Read The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day by Cornelius Ryan Online

The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day

The unparalleled work of history that recreates the battle that changed World War II -- now in a new edition for the 50th anniversary of D-Day.Newly in print for the first time in years, this is the classic story of the invasion of Normandy, and a book that endures as a masterpiece of living history. A compelling tale of courage and heroism, glow and tragedy, The Longest Day painstakingly recreates the fateful hours that preceded and followed the massive invasion of Normandy to retell the story of an epic battle that would turn the tide against world fascism and free Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany.For this new edition of The Longest Day, the original photographs used in the first 1959 edition have been reassembled and painstakingly reproduced, and the text has been freshly reset. Here is a book that is a must for any follower of history, as well as for anyone who wants to better understand how free nations prevailed at a time when darkness enshrouded the earth....

Title : The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day
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Number of Pages : 352 pages
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The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day Reviews

  • Pat

    The Longest Day is a classic and deserves to be so. Very informative, yet flows from one location to another, and one stage of the battle to next wonderfully.

  • Steve

    Great stuff! Not quite the epic - in terms of length or scope - as Ryan's The Last Battle, but every bit as gratifying.

    D-Day - 24 hours. Tick, tock... The agony and the ecstasy - the glory and the ignominy - inspired decisions and catastrophic mistakes - bravery and cowardice - cost and carnage - luck and fate - sacrifice, death, destruction, and liberation - steaming (and sinking), flying (and crashing), jumping, swimming, wading, running, walking, crawling, climbing, and, yes, fighting - momen
    ...more

  • Mike

    One of the greatest books about WWII and D-Day. I've read it and seen the movie many times. Always good to go back and reread the stories of our hero WWII soldiers for inspiration and gratitude.

  • A.L. Sowards

    I've read a lot about D-day, but hadn't gotten around to reading this book until recently. It's good. I wished it would have covered a little more--gone until the amphibious troops linked up with the paratroopers. But I guess then they would have had to call it The Longest Day, plus a few after and that wouldn't sound as good.

  • Pramod Nair

    6 June 1944 is a day that can be seen as the pivotal point of World War II, which definitely swung the momentum of war in favor of the Allied forces. It was a day when the allied forces successfully opened the final European phase of the World War II by invading and gaining footholds on the shores of France, which was the first step, aimed at freeing the continent from Nazi occupation. The Longest Day from Cornelius Ryan is a masterpiece of military history and a true classic, which gives the re



    The war will be won or lost on the beaches. We’ll have only one chance to stop the enemy and that’s while he’s in the water ... struggling to get ashore. Reserves will never get up to the point of attack and it’s foolish even to consider them. The Hauptkampflinie [main line of resistance] will be here ... everything we have must be on the coast. Believe me, Lang, the first twenty-four hours of the invasion will be decisive ... for the Allies, as well as Germany, it will be the longest day.”


    Cornelius Ryan decided on the title of the book based on this statement from Rommel.

    The book is divided into three segments named ‘The Wait’, which describes the events and decisions on both the Allied and German sides leading up to the assault; ‘The Night’, which describes the colossal airborne assaults and paratroop landings which started the Invasion and ‘The Day’, which describes the epic beach assaults that occurred on the shores between the mouth of the Orne River near Caen to the base of Cotentin peninsula with five major invasion beaches codenamed Omaha, Utah, Sword, June and Gold.

    Cornelius Ryan packs all the horrific intensity of the beach assaults through eyewitness accounts, which makes the reader feel he is right there on the beachfront. This can be perceived from one such experience taken from the book, that describes the action from “Bloody Omaha”.



    Sergeant Barton A. Davis of the 299th Engineer Combat Battalion saw an assault boat bearing down on him. It was filled with 1/ Division men and was coming straight in through the obstacles. There was a tremendous explosion and the boat disintegrated. It seemed to Davis that everyone in it was thrown into the air all at once. Bodies and parts of bodies landed all around the flaming wreckage. “I saw black dots of men trying to swim through the gasoline that had spread on the water and as we wondered what to do a headless torso flew a good fifty feet through the air and landed with a sickening thud near us.” Davis did not see how anyone could have lived through the explosion, but two men did. They were pulled out of the water, badly burned but alive.


    Even though this is a rather slim volume ‘The Longest Day’ captures all the glory, bravery, carnage, agony, tragedy and disgrace of such an epic event – an event that saw about 90,000 British & American troops in the beach invasion, about 20,000 airborne troops, 5000 vessels and 11000 aircraft sorties – beautifully. What makes this book standout from the rest is the way in which the author makes it an experience for the reader by bringing key moments of the epic battle through the feelings of actual participants rather than deeply investigating the actual strategies and unit by unit combat descriptions. This is a classic military history piece, which is highly recommended for anyone interested in military conflicts, world war literature or history.

    The 1962 massive hit war movie with the same title was based on this book. Detailed Reveiw with photographs can be accessed from here ...more

  • Dhiraj Sharma

    The Longest Day is among the top ten books ever written about World War-II and the best book on D Day (the Allied Invasion of German occupied France)

    The author had done meticulous research on the subject matter and interviewed numerous persons (soldiers and civilians alike) present on that fateful day on Normandy within (before and after) 24 hours of the invasion.

    The book slwoly builds up the excitement and suspense of impending Allied invasion, the pathfinder and airborne raid and the final att
    ...more

  • Paola

    Un racconto stupendo del D-day, fatto di testimonianze dirette e documenti raccolti con pazienza e maestria. Una cronaca fatta di persone, non sterili cifre e fatti, che lascia spazio alle emozioni di quei momenti caotici che hanno segnato la svolta nelle sorti del conflitto. Da leggere e rileggere.

  • Jill Hutchinson

    I finished this book three days after the 71st anniversary of D-Day, the Allied landings in Hitler's Fortress Europa. I have no idea why I never read this classic history before since I am a military buff and am interested in anything about WWII (and WWI, as well). I was impressed by the author's approach to the telling of Operation Overlord, the largest invasion in history......he used the words of survivors of that bloody day to tell the story as well as some pictures that had not been seen be ...more