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Nothing Less Than Victory:
June 6, 1994, marks the fiftieth anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy that changed the course of the Second World War. As Russell Miller writes in his Foreword to this extraordinary book, Nothing Less Than Victory is "the story of D-Day" as it has never been told before - entirely by those who took part, on both sides. It is compiled from many sources - from letters home, diaries, memoranda, official reports and from innumerable interviews with veterans in the United States, Canada, France, and Germany. "D-Day was the greatest amphibious operation the world has ever seen, a truly staggering feat of logistics which involved putting ashore in Normandy a total of 176,475 men, 3,000 guns, 1,500 tanks and 15,000 other assorted vehicles. Some 11,000 ships were committed to the invasion force; 10,500 air sorties were flown. . . . "But none of these figures meant anything to the men who were there. Soldiers neither know nor care about grand strategy, the big picture; what they care about is trying to stay alive and trying to make sense of what is happening immediately around them. For the soldiers huddled in the assault craft approaching the beaches, for parachutists waiting to jump into the unknown night, for men packed into wooden gliders swooping down onto the Normandy countryside and braced for impact, for German troops in bunkers and trenches, D-Day was nothing but fear, confusion, noise, muddle, chaos . . . hysteria and horror interspersed with flashes of heroism and humor. . . . "As the inexorable buildup continues, the men who are to take part in this moment of history describe their feelings, the anticlimax of the twenty-four-hour postponement, the tortuous crossing ofthe Channel, the eventual storming of the beaches and the bloody struggle to gain a foothold on French soil. "The story ends at midnight on June 6, 1944, with the last, poignant, voices: the British officer who takes a midnight stroll on Sword Beach and finds he is not walking o [via]