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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. I am waiting for someone to give Oscars to films about actually changing history in stuff like Minsk front WWII operations.

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