During his lifetime, he wrote more than 20 books about military history, the majority of which focus on warfare from the 14th to the 21st centuries. His works included Barbarossa: He was been knighted in He died on August 2, at age of Six Armies in Normandy: Recreates the military accomplishments and delineates the nationalistic characters of each of the armies of the Normandy invasion. Journey to the Second Front.
Six armies in Normandy: Six Armies In Normandy: A War of Patrols: I am still in awe at the sacrifice that was made here. Sep 10, John Nevola rated it it was amazing. John Keegan's reputation needs no embellishment from me. He is a first-rate military historian of the highest order. Six Armies in Normandy simply pads his resume.
Keegan takes a somewhat different slant on telling the story of Normandy. He takes the battle beyond the D-Day invasion right through the breakout and the Liberation of Paris. He also does not deal with the events chronologically but rather from the differing viewpoints of the six nationalities represented in the fighting.
For this rea John Keegan's reputation needs no embellishment from me. For this reason, I would not recommend that this be the first book a reader grabs when desiring to learn of the invasion of Normandy or D-Day. Most other books like those of Ambrose and D' Este present the events in a more sequential fashion and thus more understandable to the novice. Six Armies in Normandy would embellish that basic understanding with perspectives and viewpoints, which make understanding the battles much more complete. Consider this book an "advanced course" in the liberation of France.
The book has adequate maps and photos, contains a complete order of battle, cites from a robust bibliography and is fully indexed. Jun 17, Ivo Janssens rated it it was amazing. Fantastisch hoe Keegan verbanden weet te leggen. Zijn Engels is niet heel toegankelijk voor iemand die het Engels niet heel goed machtig is, maar een vertaling is daar een goede oplossing voor. Hij steekt zijn mening over het presteren van top militairen niet onder stoelen of banken en hij weet dat goed te onderbouwen.
Zeker over de Britse kopstukken is hij niet mals. May 30, Carlos Contente added it. Jul 03, Chris rated it liked it.follow
Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris; June 6 - Aug. 5, 1944
I know John Keegan by reputation, and I had high hopes for this book. Keegan follows the six countries with armies in France at D-Day: He shows a part of the invasion of Normandy in relation to each, the landing of the Americans, or the liberation of Paris by the French, and essentially provides small vignettes of dozens of small encounters, troop movements and I know John Keegan by reputation, and I had high hopes for this book.
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He shows a part of the invasion of Normandy in relation to each, the landing of the Americans, or the liberation of Paris by the French, and essentially provides small vignettes of dozens of small encounters, troop movements and battles. He also provides a healthy dose of context both in terms of the history leading up to these clashes and the people and units involved.
My problems with the work are threefold. First, Keegan begins with a long introduction that I think is more about him reliving his childhood during the war, than adding anything to the story. Unfortunately it starts off an otherwise interesting story on a sour note.
Second, while Keegan provides context to individuals and units, and locations he never provides wider context on what was going on in Normandy. A brief overview of the battle would have been nice, or more information about the progression of battle. You were with one unit in one location, and suddenly with another unit in another, with no context how the battle progressed to get you to that point.
By far the largest problem I had was with the organization of the work. Moreover, Keegan inserted items that felt out of place, including a long discussion about Hitler and the plot against him which, while interesting, was irrelevant and discussion on the Cold War occupation of Germany, as it stood when this book was published. Sep 15, Coldsoup rated it really liked it. I picked up this book because I was preparing to go on a trip to visit the D-Day beaches and my knowledge of the invasion was embarrassingly scant.
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I had only what I remembered from high school history next to nothing and what I gathered from watching Band of Brothers all the way through at least seven times more than I realized. What drew me to this book was its length, I was going to be backpacking and couldn't afford the weight of most surveys of the subject, and its perspective. I wanted I picked up this book because I was preparing to go on a trip to visit the D-Day beaches and my knowledge of the invasion was embarrassingly scant. I wanted a broader view of the invasion and this book delivered. Keegan gives and overview of the commanders in allied high command as well as highlighting each of the 'armies' that fought in Normandy.
I write 'armies' because two of the forces he described, the free French and the Polish soldiers, were hardly full armies but did their duty to its fullest. I enjoyed Keegan's writing as well as his perspective. He was a child during the Second World War so he has some recollection of the war years, but not the harrowed memories of the soldier nor the removed historical perspective of the scholar. This is not a tight work of historical analysis, but an overview of how the armies functioned, the differences in their leadership, and how they worked together to achieve victory.
This book begins with the formation of the allied high command and ends with the liberation of Paris. It also includes a chapter speculating on the future battlefields in Europe that will be created by the Cold War which in hindsight is an interesting, though thankfully incorrect, piece of speculation. I liked the approach that spread the story around the six armies American, Canadian, British, German, Polish, and French , allowing the chronology to jump a bit.
