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Disaster at D-Day: The Germans Defeat the Allies,June 1944

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This alternate history of the Allied D-Day landings is based very firmly on fact and is a brilliant study of how a campaign could lead to unexpected results. It is June 1944. The Allied armies are poised for the full-scale invasion of Fortress Europe. Across the Channel, the vaunted Wehrmacht lies waiting for the first signs of the invasion, ready for the final battle. Wha This alternate history of the Allied D-Day landings is based very firmly on fact and is a brilliant study of how a campaign could lead to unexpected results. It is June 1944. The Allied armies are poised for the full-scale invasion of Fortress Europe. Across the Channel, the vaunted Wehrmacht lies waiting for the first signs of the invasion, ready for the final battle. What happens next is well known to any student of modern history - but the outcome could have been very different, as Peter Tsouras shows in this devastating account of a D-Day in which plans, missions and landings go horribly wrong. Peter Tsouras introduces minor adjustments at the opening of the campaign - the repositioning of a unit, bad weather and misjudged orders - and examines their effect as they gather momentum and impact upon all subsequent events. Without deviating from the genuine possibilities of the situation, he presents a scenario that keeps the reader guessing and changes the course of history.


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This alternate history of the Allied D-Day landings is based very firmly on fact and is a brilliant study of how a campaign could lead to unexpected results. It is June 1944. The Allied armies are poised for the full-scale invasion of Fortress Europe. Across the Channel, the vaunted Wehrmacht lies waiting for the first signs of the invasion, ready for the final battle. Wha This alternate history of the Allied D-Day landings is based very firmly on fact and is a brilliant study of how a campaign could lead to unexpected results. It is June 1944. The Allied armies are poised for the full-scale invasion of Fortress Europe. Across the Channel, the vaunted Wehrmacht lies waiting for the first signs of the invasion, ready for the final battle. What happens next is well known to any student of modern history - but the outcome could have been very different, as Peter Tsouras shows in this devastating account of a D-Day in which plans, missions and landings go horribly wrong. Peter Tsouras introduces minor adjustments at the opening of the campaign - the repositioning of a unit, bad weather and misjudged orders - and examines their effect as they gather momentum and impact upon all subsequent events. Without deviating from the genuine possibilities of the situation, he presents a scenario that keeps the reader guessing and changes the course of history.

30 review for Disaster at D-Day: The Germans Defeat the Allies,June 1944

  1. 5 out of 5

    carl theaker

    A few centuries from now when archeologists dig up ‘Disaster at D-Day’, they are going to have a difficult time sorting out whether tales such as the ’The Longest Day’ are the alternative histories or this one. Author Peter Tsouras was a US Army analyst for the Intelligence and Threat center specializing in 20th Century European history when he penned this book and he brings all these talents to bear in this detailed and credible account of what could have happened during those fateful weeks in A few centuries from now when archeologists dig up ‘Disaster at D-Day’, they are going to have a difficult time sorting out whether tales such as the ’The Longest Day’ are the alternative histories or this one. Author Peter Tsouras was a US Army analyst for the Intelligence and Threat center specializing in 20th Century European history when he penned this book and he brings all these talents to bear in this detailed and credible account of what could have happened during those fateful weeks in June 1944. He includes photos, paintings, maps, even fascinating, though fictional, titles to books that were never published in the endnotes to each chapter. Along with detailed military unit movements, he intersperses personal accounts from the ground pounders to the Generals. I would suggest reading an authentic D-Day book before, or maybe right after this one to give you a perspective on the differences. I happened to read ‘Invasion, They’re Coming!’ . Author Carell muses that Hitler should have redirected V-1s from London at the invasion fleet, though inaccurate there were so many targets, they might have it something. Tsouras uses that idea to add some interesting challenges for the Allies. There is a lot of maneuvering of units through towns of Normandy that don’t usually get mentioned in the real history books, so although maps are provided, you may find a good map of Northern France useful to follow the action. ’Disaster at D-Day’ is a fun read of an alternative history and especially so if you are already deep into the events of June 1944.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dimitri

