The D-Day Encyclopedia

ISBN 13: 9780132036214

The D-Day Encyclopedia

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9780132036214: The D-Day Encyclopedia

This volume covers the people, events and places of the largest amphibious invasion in history.

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From Booklist:

The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of World War II (1978) has long been considered a standard source because of its comprehensive, objective treatment of battles, strategies, officers, statesmen, weapons, treaties, etc. Now, in time to commemorate the upcoming fiftieth anniversary of D-Day on June 6th, comes an entirely new work on Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of northwest Europe.

The more than 400 signed entries in The D-Day Encyclopedia cover in considerable detail the period June 6-18, the latter being the date on which the beachhead was secured. Most of the 141 contributors--academicians and military professionals--are from Great Britain and the U.S., but a number are from Germany and other European countries and Canada. The coeditors, Chandler and Collins, are, respectively, a historian at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and a retired U.S. Army officer who landed at Utah Beach and now serves as a military historian. The nine-member editorial board includes an equal number of British, German, and American scholars.

The core of the encyclopedia consists of approximately 40 articles on Allied and German army divisions and brigades and on the higher organizational units to which they belonged. Similar attention is given to naval and air force units. Articles of varying length cover 11 Allied countries and German- and Allied-flag ships.

The 175 biographies are for heads of state (Roosevelt, Mackenzie King, etc.) and Allied and German officers of one-star rank or higher who commanded a division or its equivalent. While half of these individuals are also in the Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia, the sketches in The D-Day Encyclopedia more precisely state their D-Day contributions. For example, the Patton entry in the 1978 encyclopedia does not mention his D-Day whereabouts. All entries conclude with bibliographies of sources in English, German. and French. In addition, there are the informative articles Archival Sources (with separate discussions of Allied and German archives) and Bibliography (limited to literature in English).

More than 350 black-and-white photographs of individuals, aircraft, ships, weapons, and field equipment accompany articles. Maps depict such information as American-held beaches at midnight on June 6th, British Commonwealth war cemeteries, and the U.S. Army VII Corps beachhead at the end of D-Day. The text is also enhanced with charts, graphs, and statistics (e.g., an organizational chart of the Seventh Army, casualties of the 82d Airborne Division during the Normandy campaign).

The volume concludes with a synoptic table of contents that lists entries under such headings as Army Topics, Navy Topics, and Biographies; a list of German military units and their English-language equivalents (e.g., Luftwaffe--German Air Force); a table of comparative ranks; and a glossary. Three appendixes reprint Eisenhower's order of the day for June 6th, a top-secret directive from Hitler, and a digest of the plan for Operation Overlord. A detailed index has numerous see and see also references.

This work is a perceptive, authoritative, and substantive contribution for scholars, students, and general readers seeking a perspective on what has been called "the single most complex and significant amphibious operation in all history." A recommended purchase for public and academic libraries.

From Library Journal:

A hefty one-volume encyclopedia covering the D-Day invasion of Normandy by the Allies in 1944, and issue on its 50th anniversary, this work presents the facts around that monumental event with alphabetized entries, accompanied by maps, charts, and black-and-white photos. It is strictly a reference work, the writing, by a host of experts well known in the academic and military fields, and edited by Chandler of the Royal Military Academy in England, provides the facts in a thorough but undramatic fashion. The many subjects that this vast work encompasses include logistics, materiel, intelligence and counterintelligence, and personnel movements. The selection of photos of the personalities, places, and hardware is adequate, but for the cost of the volume, the contrast in the photographs is occasionally too poor to make them of much use. Every entry has its own bibliography. There exists no comparable reference work. Meant for academic collections, it draws together the most complete collection of data on this event and its associated military actions to make an exhaustive resource. Main selection of the Military Book of the Month Club.
- Mel D. Lane, Sacramento, Cal.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Published by Simon & Schuster (1993)
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