Likewise the appropriate sprinkling in of eastern front information. I didn't realize but should've that tanks required rai I liked the approach that spread the story around the six armies American, Canadian, British, German, Polish, and French , allowing the chronology to jump a bit. I didn't realize but should've that tanks required rail transport for strategic movement, as their own mobility systems would break down over that kind of distance e. Was also struck with how significant the allied air superiority was to this campaign Jan 19, Jeff rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Interested in the geopolitical history of the 20th-century.
Gives an enlightening view of the many experiences and contributions of the several nations involved in the effort to re-take Western Europe from the Germans. A misconception-cleansing read for those of us who've been taught the oversimplified story that the Americans single-handedly liberated Europe. Oct 17, Stephan Bolton rated it really liked it.
Six Armies in Normandy by John Keegan | viwacylu.tk
I bought this edition in late along with the pb edition of Keegan's A History of Warfare that had just come out. Having previously enjoyed other of his works, I recall being very interested in these two. I read History first, and also recall being so irritated with some of the arguments in that book that I left it half finished, and never picked up Six Armies. Over two decades it stood sentry on the shelf of WWII books, shifted about only by frequent moves across the country, available for I bought this edition in late along with the pb edition of Keegan's A History of Warfare that had just come out.
Over two decades it stood sentry on the shelf of WWII books, shifted about only by frequent moves across the country, available for some random but serendipitous day when the book would again draw my interest. I had in the gap forgotten how well Keegan narrates history. The stories of the plans and planners, the commanders and their battles, the play of chance and friction, all bring vividly to life the esprit of these forces thrown into the melee in Northern France. This is an exiting and enriching history of the men and nations who fought there.
I thought the book was okay. It had some great details about the airborne units of the 82nd and st and also describing the tanks. For the most part, the details in the book were areas that i didn't expect to read about so it wasnt what i wanted to read. Probably why i dragged so long to read it because it wasnt much to make you fall asleep. Great book if you want to read it for the extra details. Nov 20, Iain rated it really liked it Shelves: An interesting treatment of the campaign in Normandy that's very engaging. I will definitely read more by Keegan although his run-on sentences take a bit of getting use to, for example: Feb 02, Mark rated it liked it Shelves: D-Day and the Battle of Normandy from the British perspective.
The story does not mention the American fighting effort. It mentions Eisenhower, but only because he prevailed in the decision as the Allied Supreme Commander. Jan 30, Erik Tanouye rated it liked it. Got this at Wonder Book in Gaithersburg they were having a buy-two, get-one-free sale in their war section. Aug 07, Aud rated it really liked it. Pretty good for a lot of behind the scenes events of the big one.
Aug 03, Debby Cash rated it really liked it. I read this first about 25 years ago and found it interesting enough to buy my own copy. Liked seeing the views of people on different sides of the conflict.
Apr 22, David Roberts rated it it was amazing. This book is about the D-day landings in Normandy in World War 2 which ultimately were a key factor in ending it. Interestingly even though Poland would come under a communist government at the end of the war, 55, would return to their country.
A key element in the liberation was the use of paratroopers which for the Germans had proved so effective in the invasion of Crete where they dropped behind the Royal Naval lines and were devastating. The Allies knew many of the paratroopers they used would probably face fates like being swept out to sea or getting stuck in a tree but the ones that landed unscathed would be vital to the operation. One important element was seizing bridges vital to the Allies getting around.
The Germans were largely caught unawares and there was at least one case where the German troops sat to breakfast oblivious to what was going on and were mown down by an Allied paratrooper. The sheer size of the invasion force overwhelmed the Germans who had let there army in the west run down in an attempt to shore up their army on the Eastern Front.
It was also vital to open another front to relieve the forces on the Eastern Front that were predominantly Russian and were suffering very heavy casualties despite their success. The British were very cautious even to the extent that the American high command wondered had they the bottle to finish the job. It was widely expected casualties would be much higher than what they would ultimately be. This book covers this story as far as the liberation of Paris and the way the book is written is like a really good thriller carefully researched and very readable.
I really enjoyed this book and I am a big fan of the books of John Keegan who always writes brilliant books. May 30, Alan Mills rated it liked it Shelves: I need to start with this book's limitations.
It is not a history of World War II. It is not a political or social history. It I s purely a military history, tightly focused on the few weeks between D Day and the arrival of the Allied troops in Paris a couple of months later. Even given this tight focus, it was very strange reading a book about the war, with no mention at all of why we were fighting. Not one word about the Jews. Not one word about concentration camps. Rather, this is military hi I need to start with this book's limitations. Rather, this is military history in its purest sense: On those terms, the book is superb.
Kagan manages to seamlessly weave together granular descriptions of battles as seen from the perspective of the men actually pulling the triggers and dying, the experience of on the spot commanders, and the perspective of those developing overall strategy. Taking this approach gives the reader a way of understanding both the incredible bravery, and pain, experienced by individual soldiers, as well as the incredible scope of this battle.
There were literally millions of men on the front lines in the summer of He also makes clear that the shear size of the US economy, couple with its incredible mobilization in support of the war effort, simply dwarfed the resources of the British and French economies, and even of the Russian Goliath which had by far the largest number of combatants engaged over the course of the war.
