Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Off Topic---Six Armies in Normandy

Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris, June 6 - Aug. 5, 1944, John Keegan, Penguin Books, 366 pp., notes, bibliography, index, b/w illustrations,maps, revised edition, 1994, $16.00.

Noted military historian John Keegan doesn't offer a comprehensive narrative of the Normandy invasion and the six armies progress to Paris. The chapters at times stand alone and offer aspects of the inception, planning, command and control of the armies, air forces and navies. There are some fine descriptions of personalities and combat. There are some digressions that tell incomplete stories, in particular regarding French, Polish and Canadian troops.

Keegan at times reveals his background knowledge of British military history. For some readers it may be a distraction. Also, it at times is British-centric and carries a bit of condescension towards the French and Americans. But Six Armies is a fine narrative that readers with a background in the European Theatre may enjoy. First time readers in the field may put this aside as being dense.

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