    What if... Rommel didn't celebrate his birthday with his wife but really ran this show, instead of Hitler? Panzer Lehr joins the weak 21 Panzer to bloody Omaha at once, while 'Case 3' sends a quarter million troops to drive the Allies back into the sea. Howard's funnies and a saturating naval bombardment on the British beaches compensate for the needless decimation of Norman cattle, but the exploitation of their initial success is crushed on the Oisne until the Waffen-SS drives over Pegasus brid What if... Rommel didn't celebrate his birthday with his wife but really ran this show, instead of Hitler? Panzer Lehr joins the weak 21 Panzer to bloody Omaha at once, while 'Case 3' sends a quarter million troops to drive the Allies back into the sea. Howard's funnies and a saturating naval bombardment on the British beaches compensate for the needless decimation of Norman cattle, but the exploitation of their initial success is crushed on the Oisne until the Waffen-SS drives over Pegasus bridge. Meanwhile, The American Airborne retakes St. Mère-église 3, but the entire V corps never breaks out of Carentan. The Canadians learn to give to quarter against the Hitlerjugend. Fictional footnotes and slightly altered testimonials give extra flavour to a battle narrative that is believable in its red-blooded fury. The SS aces Michael Whitman, "Panzermeyer" and Peiper show the weight that a few years on the Russian front add to a spirited counterattack. By contrast, the funniest parts concern Rommel's brief captivity, where his immaticulate manners and admiring incredulousity of his captors. Politics are scant: Disputes over Monty's leadership reach a pitch... and there's that ending. OMG, the ending. It makes this alternate reality less dark. You get to imagine a world where D-Day fails, but this book was written decades later with the participation of veterans from both sides as they share a beer. It would make a great alternate history novel... but as a non-fiction work, it should've provided more context via footnotes on what happened in reality vs. in the alternate reality, because the maps are few and the unit chess is complicated if you don't know D-Day inside out. Tsouras rounds up the main divergents in an afterword, but this is insufficient.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sean Smart

    A very good and well written alternative history story about what might easily have happened at D Day and during the Normandy campaign of 1944. Terrifyingly convincing, thankfully the Allies won this campaign but a very good read. I would recommend, along with Tsouras's more recent "Disaster at Stalingrad" which was an excellent read too.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Philip Talmage

    A very detailed fictional account of how a major battle could alternatively have developed. Apparently written for military historians, to show how Overlord could have gone badly wrong, but unfortunately too detailed to maintain my (and I would guess most other readers') interest.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Javier HG

    Al igual que pasaba con "Disaster at Stalingrad", "Disaster at D-Day" es un libro que narra la invasión de Normandía desde varias hipótesis: ¿qué hubiera pasado si Rommel no hubiera sido herido en un ataque aéreo? ¿qué hubiera pasado si se hubiese activado el Caso Tres en lugar de enviar refuerzos alemanes al frente de manera gradual? Estas y otras hipótesis cuentan una interesante historia, que ayuda a entender y apreciar mejor el sacrificio de las tropas aliadas y la férrea oposición de los so Al igual que pasaba con "Disaster at Stalingrad", "Disaster at D-Day" es un libro que narra la invasión de Normandía desde varias hipótesis: ¿qué hubiera pasado si Rommel no hubiera sido herido en un ataque aéreo? ¿qué hubiera pasado si se hubiese activado el Caso Tres en lugar de enviar refuerzos alemanes al frente de manera gradual? Estas y otras hipótesis cuentan una interesante historia, que ayuda a entender y apreciar mejor el sacrificio de las tropas aliadas y la férrea oposición de los soldados alemanes: a pesar de llevar casi cinco años de conflicto, a pesar de haberse desangrado en el frente oriental y a pesar de carecer por completo de apoyo aéreo, derrotar a las divisiones alemanas no fue nada fácil y supuso numerosas bajas. Quizá los más difícil en el libro es llevar la cuenta de los numerosos nombres de líderes, pueblos, divisiones y regimientos que se citan, pero Tsouras escribe buenas introducciones y acompaña el libro de numerosos mapas de situación. Imprescindible para cualquier aficionado a la historia militar.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Grouchy Historian

    I’ve read this book a couple of times. But, now that I’ve read some excellent new histories of Omaha Beach and D-Day in general I have a better appreciation of this alternate scenario. It was scarily possible. The Allies could still have been beaten. It would have taken more than a few things to go the Germans way but it was possible. Thank God for brave Allied soldiers and a dysfunctional command system for the Germans. Things could have turned out far differently.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Francisco Colmenares

    An interesting chain of events. An Excellent read, though I wish more of the post war world is elaborated upon. Also there's no mention of Operation Bagration, that's the only glaring hole. It's difficult to see Germany so jubilant while being expelled from Russia. Highly recommended to all history fans that enjoy reading alternate history.

