It was a long time in coming: a new front to challenge Hitler from western Europe (to help the Russians fighting in the East) and much hinged on the success of the D-Day landings. D-Day: The Battle for Normandy, by military historian Antony Beevor, starts in Southwick House (near Portsmouth), where Eisenhower made the difficult decision to proceed on June 6th, 1944, in spite of the choppy weather. The book takes you through the landings on the Normandy beaches and also the terrible fighting that took place in the three months afterwards. If you are visiting the Normandy beaches, this is an ideal book to take along.
(You can also read our interview with Antony Beevor, about his favourite books on the Second World War.)