrose was the first to tell the story of the destroyers which followed our soldiers to Omaha Beach and laid down five inch fire using the targets of the few tanks that made it ashore as guides for fire missions. In the Ambrose version, had one destroyer captain not seized the opportunity to move as close to shore as possible and lay down fire on the German gun emplacements our infantry may never have penetrated the shingle, the sea wall and the the German defenses. As a result of that captain's leadership four or five more destroyers fell in behind his ship and lay down covering fire and fire on specific objectives all without the use of one beach to ship radio. All the radio equipment carried on shore by the infantry had died by drowning in the surf. The Navy watched at first in horror and then one man reacted changing the entire situation. One whale of a story.

Which scene was your favorite?

The Omaha Beach destroyers without doubt.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I don't think I understood just how ill General Teddy Roosevelt was. Ambrose makes him a character more than a great warrior. Nonetheless he walked with his cane all over Utah Beach organizing some and encouraging a lot without regard for enemy fire. As a result Omar Bradley when asked what courage was said, something to the effect, "Courage was Ted Roosevelt on Utah Beach."

Any additional comments?

I now know something about the Canadian contribution to D-Day.

19 people found this helpful

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This is an awesome story about the greatest day

Where does D-Day rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book really exposes the greatness of that generation. I fear to say that if we had such a large issue arise today we would not have the numbers of people who would risk it all to deal with the issue.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the detail of the things that went wrong and how those men dealt with the issues, and drove on to complete their mission.

What does Jesse Boggs bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Jesse Boggs read this story in a way that I really think did justice to Ambrose. It almost made me think that Ambrose was reading it.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The greatest day in history.

23 people found this helpful

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Best book on d day

Second time listening to this and still in awe. Well researched and the description of the battle is vivid.

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Great book, decent performance.

Interesting book. The reader however had a real wet mouth oddly enough. Sounded as though he was chewing or had a cold. Made it very hard to listen to at times.

2 people found this helpful

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Great book of the grand invasion day of WW ll

Great (audio) book on the greatest invasion of all time. Ambrose gives balanced points of view from all sides of the big day. He does a great job of providing the Allies invasion planning and the German’s preparations for an invasion; especially Gen Erwin Rommel’s. He also gives highlights and errors on all sides that occurred prior, during and after the invasion began. Ambrose does this based on 100’s if not 1,000s of interviews. The book goes into great detail, sometimes a little too much detail, about events and items related to the invasion. But I loved hearing the book commuting to work and back home over a week or so, and more at home late in the evenings.

Ambrose does leave out some important details for the invasion preparation like using Gen George S Patton as a diversion and the great respect and fear the Germans had for his aggressive style and considered him the Allies best fighting general. Ambrose also leaves out a lot of the fake armies and fighting equipment used to deceive the Germans that Calais would be where the invasion would come from. Which overall, they already believed.

However, this is a great book on the big day and one I would listen to again to hear the parts that I missed while distracted or doing other things while listening to the audio book. I highly recommend this book as I do others by the Ambrose’s.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Detail

This book was excellent bring to light all the details that were necessary to pull off the d-day invasion

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Wonderful book, average performance

Would you consider the audio edition of D-Day to be better than the print version?

No.

What was one of the most memorable moments of D-Day?

General Cota's leadership by example.

Any additional comments?

Shouldn't a reader of a book about WWII in Europe at least try to learn how to pronounce the German names and ranks?

8 people found this helpful

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Fantastic History

I've read a lot of books on World War II...too many for me to count. I had family in the War and have always been fascinated by the incredible effort and bravery that went into saving the world from the dictators. I decided to listen to this book in advance of a visit to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans to both broaden and refresh my knowledge. I am really glad that I did. Professor Ambrose is a fantastic storyteller, and it does not get much better than this when it comes to a pure history book. He does a masterful job of mixing hard facts with anecdotal stories. I am really glad that I listened to this before going to the museum. Incidentally, if you like World War II history, I highly recommend a visit to the museum. I've been to a lot of great museums (my idea of a good vacation), and I can say that the World War II Museum is truly one of the best that I have ever seen. Be sure to book two days because you can't truly see it all in one.

4 people found this helpful

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Heroes and Failed Heroes

It's hard to imagine stepping into the shoes of these soldiers. Mostly young, inexperienced, foolishly brave or bravely foolish, I have unending admiration for every one of them.

1 person found this helpful

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  • michael
  • 01-08-17

Very little about the British and Canadians

This was a great audio book and very informative although it was mainly about the yanks! There wasn't much said about the British and Canadian beaches

4 people found this helpful

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  • Martin K
  • 08-09-19

Still great

Last time I read this book was 20 years. I had forgotten how thrilling the stories in the book are. All the personal stories and the structure of the chapters are great.

