Beginning in the predawn darkness of June 6, 1944, The First Wave follows the remarkable men who carried out D-Day’s most perilous missions.

The charismatic, unforgettable cast includes the first American paratrooper to touch down on Normandy soil; the  glider pilot who braved antiaircraft fire to crash-land mere yards from the vital Pegasus Bridge; the brothers who led their troops onto Juno Beach under withering fire; as well as a French commando, returning to his native land, who fought to destroy German strongholds on Sword Beach and beyond.

Readers will experience the sheer grit of the Rangers who scaled Pointe du Hoc and the astonishing courage of the airborne soldiers who captured the Merville Gun Battery in the face of devastating enemy counterattacks. The first to fight when the stakes were highest and the odds longest, these men would determine the fate of the invasion of Hitler’s Fortress Europe—and the very history of the twentieth century.

The result is an epic of close combat and extraordinary heroism. It is the capstone Alex Kershaw’s remarkable career, built on his close friendships with D-Day survivors and his intimate understanding of the Normandy battlefield. For the seventy-fifth anniversary, here is a fresh take on World War II’s longest day.

“Meet the assaulters: Pathfinders plunging from the black, coxswains plowing the whitecaps, bareknuckle Rangers scaling sheer rock… Fast-paced and up-close, this is history’s greatest story reinvigorated as only Alex Kershaw can.”—Adam Makos, New York Times bestselling author of Spearhead and A Higher Call

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  1. A war that should never have been but thanks to the abomination, the Treaty of Versailles, which laid the groundwork for the Second World War. That and the drunken weasel Churchill who hated the Germans as much as he hated the Indians.
    Those who forced Germany to sign the treaty under threat of starvation and disease are as responsible as any one.
    The treachery of Churchill and the French leadership as well as that from Washington lit the fire and stirred the pot.

  2. Some years ago a book came out with the title, “Twelve American Wars: Nine of Them Avoidable” (Eugene G. Windchy). I contend that all of them were avoidable, including WWII. Indeed, the Roosevelt administration wanted Japan to start a war.

    Hence the American sacrifice on D-Day was unnecessary. All of the American lives lost in WW II were unnecessary, including all of the broken bodies and minds.

    Just the same, American propaganda films in WWII claimed that we were fighting totalitarianism. Yet look at what it produced: the Eastern bloc of communist countries. Moreover, look at what there is today in Europe and the USA: A surveillance state of facial recognition cameras, the NSA spying on citizens legally (the Patriot Act), hate speech laws to control freedom of speech, etc.

    Actually, today, we need something more than a D-Day remembrance day. What we need is an annual Treason Day. That is right. You heard me correctly. On this day we need to recall all of the unnecessary wars caused by the treasonous bankers, arms merchants, newspaper publishers, elected officials, and neo-con, dual-citizenship bureaucrats with American blood on their hands. To be sure, not only the politically treasonous, but those who treasonously have ruined the morals of our nation, also, should be condemned publicly. Nothing less would do.

    • The eastern bloc countries were a gift to Stalin from that drunken weasel, Churchill.
      As for saving the world from fascism……the joke’s on all of us.
      Look at what America has become.

  3. Down in New Orleans we have a special connection to D-Day due to the fact that the Higgens landing craft were built hear along with the Higgens PT-Boats. The D-Day Museum is in New Orleans. Tom Hanks has played a big part in supporting the museum. Rebuilt landing craft are displayed here, and the rebuilt Higgens PT-305 has also been rebuilt and is now giving tours on Lake Ponchatrain.

  4. There has been talk that it was the Soviet Union that really won WWII. But in connection with the liberation of Western Europe it was of course the victors of D-day who stood for that. Some say that Vladimir Putin ought to have been invited to yesterday‘s 75 year anniversary. But strictly speaking the Soviet Union did not take part in the D-day invasion. However, we cannot say that Germany was a D-day victor either. And so in the name of peace, I think Russian representatives ought to have been there, just like Merkel was there too.

    • Our president was not invited, and he correctly said that he did not need a nominal, symbolic presence. Let them celebrate anything. This is a rewrite of history. But the Soviet people have their main holiday (in importance in the Russian Federation on May 9 – Victory Day, this is the main holiday in the hearts of all the people, because the war touched EVERY family). We know the truth and are proud of it. Do not invite – and we do not need.