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Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781800962170

Price: £25

ON SALE: 23rd May 2024

Genre: Humanities / History / Military History / Second World War

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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A LANDMARK NEW ACCOUNT OF THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF WW2, IN THE WORDS OF THE PEOPLE WHO LIVED IT

**** ‘Comprehensive… from a large and wide range of witnesses on both sides’ –The Telegraph

‘A sprawling history of D-Day from the point of view of participants on both sides.’ –Kirkus

‘A masterpiece of oral history. Stirring, surprising, grim, joyous, moving and always riveting.’ –Evan Thomas


‘A new, complete portrait in time for the 80th anniversary […] Graff uses a wide array and diversity of voices that give a fuller picture of the lead-up to the invasion, as well as the fighting itself.’ –Associated Press

On 6th June 1944, the Allied invasion began. For hours, wave after wave of soldiers, sailors, and airmen crossed the channel and stormed the Normandy coast, fighting to gain a foothold in Nazi-occupied Northwest Europe. It was the largest combined air and seaborne invasion ever, involving over 150,000 Allied troops on the ground, and its eventual success became a critical turning point in the war, spelling the beginning of the end for the Third Reich.

As the events of that day fade from living memory, it’s more important than ever to understand what it felt like to be there and to live through it, on both sides. In this definitive work, Garrett M. Graff, the bestselling author of The Only Plane in the Sky: The Oral History of 9/11, compiles over 600 US, Canadian, UK, French and German voices to tell the full story of exactly how that historic day unfolded, in visceral detail – as well as the weeks and months leading up to it. From paratroopers to fighter pilots to nurses, generals, French villagers, German Defenders to Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, this is the most intimate re-telling of D-Day published to date.



Praise for THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY:

“The most moving and chilling oral history you will read.” The Times

“Incredibly evocative and compelling.” The Washington Post

“A hugely powerful new book.” Dan Snow

“Astonishing book about an astonishing, terrifying atrocity, relived in real time by those who were there. I read it in one sitting & was utterly gripped from start to finish.” Piers Morgan

Reviews

This is one of the greatest war stories ever told. Through the words of the people who made D-Day happen or bore the brunt, Garrett Graff has crafted a masterpiece of oral history. Stirring, surprising, grim, joyous, moving and always riveting.
Evan Thomas, NY Times Bestselling historian and author
A sprawling history of D-Day from the point of view of participants on both sides. . . . [and] a timely reminder of the cost of war, as well as the bravery of those who stormed the beaches all those decades ago.
Kirkus reviews
This is truly an excellent read. Unique, in many ways, and thoroughly recommended.
Matt Johnson, LoveReading
The author of The Only Plane in the Sky has a knack for finding fresh ways to consider exhaustively rehashed historical episodes. . . . The oral-history template lends the tale a striking immediacy, and he excavates stories from a wide swath of people from both sides of the war whose testimonies recall immense bravery and utter devastation while reminding readers of the capriciousness of victory, not to mention survival. As one U.S. Navy veteran put it: 'Call it luck, divine providence, call it what you please, but here I am.
The Washington Post, "Seven Historical Books to Read This Summer"
Absolutely gripping. . . . Graff, who was a Pulitzer finalist last year for Watergate, has collected thousands of short statements from soldiers, nurses, pilots, children, neighbors, sailors, politicians, volunteers, photographers, reporters and so many more and then woven them together to create a contemporaneous narrative of the Allied invasion on June 6, 1944. . . . Given the political situation in the United States today, when some of our leaders are so complacent, even enthusiastic, about the resurgence of fascism, the power of this story feels spiked with foreboding. . . . Never before have I approached Memorial Day in a state of such somber awe."
Ron Charles, The Washington Post Book Club Newsletter
A new, complete portrait in time for the 80th anniversary commemorations [...] Graff uses a wide array and diversity of voices that give a fuller picture of the lead-up to the invasion, as well as the fighting itself... His skills at sifting through the accounts and documents propel the action throughout the book. [...] A testimony to the value in preserving memories from grand historical events, demonstrating how much can be unearthed from even the most familiar stories.
Associated Press