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The Dead and Those About to Die Audiobook

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

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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

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Performance
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  •  
    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.

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    "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.

    40 of 48 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 06-18-15
    Mark 06-18-15 Member Since 2013
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    "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

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Hawryluk 06-13-15
    N. Hawryluk 06-13-15 Member Since 2016

    SpikeDelight

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    "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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Matthews, NC 11-28-15
    Wayne Matthews, NC 11-28-15 Member Since 2017

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

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    "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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 03-22-17
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 03-22-17 Member Since 2013

    Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

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    "I Can Now See the Parallels"

    This is the most gut wrenching account of war I've read/listened to . . . and I don't think I'll ever be the same . . . the accounts of the survivors who came back from Omaha Beach, their families and the nightmarish lives they lived are etched on my mind . . . I needed to hear it . . . as much as it sickened me . . . this horrific account of what naive young men, still teenagers saw, did and gave while trying to save their fellow soldiers . . . because for the last ten years our family has watched our two sons, after coming back from combat in Iraq, and tried so hard to find the boys that they were before they left . . . but those two "boys" are gone . . . battles with alcohol . . . broken marriages . . . anger issues . . . and a lot of tears for all of us . . . without faith in God, I do not know how families survive . . . the book was an eye-opener . . .

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald Rosenthal Wilmette, Ill. 03-22-17
    Ronald Rosenthal Wilmette, Ill. 03-22-17 Member Since 2013

    Ron Rosenthal

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    "Hated the reader"

    This is the first book (in all my years of listening to Audible), that I disliked the announcer so much that I stopped listening in 10 minutes. I then downloaded the print version to finish. I thought his read was bland and uninspired. This heroic story deserved a voice that was into the subject and not just a page reader. Also the tone of his voice sounded to me condescending and arrogant. If this was a college class I would have dropped it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Warf 05-03-17
    Warf 05-03-17 Member Since 2014
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    "death and saddness"

    wow so much death and details. a good book to read to learn about Wll.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FishBowlStacks Atlanta, GA 03-16-17
    FishBowlStacks Atlanta, GA 03-16-17 Member Since 2015
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    "This story encapsulated the nightmares of D-day!"

    The novel helped to envision the thoughts hopes and struggles of American Heroes on the toughest day a World War II! Even as a current Soldier it's hard to Envision the terror these brave men faced yet show the intestinal fortitude to accomplish the mission on behalf of our nation!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Weslee 01-27-17
    Weslee 01-27-17
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    "Well read complete account!"
    What does Don Hagen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A sense of timing and pace to the narrative that drew me deeper into the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it was one where a bit of decompression was needed before diving back in.


    Any additional comments?

    A minute by minute account of the Big Red One's action on Omaha Beach. Incredibly detailed action from first-hand reports and military documents. At times, slightly tricky to follow, but nevertheless enthralling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 11-15-16
    Paul 11-15-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Good narration,great story line.quite interesting."

    very impressive the facts and figures of the invasion of Omaha Beach.it is a Great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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