I was very keen to see this book when it appeared in the bumph Casemate routinely send to me and I am not disappointed.
The book offers a version of the tried and trusted then and now format anyone with half a brain will thank Winston Ramsey for pioneering forty years ago. Here, the authors utilise their aerial photography skills to show the Normandy battlefield as it is today, mixed with a great many well and lesser-known archive photographs. The effect is appealing and fits well within the format of the book.
In addition to this, the system of captioning the images helps explain what we can see. This is an easy to follow easy on the eye journey through the events of D-Day.
The authors of this book have a lot of work and publications under their belts and have done well here. The pretty aerial snap of Pointe du Hoc on the cover draws us in to a well-executed product that deserves to do well. A fair balance between the US and Anglo-Canadian stories have been achieved. All the old favourites are here and a few more besides.
There are so many Normandy books, and believe me – I have others in a groaning ‘to do’ pile – and you might ask yourself if there really is anything new worth flexing your wallet on. That is something of a moot point. I suppose the truth is if a book attracts you, then, regardless of the bulk of the content; you will be prepared to spend your hard earned cash. This is an attractive book. For me it will fit well in a block of Normandy guidebooks I hope to have use of one of these summers. Despite being a well-trodden story (I don’t want to say done to death!), there are always snippets worth taking from new books and I often find myself inspired by other peoples photography to look again at places I have visited. The aerial photography here goes a long way to giving this book something different to think about. All I need now is to wait for my colleague Jack to get his pilots licence! Get a wiggle on Jack!
Reviewed by Mark Barnes for War History Online.
THE NORMANDY BATTLEFIELDS
D-Day and the Bridgehead
By Leo Marriott & Simon Forty
ISBN: 978 1 61200 231 6