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Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy, Airman, Gangster, Kill or Die

How the Allies Won on D-Day
Written by: Giles Milton
Narrated by: Giles Milton
Length: 15 hrs and 48 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

This program is read by the author. 

A groundbreaking account of the first 24 hours of the D-Day invasion told by a symphony of incredible accounts of unknown and unheralded members of the Allied - and Axis - forces.

Seventy-five years have passed since D-Day, the greatest seaborne invasion in history. The outcome of the Second World War hung in the balance on that chill June morning. If Allied forces succeeded in gaining a foothold in Northern France, the road to victory would be open. But if the Allies could be driven back into the sea, the invasion would be stalled for years, perhaps forever. 

An epic battle that involved 156,000 men, 7,000 ships, and 20,000 armored vehicles, the desperate struggle that unfolded on June 6, 1944 was, above all, a story of individual heroics - of men who were driven to keep fighting until the German defenses were smashed and the precarious beachheads secured. This authentic human story - Allied, German, French - has never fully been told. 

Giles Milton’s bold new history narrates the day’s events through the tales of survivors from all sides: the teenage Allied conscript, the crack German defender, the French resistance fighter. From the military architects at Supreme Headquarters to the young schoolboy in the Wehrmacht’s bunkers, Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy, Airman, Gangster, Kill or Die lays bare the absolute terror of those trapped in the front line of Operation Overlord. It also gives voice to those who have hitherto remained unheard - the French butcher’s daughter, the Panzer Commander’s wife, the chauffeur to the General Staff. 

This vast canvas of human bravado reveals "the longest day" as never before - less as a masterpiece of strategic planning than a day on which thousands of scared young men found themselves staring death in the face. It is drawn in its entirety from the raw, unvarnished experiences of those who were there.

©2018 Giles Milton (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

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  • Blakjkpnut
  • 2019-05-28

Another fabulous book by Mr. Milton

Giles Milton has quickly become my favorite author for books covering individuals involved in war. He has an uncanny ability to take personal stories and weave them together into a coherent narrative regarding large-scale operations: in this case D-Day. While you may know the beaches, the units, the defenses; in this book you will learn the tale of the recently married RAF flyer whose wedding ring is found in 2012. And the English Lady who complains to the Allies that they’re messing up her garden. And the German Panzer commander who launches a counterattack. While many of the stories end in sadness, the lives are not forgotten, and their efforts are honored. As a narrator, Mr. Milton gives his stories the appropriate feeling and tone. He will pull you in for each situation, yet pull you back out to remind you of the scope of the one day when all these lives connected.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Roger H Howe
  • 2019-04-02

New information

I enjoyed new individual stories and enthusiastic narration. Books are at their best when read by authors.

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  • James Lucas
  • 2019-03-24

Needs a map

Great book because it includes individual memoirs from participants
Audiobook should include D-Day maps or link to
https://goo.gl/images/egTLGP
..................... ...... ... ....... .... .....

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  • JOHN DAVIS
  • 2019-08-07

Terrific book

An outstanding history which also entertaining. The author as narrator was a master of multiple British accents which immeasurably added to the pleasure of the read. After completing I search for other books by the author and found several which he again served as the Narrator. Strongly recommend this very detailed account of the D-day landings.

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  • B.E.
  • 2019-07-31

Engaging, absorbing, could've used a better edit

I purchased this book after listening to Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (which I highly recommend), written and read by the same author. This book is equally engaging and the author does a similarly excellent job of reading but could have used an editor to weed out some odd and not quite correct word choices that occasionally jarred me out of the narrative. But he does a masterful job of weaving together a multitude of very personal narratives of the D-Day experience.

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  • ItalCali
  • 2019-07-26

Best performance ever

I read several books about world war 2.
If you want to learn more about the context or strategy, then you should read Atkinson’s or Hastings’ work.
However, if you want a “on the ground, first person shooter “ perspective, this is for you. It is like the classic movie “the longest day “ but as audiobooks.
The author gives so much pathos and energy to reading the book, it is unbelievably engrossing. Best performance ever. Refreshingly free of modern day sensibilities, the author lets these heroes speak without any filtering. Recommended.

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  • nathan berry
  • 2019-06-24

surprisingly good

I really enjoyed this book. I took a chance on something different and it was very good