When the Sea Came Alive: An Oral History of D-Day

When the Sea Came Alive: An Oral History of D-Day

by Garrett M. Graff
When the Sea Came Alive: An Oral History of D-Day

When the Sea Came Alive: An Oral History of D-Day

by Garrett M. Graff


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Notes From Your Bookseller

Everything you could ever want to know about D-Day in one book. Superstar historian Garrett M. Graff delivers a meticulously researched, yet deeply human narrative about the military campaign that changed the course of the world.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Absolutely gripping.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post • “A masterpiece of oral history...stirring, surprising, grim, joyous, moving, and always riveting.” —Evan Thomas • “Gripping and propulsive...Readers will be spellbound.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Only Plane in the Sky and Pulitzer Prize finalist for Watergate comes the most up-to-date and complete account of D-Day—the largest seaborne invasion in history and the moment that secured the Allied victory in World War II.

June 6, 1944—known to us all as D-Day—is one of history’s greatest and most unbelievable military triumphs. Though the full campaign lasted a little over two months, the surprise sunrise landing of more than 150,000 Allied troops on the beaches of occupied northern France is one of the most consequential days of the 20th century. It was the moment that turned the tide for the Allied forces and ultimately led to the defeat of the Axis powers in World War II, freeing Europe from the clutches of fascism and tragedy. In the decades since, countless stories of bravery, brotherhood, and sacrifice have made up and sustained our collective memory. Now, Pulitzer Prize finalist Garrett M. Graff, historian and author of The Only Plane in the Sky and Watergate, brings them all together in a one-of-a-kind oral history that explores this seminal event in vivid, heart-pounding detail.

The story begins in the opening months of the 1940s, as the Germany army tightens its grip around eastern and western Europe, seizing control of entire nations on the ground and bombarding others into submission by air. The United States, who has resolved to remain neutral, is forced to enter the conflict after an unexpected attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. For the second time in fifty years, the world is at war, with the stakes higher than they’ve ever been before.

Then, in 1943, as morale and resources start to wane, Allied leaders Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet in Casablanca to discuss a new plan for victory: a coordinated invasion of occupied France, led by General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Failure, it is understood, is not an option. Over the next eighteen months, under the codename OVERLORD and a deep veil of secrecy, the large-scale action is organized, mobilizing soldiers across Europe by land, sea, and sky. And when the day comes, it is unlike anything the world has ever seen.

These moments and more are seen in real time, through the eyes of those who experienced them: the children and citizens whose towns are suddenly populated by troops training on the coast of England; the COSSAC planners bent over maps and meteorological reports, making sure that every scenario is planned through; the airmen and paratroopers glancing out the sides of their planes, ready to jump into occupied territory and fight; the intelligence operatives seeding disinformation with the enemy so that they don’t catch on to the Allied plan; the army correspondents and journalists taken along for the ride, unaware that they will have a front seat to history; the generals and leaders upon whom the weight of their mission rests; and the young men, with no idea of what awaits them, boarding landing craft bound for Normandy, ready to lay down their lives for a cause greater than themselves.

A visceral, page-turning drama, When the Sea Came Alive is the most comprehensive account of D-Day that we have yet to see, and an unforgettable, fitting tribute to the men and women of the Greatest Generation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781668027813
Publisher: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 06/04/2024
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 2,910
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Garrett M. Graff has spent nearly two decades covering politics, technology, and national security. The former editor of Politico and contributor to Wired and CNN, he’s written for publications from Esquire to Rolling Stone to The New York Times, and today serves as the director of the cyber initiative at the Aspen Institute. Graff is the author of multiple books, including the FBI history The Threat Matrix, Raven Rock (about the government’s Cold War Doomsday plans), When the Sea Came Alive (an oral history of D-Day), and the New York Times bestsellers The Only Plane in the Sky and Watergate, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History.
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