If you’re looking for books to find out more about D-Day, launched by the Allies on the 6th of June 1944, we’ve tried to collect some of the best books on the Normandy landings of WW2 below. It remains the largest and most ambitious land-sea-air operation ever undertaken. As Winston Churchill explained it to the House of Commons on that day:
“This vast operation is undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever taken place. It involves tides, wind, waves, visibility, both from the air and the sea standpoint, and the combined employment of land, air and sea forces in the highest degree of intimacy and in contact with conditions which could not and cannot be fully foreseen.”
If you’re new to the subject, probably the best book to start with is D-Day: The Battle for Normandy, by the bestselling military historian Antony Beevor. It takes you from “The Decision” to go in early June through the liberation of Paris on August 25th, almost three months later. Up to 20,000 civilians died in the Battle of Normandy and Beevor brings alive the horrors of the campaign.
A graphic novel can also be a great way into a subject, and 6th June 1944: Overlord, is a good one. (‘Overlord’ was the codename for the Battle of Normandy).
One more contemporary book about D-Day—that comes highly recommended by historian Simon Ball—is Chester Wilmot’s The Struggle for Europe (1952). Simon also recommends D-Day (1974) by Warren Tute, John Costello & Terry Hughes, for its amazing photos.
One of the reasons D-Day was successful was the Germans weren’t expecting the Allies to land in Normandy. There are a number of great books about ‘The Double-Cross System’ that enabled the Allies to pull off this extraordinary deception.
Lastly, if you’d prefer to watch a docudrama instead of reading a book, we highly recommend the BBC’s D-Day: 6.6.1944, directed by Richard Dale.