The Dead and Those About to Die

The Dead and Those About to Die

D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach

Additional Formats
  • ePub
  • ISBN 9780698142787
  • 384 Pages
  • NAL
  • Adult


Nicknamed the Big Red One, 1st Division had fought from North Africa to Sicily, earning a reputation as stalwart warriors on the front lines and rabble-rousers in the rear. Yet on D-Day, these veterans melded with fresh-faced replacements to accomplish one of the most challenging and deadly missions ever.

As the men hit the beach, their equipment was destroyed or washed away, soldiers were cut down by the dozens, and heroes emerged: Sergeant Raymond Strojny, who grabbed a bazooka and engaged in a death duel with a fortified German antitank gun; T/5 Joe Pinder, who braved enemy fire to save a vital radio; Lieutenant John Spalding and Sergeant Phil Streczyk, who together demolished a German strong point overlooking Easy Red, where hundreds of Americans had landed.

Along the way, McManus explores the Gap Assault Team engineers who dealt with the extensive mines and obstacles, suffering nearly a fifty percent casualty rate; highlights officers such as Brigadier General Willard Wyman and Colonel George Taylor, who led the way to victory; and punctures scores of myths surrounding this long-misunderstood battle.

Drawing on a rich array of new or recently unearthed sources, including interviews with veterans, this is the unforgettable story of the Big Red One’s nineteen hours of hell—and their ultimate triumph—on June 6, 1944.



“[A] simply magnificent narrative of one of the most famous and gripping events of modern military history.”—Paul Kennedy, New York Times bestselling author of Engineers of Victory

“This is gripping history—beautifully and masterfully told by one of America’s premier historians.”—Patrick K. O’Donnell, national bestselling author of Dog Company

“Magnificent! I could not put this book down!”—Joseph Balkoski, author of Omaha Beach and Utah Beach

“A gripping account of the desperate battle for Omaha Beach on D-Day by the legendary 1st Infantry Division, the Big Red One.”—Carlo D’Este, author of Patton: A Genius for War

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