Drawing on first-hand battlefield research, personal testimony and interviews, archives and literature, Caddick-Adams, a lecturer in military history and current defense issues at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, has published this history on the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
The season’s best comprehensive one-volume history of Operation Overlord ... Caddick-Adams makes the wise and unusual decision to give the familiar D-Day story far more historical grounding, reminding readers that what ended up succeeding in June of 1944 required an enormous amount of training.
There have been a veritable library of popular histories written on D-Day, but this really extraordinary volume stands to become the new benchmark narrative, conveying both the scale and individual experiences of that momentous operation in a sharp and highly readable book impressively weighing-in at over 900 pages ... Caddick-Adams brings not only a historian’s skill of research and narrative, he also incorporates his experiences as a military officer and battlefield explorer to add vignettes on the veterans he’s personally met and interviewed, and a sort of battlefield archeology of the surviving monuments, bunkers, and other landmarks that still exist ... The author covers a wide variety of topics often left out of other D-Day narratives, especially the logistical and training needs of the dozens of divisions destined for service in France ... There will no doubt be many new books to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. If you can only read one, make it this book. Although it is a real doorstop, it will be well worth your time, even if you’ve read previous one-volume narratives.
For the technical purist, Sand and Steel provides wonderful insight into war on the Western Front ... a detailed chronicle that hard-core World War II buffs will relish ... plays to Mr. Caddick-Adams’s strength, telling a story of machines, logistics and events that decided the fate of France.