Cover image for Ten days to D-Day : citizens and soldiers on the eve of the invasion
Ten days to D-Day : citizens and soldiers on the eve of the invasion
Stafford, David.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2004.

Physical Description:
xv, 377 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
General Note:
Originally published: Great Britain : Little, Brown and Co., 2003.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D756.5.N6 S66 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
D756.5.N6 S66 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Instead of retracing the much-dissected actions of heads of state, Stafford brings to life the preparations for history's most formidable invasion through the eyes of the ground-level participants.

Author Notes

David Stafford, "an expert in Britain's wartime intelligence operations" (The Independent), is the author of numerous books. A former diplomat who has written extensively on intelligence history, he is currently Project director at the Center for Second World War Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

With the sixtieth anniversary of D-Day looming, Stafford's coverage of the 10 days preceding the actual event makes a worthy contribution to the literature. Stafford considers a number of individual's viewpoints, including those of such major leaders as Eisenhower, Churchill, Rommel, and Hitler, and shows the Allied leaders biting their nails rather harder than were their Axis counterparts theirs. Less prominent figures whose perspectives also appear include a codebreaking Wren (i.e., a member of the British Women's Royal Naval Service), a French Jew hiding out in Paris, a Norwegian resistance fighter whom the Germans had already caught, and a young Canadian soldier facing his first and, it turned out, last battle. More than most other books on D-Day, Stafford's points out that, from the vantage of 60 years, the suspense preceding D-Day is hard for us to fully understand, and the additional fact that, even at the time, most people involved realized they were caught up in an epic historical movement. --Roland Green Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Stafford (Spies Beneath Berlin) does an excellent job of re-creating the tensions and anticipations of those who were preparing to fight on D-Day, and the stakes involved for (and often desperate movements of) nonmilitary people on the ground in Europe. Churchill, Eisenhower, Hitler and De Gaulle are here, along with Canadian rifleman Glenn Dickin; Norwegian resister Peter Moen; French resister Sonia d'Artois; double agent Juan Pujol; Albert Grunberg, who was Jewish and in hiding in Paris; and myriad Americans. (May 4) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

A common perception concerning World War II and particularly the landings at Normandy was that the Allies defeated the superior German army through the use of brute force. These two works offer a different perspective, focusing on individuals and their actions. Former diplomat Stafford, the author of several books on World War II (e.g., Secret Agent: The True Story of the Covert War Against Hitler), has produced a work that reads like a thriller. By tracing the lives of ten men and women on the eve of the Normandy landings, he seeks to provide insights into the ordinary individuals who ultimately helped win the battle of Normandy. Among these individuals are an American paratrooper, a Jew hiding from the Nazis, a Canadian infantryman waiting to land on the beaches, and a French resistance worker. Stafford also relates the actions and orders of Allied and Nazi leaders. The Whitakers, coauthors of several World War II books (e.g., Dieppe: Tragedy to Triumph), seek with the help of Copp (history, Wilifrid Laurier Univ., Canada) to dispel another myth: that German soldiers were superior to their Allied counterparts. They argue that the common Allied soldier was indeed remarkable, winning at Normandy despite inferior equipment and incompetent leadership. The Whitakers trace the lives of ordinary men 44 days after the landings as they display extraordinary courage and resourcefulness despite hostile terrain and miserable conditions. Both books are highly recommended. Lt. Col. Charles M. Minyard (Ret.), U.S. Army, Blountstown, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.