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The First Wave: The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in World War II
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Penguin Publishing Group 2019
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A NATIONAL BESTSELLERThe New York Times bestselling author of The Liberator and Avenue of Spies returns with an utterly immersive, adrenaline-driven account of D-Day combat. "Meet the assaulters: Pathfinders plunging from the black, coxswains plowing the whitecaps, bareknuckle Rangers scaling sheer rock... Fast-paced and up-close, this is history's greatest story reinvigorated as only Alex Kershaw can."—Adam Makos, New York Times bestselling author of Spearhead and A Higher Call Beginning in the predawn darkness of June 6, 1944, The First Wave follows the remarkable men who carried out D-Day's most perilous missions. The charismatic, unforgettable cast includes the first American paratrooper to touch down on Normandy soil; the glider pilot who braved antiaircraft fire to crash-land mere yards from the vital Pegasus Bridge; the brothers who led their troops onto Juno Beach under withering fire; as well as a French commando, returning to his native land, who fought to destroy German strongholds on Sword Beach and beyond. Readers will experience the sheer grit of the Rangers who scaled Pointe du Hoc and the astonishing courage of the airborne soldiers who captured the Merville Gun Battery in the face of devastating enemy counterattacks. The first to fight when the stakes were highest and the odds longest, these men would determine the fate of the invasion of Hitler's Fortress Europe—and the very history of the twentieth century. The result is an epic of close combat and extraordinary heroism. It is the capstone Alex Kershaw's remarkable career, built on his close friendships with D-Day survivors and his intimate understanding of the Normandy battlefield. For the seventy-fifth anniversary, here is a fresh take on World War II's longest day.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/14/2019
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780451490063
ASIN:
B07GV13P58
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Date Added:
May 09, 2019 16:50:38
Date Updated:
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title
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A NATIONAL BESTSELLER
The New York Times bestselling author of The Liberator and Avenue of Spies returns with an utterly immersive, adrenaline-driven account of D-Day combat.


"Meet the assaulters: Pathfinders plunging from the black, coxswains plowing the whitecaps, bareknuckle Rangers scaling sheer rock... Fast-paced and up-close, this is history's greatest story reinvigorated as only Alex Kershaw can."—Adam Makos, New York Times bestselling author of Spearhead and A Higher Call

Beginning in the predawn darkness of June 6, 1944, The First Wave follows the remarkable men who carried out D-Day's most perilous missions. The charismatic, unforgettable cast includes the first American paratrooper to touch down on Normandy soil; the glider pilot who braved antiaircraft fire to crash-land mere yards from the vital Pegasus Bridge; the brothers who led their troops onto Juno Beach under withering fire; as well as a French commando, returning to his native land, who fought to destroy German strongholds on Sword Beach and beyond. Readers will experience the sheer grit of the Rangers who scaled Pointe du Hoc and the astonishing courage of the airborne soldiers who captured the Merville Gun Battery in the face of devastating enemy counterattacks. The first to fight when the stakes were highest and the odds longest, these men would determine the fate of the invasion of Hitler's Fortress Europe—and the very history of the twentieth century.

The result is an epic of close combat and extraordinary heroism. It is the capstone Alex Kershaw's remarkable career, built on his close friendships with D-Day survivors and his intimate understanding of the Normandy battlefield. For the seventy-fifth anniversary, here is a fresh take on World War II's longest day.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        December 1, 2018

        Kershaw, a New York Times best-selling expert on World War II, profiles ten men at the forefront on D-day, from hard-charging Canadian brothers to the first American paratrooper to reach Normandy soil.

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 15, 2019
        In this fast paced tale, historian, biographer, and journalist Kershaw (The Liberator) draws on interviews, military records, and published accounts to relate the early actions by advance invaders and the events of D-Day itself. The main players will not surprise readers familiar with the invasion’s story—among the well-known people highlighted are Brig. Gen. Teddy Roosevelt, son of the former U.S. president; Maj. John Howard, who led the attack on Pegasus Bridge; Col. James Rudder, leader of the Rangers at Pointe du Hoc; and Brig. Simon Fraser (Lord Lavat), leader of the British commandos. Novelty is provided with some lesser-known stories, such as those of British Sgt. Maj. Stanley Hollis, the only recipient of the Victoria Cross for action on D-Day; Lt. John Spalding and Sgt. Philip Streczyk, who together led the U.S. First Infantry Division off of Omaha Beach. Kershaw is at his evocative best describing the chaos, courage, and carnage of combat, vividly portraying the bravery of the “greatest generation.” Even readers well-read on the subject will enjoy this perspective. Agent: Jim Hornfischer, Hornfischer Literary Management.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        April 15, 2019
        An account of the soldiers who were the first to land at D-Day, paying a terrible price for their valor. Kershaw (Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family's Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris, 2015, etc.) returns to the scene of his book The Bedford Boys: the Normandy beaches that saw the Allied invasion on D-Day, June 6, 1944. It was an operation fraught with peril. As the author writes, Dwight Eisenhower, the supreme commander of the Allied forces, soberly observed that "we are putting the whole works on one number," and failure was a very real possibility. The first wave of invaders took extraordinarily heavy casualties at many points; one British major, wounded in action, was fortunate to be taken away on a stretcher, for "out of 125 men in his company, he had lost eighty-three." Kershaw's pages are as densely populated as Cornelius Ryan's but with some characters who haven't played much of a role in the historical record--e.g., a cigar-chomping leader of American airborne pathfinders who fought his way desperately across the French countryside and survived the terrible odds only to wind up falling into a weird trap laid by a Nazi double agent at the end of the war. Kershaw sometimes falls into breezy human interest-ese, long on description and adjective--"a sprightly, dark-haired Londoner with a wisp of a mustache, armed with a pistol and a Sten gun"; "Dressed in a dark leather coat, Rommel was soon racing back to Normandy in a black Horch"--and his work lacks the attention to strategy and tactics, but also the heaviness, of an Antony Beevor narrative. Still, Kershaw 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: a member of the French Resistance here, a Polish conscript into the Wehrmacht there. World War II buffs will find this an engaging, unchallenging read.

        COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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"Meet the assaulters: Pathfinders plunging from the black, coxswains plowing the whitecaps, bareknuckle Rangers scaling sheer rock... Fast-paced and up-close, this is history's greatest story reinvigorated as only Alex Kershaw can."—Adam Makos, New York Times bestselling author of Spearhead and A Higher Call
The New York Times bestselling author of The Liberator and Avenue of Spies returns with an utterly immersive, adrenaline-driven account of D-Day combat.


Beginning in the predawn darkness of June 6, 1944, The First Wave follows the remarkable men who carried out D-Day's most perilous missions. The charismatic, unforgettable cast includes the first American paratrooper to touch down on Normandy soil; the glider pilot who braved antiaircraft fire to crash-land mere yards from the vital Pegasus Bridge; the brothers who led their troops onto Juno Beach under withering fire; as well as a French...
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First Wave The DDay Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in World War II
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subtitle
The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in World War II
publisher
Penguin Publishing Group