The Steel Wave and other excellent D-Day related books

by admin on June 4, 2009

June 6, 1944, 65 years ago this coming Saturday marked the surge that would turn the tide in WWII. There are a number of excellent books on the historical battle, but the one I am highlighting is a fictionalized account of the battle in the second book of Jeff Shaara’s WWII trilogy – “The Steel Wave.” You might remember the Shaara name from Jeff’s father, Michael Shaara who won the Pulitzer for his Civil War novel, “The Killer Angels” which served as the basis for the movie “Gettysburg.”

“The Steel Wave” is the pivotal second book in the World War II trilogy and begins with the preliminary recon in January of 1944 of Omaha Beach. Then it moves on to the planning of the D-Day attack and the German defense plan against the suspected invasion by the Allies. Shaara puts us in the room with Dwight Eisenhour, Churchill, Rommel, and others using fictionalized dialogue that comes across a believable thanks to Shaara’s research.

View from Higgins boat

View from Higgins boat

The book culminates with the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1945 and shows how the regular “grunt” soldiers were responsible for the success of the invasion. No matter how much planning took place – whatever could go wrong did go wrong. The regular fighting man had to improvise and fight tooth and nail for the success of Operation Overlord.

I really enjoyed this book and eagerly anticipate the third and final book in Shaara’s World War II trilogy to be released this November, “No Less Than Victory.”

As a point of perspective here are some other excellent books I have read with the topic of D-Day:
D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climatic Battle of World War II
Band of Brothers
The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day

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