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  June 6, 1944: The Voices of D-Day by Gerald Astor

Review by: Kevin S.
Ohio, Grade 9

World War II was a bloody, horrific war that affected the lives of countless soldiers, sailors, and airmen. No other event in the war was as spectacular as the climactic battle that took place on June 6, 1944. Boys turned to men amidst the chaos that ensued on the beaches of Normandy and the countryside beyond. Many would witness the slaughter of friends and comrades while fighting for their lives and for their country. American, British, and Canadian, forces would unite to form the greatest invasion in history: D-Day. No other book exemplifies the efforts of those men then June 6, 1944 The Voices of D-Day by Gerald Astor.
I have always been an avid reader of military literature, but no other book has made me appreciate the sacrifices made by soldiers as this book did. Gerald Astor, who has written other books about World War II, compiled the accounts of numerous men who were in the middle of it all. This book is not an impersonal documentary, but rather an honest account of the emotions and feelings of battle. Astor takes you on a wild ride through the soldiers’ minds as they inch up Omaha beach or jump out of a plane behind enemy lines.
The epic story begins with the history of the men who were to take part in the massive invasion. It reveals the reasons why they enlisted, some because they did not want to wait around to get drafted, others for money, personal, or academic reasons, and others still, because of their hate towards the Germans, or their strong sense of patriotism. The book tells, through the words of the men, of the grueling preparations as the invasion drew near.
Where the book shows its true colors, however, is in the descriptions of the battle itself. I found myself many times, wiping a tear from my eye as a private expressed his feelings of watching his friends being cut down by enemy fire. The dramatic depictions of artillery barrages and firefights, although not glorified, kept me turning the pages well into the night often getting lost in the emotions of the storytellers.
In the end June 6, 1944 The Voices of D-Day gives you an insight into the minds of the heroes who were there. It chronicles the actions of the men whose blood marked the beginning of the liberation of France and the end of Hitler’s Nazi regime. This book pays homage to the often forgotten heroes who gave their lives on the beaches for the good of mankind and to the survivors whose lives were never the same afterwards. I firmly believe that everyone, regardless of their opinion on military history, should read this truly sincere and heart wrenching account of the greatest invasion of all time.

I liked it because it accurately depicted the sacrafices made by the men through their own words.

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