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Normandy: A Graphic History of D-Day    by Wayne Vansant order for
by Wayne Vansant
Order:  USA  Can
Zenith Press, 2012 (2012)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Normandy: A Graphic History of D-Day offers 96 pages of full-color graphics in a cartoon format to tell the story of this important War War II invasion. From the construction of diversions in England to make the enemy believe the attack was aimed at Pas-de-Calais to the initial paratrooper assault, and the storming of the five D-Day beaches, this information packed book covers all the essential aspects of this important operation.

Once the Allied troops landed in France the brutal battle commenced to move away from the beachheads and take control of the villages and areas that would allow the troops to push the Germans back and eventually liberate Paris.

As the reader watches the bloody battle unfold in the Normandy countryside where the hedgerows often controlled which forces won or lost, the text provides all the important details and moves the story forward. There's a special account of the bitter engagement with a division created from recruits from the Hitler Youth Movement (dubbed The Devil's Children) and another short chapter that describes how one of Germany's most accomplished tank commanders engaged Montgomery's British 2nd Army near Caen, destroyed 27 British tanks, and nearly turned the tide of the battle.

The Allies eventually won the upper hand when Patton's Third Army, along with British and Canadian troops, was able to force the enemy to pull back across the Seine. With the staggering loss of 50,000 soldiers killed, 200,000 captured and 1,300 tanks destroyed, the German Army was in disarray. On August 25, 1944, Paris fell after nearly three months of fighting.

This book's format will not only appeal to young people but also those interested in how important historical events are retold. While the visual approach may seem to be putting the emphasis in the wrong place, one need not worry that important information about the battle has been slighted.

Vansant makes sure that the narrative that explains each artistic rendition of the battle fully defines the situation. The important names, dates and other essential facts are there.

Hopefully, after finishing this account of D-Day and the days that followed, the reader will want to move on to a more detailed story of the event.

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