Reading List (Update):  D-Day

By | April 1, 2021

[April 1, 2021]  If I were asked to name an event in world history that stood out the most, certainly the Allied Invasion of France on 6 June 1944 would be it.  Hundreds of books and articles are written that give us something important; insight into what freed the world from one form of tyranny.  Understanding the events leading up to the invasion and the intricate and highly complex struggle on that day is impossible for any individual, regardless of their intellect, to comprehend fully.  We can only take small glimpses into what happened on a day that will forever live in our minds as symbolic of what mankind can do, given the leadership and will to make things happen.  By the end of the day, D-Day, 6 June 1944, more than 24,000 Allied parachutists were already on the ground, 13,000 aircraft, nearly 7,000 naval craft, 200,000 vehicles, and 132,000 troops on the beaches, from 15 nations and regions.  The operation was highly choreographed and timed to the minutes with thousands of specific, detailed objectives –all these required months of detailed planning and a logistical effort unparalleled in history.

The First Wave: The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in World War II, Alex Kershaw, 2019.

Alex Kershaw gives us a perspective on the invasion of France, 6 June 1944, that is like a thrilling murder mystery; fast-moving, surprises at every turn, and despite knowing the outcome, we are drawn deeply into the book’s narrative.  I read the book in two days.  “The First Wave” is a collection of individual and small unit stories as they fought together across the entire front of Operation Neptune.  Every story is richly told, and Kershaw integrates them into an overview of the fight on that faithful day.  Published on the 75th Anniversary of the invasion, the author aptly conveys, in stirring detail, the bravery and determination of Allied forces.  Kershaw implies that credit for the operation’s success goes to the assault forces themselves, and some say that there is no reason to doubt that is the case.

Kershaw’s book does not focus on grand or even military strategy.  It is about the dogged foot soldier, the man with a rifle in his hand or aid bag on his hip.  Like any good book on history, The First Wave helps us understand events of that extraordinary day.  No previous knowledge of D-Day is required to read the book.  But it does help put things into perspective.  I like most of this book because Kershaw can put us into the landing crafts and into the gliders that delivered our men into what can only be described as hell on earth.  He tells their stories brilliantly, covering what each endured and within the context of their lives before D-Day.  Of course, the author’s information is from stories told by the men who did the fighting.

In a book review by Kirkus, he gives us a thumbs-up analysis of the book.  Kershaw, he writes, is “good at giving a you-are-there account, and it’s an eventful story indeed, told from both sides of the fight and featuring characters not often heard from…”  World War II buffs will find this an engaging, unchallenging read.

This book is highly recommended.

To go to the complete Professional Reading list, click on this direct link: www.theleadermaker.com/reading-list/

Side Note: Please remember and take a look at Tom Copeland’s reading blog.  His website, which I highly recommend, can be found here: https://militaryreadinglists.com/map

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

26 thoughts on “Reading List (Update):  D-Day

  1. Lane Sherrain

    This is a truly great book. I also recommend it. Based on Gen. Satterfield highlighting here, I ordered it for my Kindle. Worth the money. Now I’m ordering a hardcover for my personal library.

    Reply
  2. Frank Graham

    Gen. Satterfield, thank you for this book review on “The First Wave.” I read some reviews on Goodreads and found that the book is really liked, and yes, it is more at the tactical level telling stories about those who came ashore that faithful day. Real manhood here. I didn’t see any transgenders volunteering to be in those boats going onto the beach under withering German machinegun fire.

    Reply
    1. Roger Yellowmule

      …. Frank, and you never will see a “snowflake” do something that requires real courage.

      Reply
    2. Mark Evans

      Always something I do is read the reviews, as well. It gives some good perspective about the book.

      Reply
  3. Lynn Pitts

    Another well-written article by Gen. Satterfield and to the point. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Reply
  4. Kenny Foster

    Another spot-on article from the archives of Gen. Satterfield. I also recommend the book.

    Reply
    1. Mr. T.J. Asper

      Thanks Kenny. I plan to buy it soon but will buy several copies. I want to give it away to several high school kids that live on my block. They are kids that will do well in life and I see this book as a kinda antidote to the PC crap we see school teachers dishing out.

      Reply
      1. H. M. Longstreet

        Great idea Mr. TJ. As a High School teacher, I’m sure you will be doing those things necessary to encourage our young boys and girls to love America and reject the recent Democrat Party hyper radical agenda of tearing down our nation.

        Reply
        1. Julie Gardonni

          He he, thinking the same. Mr Asper is da man. Teaching real history instead of liberal, leftist drivel is the only salvation we have. We really don’t teach any more, we indoctrinate. Surprised? You should’ve spent more time watching what is going on in the classroom. 😃

          Reply
  5. JT Patterson

    Excellent book. I read it late last year. A Christmas present from my wife. It is on my shelf among my most valued books.

    Reply
  6. Yusaf from Texas

    For those wanting to know what this book is really about, here is Gen. Satterfield’s most important comment:
    “Kershaw’s book does not focus on grand or even military strategy. It is about the dogged foot soldier, the man with a rifle in his hand or aid bag on his hip.”

    Reply
    1. Steve Dade

      Pow, you got it Yusaf. I agree. To truly understand – as best a human can – about the invasion on D-Day and the subsequent events, then this kind of book is necessary. I hope that if you do read it, then our readers will also have read something on the strategic events that lead up to that point and why it was necessary.

      Reply
    2. Audrey

      There are hints at strategy throughout the book, not explicit however.

      Reply
      1. Greg Heyman

        Right, Audrey. Thanks … and I will add that there are tactics mentioned as well, thru the entire book. Most of the strategy is in the final chapters as we see what happens after D-Day.

        Reply
      2. Max Foster

        Another reason to read the book, folks. Let’s get on with the reading. If you can read, write, and think, the world will be open to you. And, frankly, the world will beat a path to your door. Sadly too many kids from black neighborhoods are taught this is “whitey” and thus bad. Too bad they are telling themselves how to fail.

        Reply
        1. General Public

          Black culture = to read, write, and study D-Day and other history is soo… whitey and racist.

          Reply
  7. Forrest Gump

    Thank you, Gen. S. for a review of this important book. 😊

    Reply
  8. Tom Bushmaster

    Thank you Gen. Satterfield for a thorough review. I like these reviews, so please keep them up. Any book that attracts your attention is surely one that I will want to read.

    Reply
    1. Dale Paul Fox

      Tom, correct. That is why I plan to check it out of my library (just down the street from my brother’s house) and a good time to visit my family. They will all want to read it as they are big into WW2 history.

      Reply
    1. Roman Gucci

      Me too, great book I hear. Based on Gen. Satterfield’s article and reviews I’ve read, the book is a must read. I’m so proud of the men. Go America!! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

      Reply
      1. Mr. Vill Zomentrz

        Yes, the big gorilla in the room that no one is talking about. I wonder why? Answer is Mr. Obvious.

        Reply

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