Hopkinson relates events of the World War II invasion now known as D-Day, arguably the largest and most complex military operation in history.
Although thousands of British and Canadian troops participated in the invasion—and German soldiers greeted it—Hopkinson focuses primarily on the experiences of Americans at Utah and Omaha beaches. Such major figures as Dwight D. Eisenhower and Omar Bradley get plenty of attention, but more is given to the experiences of the soldiers who waded ashore under fire or parachuted behind enemy lines. Hopkinson weaves their personal accounts with those of observations by Ernie Pyle and others to bring the invasion vividly to life. One remarkable story is that of Pvt. Hal Baumgartner, wounded four times in 24 hours on Omaha Beach and wounded a fifth time at the aid station he was taken to when German snipers opened fire. As in Hopkinson’s Dive! World War II Stories of Sailors & Submarines (2016), the fast-paced narrative is supplemented with three types of interspersed text: “briefings,” which home in on special topics, including the roles of women and African-American soldiers in the invasion; “dispatches,” or first-person accounts; and “reader’s invasion briefings,” which cover strategy. Numerous archival, black-and-white photographs offer a parallel visual story, and interspersed pointers to additional, often online resources encourage further research.
An attractively packaged, engrossing history that will appeal to readers fascinated with military strategy. (maps, timeline, glossary, websites, bibliography, source notes) (Nonfiction. 10-14)