Only downside is that it doesn’t mention the British, Canadian and other forces, who shed their share of blood on d-day.

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  • jeff
  • 10-02-18

Typical USA jingoism

Sadly a unbalanced ( again ) version of DDAY on how the good old US of A managed to save the world as with any other conflict they get into .
No doubt historically accurate to a point but plays down the other allies contribution.

Very poor pronunciation of names and places both in the UK and France . Some simple research and simply asking someone would have been easy to sort out.

I would expect a competent author / narrator to know the basics of names such has who is this Lewis he speaks of rather than Louis (Loo -ee )
or the place called SALISSSBURY in the Uk Or Bayooo in France rather than Bayeux.

Moaning of UK weather and food , but accurately says we had been in the war a lot longer than the Americans , so maybe it wasn’t unexpected that the UK had less provisions ..

Still nothing more than expected from a xenophobic account .

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-05-19

misleading book title

Book should be called the historical account of American action in Normandy. Little mention of Canadian or British operations except those of paras or special forces. Historical accuracy is good with great detail of US operations but somewhat narrow. Would choose other books first if looking for a more thorough account.

1 person found this helpful

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  • M.
  • 12-14-13

D-Day the soldiers view

What made the experience of listening to D-Day the most enjoyable?

Ambrose captured the solider on the ground. Both the chaos and utter horror of that fateful day. Along side the Assault teams, he also shows the struggle in the higher levels of leadership.

What did you like best about this story?

For me the most striking aspect was the sheer bravery of men thrust into and life or death struggle. The chaos of the landing, the paralysing fear and the courage to face one's fears deeply humbled me.

What about Jesse Boggs’s performance did you like?

Jesse performs a well read book.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Of all my emotions, the most profound is the humbly awareness that these men faced the hell of those beaches to secure the freedom I now enjoy. Thank God for such a generation of men and women.

Any additional comments?

A book well worth the price.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-21-19

Disappointing

Terrible narration The guy can’t pronounce basic English names of Towns or Regiments.
I got 2/3rds the way though it and had to stop it was so annoying

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  • Mark McCarthy
  • 10-19-19

Outstanding

Have now listened to this three times. An amazing story, told with great care and passion.

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  • mpearson
  • 07-26-19

Great book

A book I would recommend to anyone with an interest in military history, every person should listen to this book to understand even slightly the sacrifices our fathers and grandfathers made during this horrific event in our history. Thank you to all the men and women for the sacrifices you all made.

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  • Derek
  • 03-06-19

Good story. Amusing pronunciation.<br />

They should really make sure that the narrator knows the correct way to pronounce the British place names etc. At least make the effort.

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  • Douglas
  • 05-12-17

Superb

Amazing detailed and easily listened to account of everything that lead up to and occurred on June 6th. Truly awesome.

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  • Dean
  • 08-10-20

As good as non fiction WW2 gets

A very detailed history of DDay. Definately one of the best histories that I've read.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-20-19

Absolute and extreme..

I had an Uncle serve on D Day from New Zealand and his leather bound photo album with uncut pictures from D day beach are very tearful...

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  • V. Christoforou
  • 06-28-17

Harrowing & Awe-inspiring

Where does D-Day rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I'm a history buff, predominantly historical conflicts and therefore this was of great interest to me. The book was very much along the lines of what I expected. Ambrose is very well researched and can illustrate a scene very vividly. He also brings in a lot of first-hand testimony which is a major plus, to hear the perspective of someone who was actually there. Very often, as we have come to expect from war vets, its quite understated and matter of facts, completely dismissive of the harrowing experiences they were placed in and the incredible feats of bravery they undertook.

All in all it was a great read and I would recommend to anyone interested in WW2 history.

What was one of the most memorable moments of D-Day?

The Omaha beach landing was and its portrayal in the stark terms of the veterans who were there and in their deeds as reported by Ambrose and even the Germans themselves was a real eye-opener and gives you an even greater appreciation for the ordeal.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narrator was mostly OK but at times I thought was a bit too monotone and could get a little difficult to follow.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book should if nothing else allow the reader to reflect on the nature of sacrifice and the human condition that is war. It is emotional at times but ultimately factual in nature.

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  • Dave Vane
  • 11-22-16

A great story with occasional irritations

A well researched and generally very enjoyable book with a great deal of detail about how troops were armed, provisioned and led. Individual's accouts are fascinating. Personal insights lift this above a dull history book.

However, the author's apparently poor opinion of the average English solider is evident on many occasions.

Also the mispronunciation of English place names by the narrator became quite annoying and detracted from the overall enjoyment of the book.