This is another of my #20booksofsummer reading challenge hosted by thr amazing Cathy@764books
6 June 1944 is one of the most memorable dates of the Second World War. It marked the beginning of the end of the conflict as Allied forces invaded Normandy and fought their way into Nazi-occupied Europe. Operation Overlord, as the invasion was codenamed, was an incredible feat that proved to be a turning point which would eventually result in the defeat of Nazi Germany. Around 150,000 soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy on the first day in the largest amphibious operation in history, and within a month more than 1 million men had been put ashore. As memory becomes history, first-hand accounts of this incredible moment become more and more precious. In D-Day Diary, historian Carol Harris collects together remarkable tales of bravery, survival and sacrifice from what was one of the war’s most dramatic and pivotal episodes.
I found this book so fascinating but so harrowing and sad. This is something that everyone should know about.
What made this so much scarier was that the majority of the book is made up of letters and diary entries from the soldiers that were there. Having those excerpts makes the whole ordeal seem so much worse. One part that I cannot get out of my head is this:
‘I ran back to the boat deck and two of the older members of the crew made a place for me near the shelter of our gun pit. They put their arms around me; I realised I was trembling. … The desperate truth is a child cannot find comfort from frightened adults and I was still a child.’T. Osbourne
I looke up T. Osbourne after I had read this passage and found out that on D-Day he was only 15 years old.
This shocked me and horrified me. There were so many choldren involved in D-Day due to the amount of soldiers that were needed that the ages of the boys signing up weren’t checked.
In total there were over 150,000 allied soldiers who crossed the channel on that first day! Tens of thousands of paratroopers! Soldiers from different countries and different backgrounds coming together. All of them scared and anxious about what was waiting for them on the shores of Normandy.
This one day marked the beginning of the end of the second world war.
I think this book will stay with me for a long time. It is so important to remember the sacrifices made to liberate and re-unite Europe.
It is so important to remember now how people came together for a common cause.
1 thought on “D-Day Diary – Carol Harris – #20booksofsummer”
I agree — battlefields are no place for children and yet then, as now, children often feature as combatants. In the UK today, unlike the rest of Europe, it is still possible to join the army at 16.
Thank-you Cathy for including this book. I wrote it was a few years ago and have to admit that it was difficult, initially, as I usually write about the home front in the UK during the two world wars, not the military side. I was really pleased with the finished result and the reaction to it though, so worth it in the end.