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Most importantly, by , the US war machine had vastly out stripped the German productive capacity. In this sense, while the outcome of D-Day was very much in doubt, the outcome of the war was not. Finally, Kagan includes an interesting postscript examining why there will never be another D-Day. Ultimately, the allies success was based solely on surprise. The allies were able to concentrate their resources at the point of attack, while the Germans were stretched thin, defending the entire coast.
Such surprise is no longer possible, with satellite technology today, it would be impossible to mobilize millions without the enemy knowing exactly what was happening. I am rereading this in conjunction with the 70th! The late John Keegan has been criticized for romanticizing war and being too much the eager fan of military conflict.
This characterization is probably a fair one, although personally, I would rather read a book by someone enthused by his subject than the alternative. An awful lot of military history - especially operational accounts - can be dry and tedious in the extreme. Keegan, with I am rereading this in conjunction with the 70th! Keegan, with his romantic, soldiers' eye view of combat, can never be accused of being dry or boring. This is not a traditional narrative history, nor should it be judged as one. Instead it is structured as a series of vignettes, each focusing on a specific unit or units in one of six armies - US, Canadian, British, German, Polish, and French - as they engage in a single operation.
So, for example, the US Army is only represented by the jumps of the 82nd and st Airborne Divisions on the night of June , and the German Army only by the abortive Mortain counterattack. This is a fine approach so long as one realizes the need to fill in the full timeline from other sources.
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Well what can I say. They are stylistically dated and insufficiently detailed to support the text. This should be no surprise to readers of military history, poor maps being among the most common complaints. Overall I think this is an excellent effort, although it probably isn't the best choice for someone unfamiliar with the sequence of events surrounding the D-Day campaign. Five stars for the narrative, three for the maps sorry , four overall. Overall, a very good read. Before reading this book however, I would highly advise that you already have a basic understanding of the Normandy region and some of the key leaders of the operation.
This book was clearly written with the notion in mind that the reader already has some background knowledge of the event. It fails to give really any building blocks, which may make the read a bit difficult to follow along. That being said this book was very enlightening. It provides a glimpse into a va Overall, a very good read.
It provides a glimpse into a variety of different viewpoints other than the normal big three that are mainly focused on when it comes to D-Day US, UK, and Germany. Keegan also provides a perspective from the Canadian, Scottish, Polish, and French military and resistance. It was very interesting to read about the different agendas that were all in place during this single operation and how each branch of the military had their own regional goals.
It was also great to hear about some of the different events that took place with some of the armies that you simply don't come across all that often.
Six armies in Normandy : from D-Day to the liberation of Paris, June 6th-August 25th, 1944
Overall, the book provides a very good picture of how different nations approached D-Day and the different motives that they possessed. Oct 14, James rated it it was ok Shelves: A bizaarely laid out book. There's some good writing in there and some interesting personal anecdotes but as a whole the work is disapointing. Keegan describes the Battle of Normandy from the perspective of 6 different armies in each chapter. The problem is that he looks at only one action for each. For example, the first chapter follows the Airbourne American Divisions and their actions in almost minute detail but with little explanation of the wider conflict and their British Brothers in Arms A bizaarely laid out book.
For example, the first chapter follows the Airbourne American Divisions and their actions in almost minute detail but with little explanation of the wider conflict and their British Brothers in Arms at the other end of the bridgehead. The next Chapter deals with the landings but looks only at the Canadian Divisions landing again, with little to no wider contextualisation of the battle. The studies of the individual army's aren't even particularly enlightening. There's very little study of their unique doctrines and motivations instead its a monotonous and often difficult to follow account of the chosen battle often down to excruciatingly irrelevant detail.
There is very litte attempt to coherently explain the course and context of the wider Battle of Normandy. Some interesting bits but a very frustrating book to read in general. Jan 19, R. F Brown rated it really liked it. As a stand alone book, Six armies in Normandy is an adequate account of the Normandy campaign. As a complementary piece, to say, Hasting's Overlord, Six Armies becomes an excellent collection of vignettes. With a verve and a long history of military writing, Keegan has long been a powerhouse of military history.
Like a good historian, Keegan presents a view, offers facts to support it, and has this thread running through the entire work. Keegan, acknowledges the strengths of the German army in N As a stand alone book, Six armies in Normandy is an adequate account of the Normandy campaign. Keegan, acknowledges the strengths of the German army in Normandy, but unlike Hastings, Keegan highlights the inadequacies of the German forces, that for all their fighting prowess, suffered a severe lack of strategic planning.
A war of attrition would never lead to a German victory. Far from halting the Allies, the static campaign and lack of dynamic thrust which was arguably Germany's greatest strength was absent, and handed the initiative to a vast allied war machine that would never be short of men or tanks. If you are new to the Normandy campaign, this book is not for you. If you posses a broad grasp of how the campaign unfolded, then this is an excellent companion piece.
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