Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Life publishes album "70 Years Later: D-DAY: Remembering the Battle that Won the War"

At a Harris Teeter in Arlington VA yesterday, I spotted a Time album book, “70 Years Later: D-Day: Remember the Battle that Won the War”, paper, 112 pages.

The book has seven heavily illustrated chapters: “Introduction”; :The World Stage-1944” (John Keegan); “Ike: The Indispensable Man” (Robert Sullivan); “Overlord: The Drumbeat to D-Day”; “The Longest Day” (Douglas Brinkley); “On to Berlin” (Daniel S. Levy); “Taps” (Harry Benson). 

The book is filled with graphic photos, including the actual casualties lying in the battlefield, mostly in black and white.  The color photos have the look of early Technicolor in the movies.

Time-Life (which is continuing to experience business issues and mergers in changing markets) says that when Life was founded, it didn’t anticipate becoming a war reporting magazine.

The world was generally oblivious to the threat posed by both Nazi Germany and Japan early in the War, but by 1943 (the year I was born) it had achieved a certain parity, storming from North Africa into Italy.  The location for the landing was chosen partly on the basis of surprise, that the Germans would not have been defending the specific areas chosen as well because the topography made landing difficult.

During the early years of the Eisenhower administration, my own father used to recall Ike’s order “Let ‘em rip.”  I visited the Omaha Beach site near Bayeux, France in May 1999 on a European visit.

The book points out that the Soviets actually liked the idea of seeing western Allies take more casualties.  The course of the war would set up a world where the Soviets would become an enemy very quickly after WWII because of ideology, and would push a social value system in the United States that kept male conscription very much alive, until the time of my own military service that started in 1968.

Wikipedia attribution link for D-Day Map of Atlantic Wall 

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