  8. 4 out of 5

    William

    Counter-factuals are either loved or despised by history readers. Done well, they can illuminate the choices a leader faced in the neat of the moment. Done badly and they are odes to the losing side in any battle or war, more of a comic book than a serious explanation. Peter Tsouras starts "Disaster at D-Day" by noting the few hinge points in the story that could have gone swinging the other way. He is right in showing that any outcome in history can be gravely influenced by a few small changes. Counter-factuals are either loved or despised by history readers. Done well, they can illuminate the choices a leader faced in the neat of the moment. Done badly and they are odes to the losing side in any battle or war, more of a comic book than a serious explanation. Peter Tsouras starts "Disaster at D-Day" by noting the few hinge points in the story that could have gone swinging the other way. He is right in showing that any outcome in history can be gravely influenced by a few small changes. Readers sometime forget this when they read the text too closely, oftentimes seeing history as something carved in stone by an inevitable chisel, brooking no other outcome. But those small changes chosen by Tsouras while realistic, add up to a counter-factual that is more rave than appreciation. Start with Rommel getting his way on posting an extra panzer division near Omaha Beach. Add to this the lucky emplacement of the heavy guns at Pont du Hoc. Stir. the American landing at Omaha Beach, in real life a near-run thing, turns into an unmitigated disaster. The Germans successfully contain the Utah Beach landings and concentrate on the British/Canadian landings at Juno, Gold and Sword beaches. Now Tsouras swings the next few hinges out of line. Hitler releases the panzer and infantry reserves, believing Normandy is the place. In real life, the Allies successfully deceived German intelligence by faking the existence of an army group bound for the main effort at the Pas de Calais, thus forcing retention of units that could have gone to Normandy. But Tsouras gives this disinformation program no mention. So the reserves contain the British. Allied air superiority mauls the Rommel-led counter-offensives that successfully contains Montgomery's efforts to break out, eventually cutting off several British and Canadian formations. UK and Commonwealth losses are staggering. Montgomery is relieved. Marshall is rushed to the UK to take the matter in hand, also implying Eisenhower's eventual relief as well. Now Tsouras does write a ripping good "pseudo-factual" account of this imaginary outcome. This is a short, fast-moving book filled with many accounts of bloody battles, gallant actions, heroism beyond compare. The Allies get their due, but for some reason can't bring their superior artillery to bear against every bad situation. German generalship is for the most part fast-acting and near flawless. Tsouras clearly favors "muddy boots" generalship that commands close to the front. His admiration for Rommel comes close to hagiographic. The halo of the Desert Fox gets a good polishing here. Tsouras is not blind to the political consequences of a Nazi German victory in Normandy, but to say more would be to give away the ending. He has a good feel for the operational and tactical dimensions of WWII ground combat, showing the interplay of ground with battle, the nuts and bolts of crafting the right mix of armor and infantry when forming battle groups, and the bloody outcomes of offense when it meets defense. Yes, there were many times when German tactical superiority won battles. But in two world wars, German tactical superiority proved to be no match for Allied strategic war planning. To show this reality in a book would be to take the reader into the minutes of many boring meetings between national leaders and service chiefs, poring over reports, maps and analyses. It becomes a war of arguing over the best laid plans of mousy men. It's just not as exciting as the decisive attacks led by "muddy boots" generals who make those arrows happen on the ground, not on the maps, seeking maximum gain for maximum risk. That is the approach Tsouras prefers, but it misleads the reader into seeing the battles at the expense of the war. This book was still fun to read. Tsouras did a good job of crafting his story. But there are more serious books that illuminate the path not taken or the accident of history unmade. Don't end your reading at this title.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Raymond Thomas

    The premise of the book, laid out by Mr. Tsouras in the opening pages, is to highlight how history is not the inevitable march of events that people often perceive them to be. Instead he highlights a number of key events that might have changed the path of history completely. In doing so he writes a fairly compelling account of what might have taken place on the beaches of Normandy in the summer of 1944. There are some holes, as mentioned by a few other reviewers, in that the deception efforts o The premise of the book, laid out by Mr. Tsouras in the opening pages, is to highlight how history is not the inevitable march of events that people often perceive them to be. Instead he highlights a number of key events that might have changed the path of history completely. In doing so he writes a fairly compelling account of what might have taken place on the beaches of Normandy in the summer of 1944. There are some holes, as mentioned by a few other reviewers, in that the deception efforts of the Allies and other possible Allied operations that could relieve the pressure on Normandy are not mentioned at all. Tsouras seemingly handwaves away the Allied deception plan by using the excuse that Hitler was still in a residual high when Von Rundstedt demands the total release of all forces to crush the Normandy landings. In reality Hitler kept the armored forces well in reserve to smash the Allied landing he was convinced was going to fall on Calais. This is probably the weakest link in the story, but overall it is well written and thoroughly enjoyable.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence

    This alternate history of the Allied D-Day landings is based very firmly on fact and is a brilliant study of how a campaign could lead to unexpected results. It is June 1944. The Allied armies are poised for the full-scale invasion of Fortress Europe. Across the Channel, the vaunted Wehrmacht lies waiting for the first signs of the invasion, ready for the final battle. What happens next is well known to any student of modern history - but the outcome could have been very different, as Peter Tsou This alternate history of the Allied D-Day landings is based very firmly on fact and is a brilliant study of how a campaign could lead to unexpected results. It is June 1944. The Allied armies are poised for the full-scale invasion of Fortress Europe. Across the Channel, the vaunted Wehrmacht lies waiting for the first signs of the invasion, ready for the final battle. What happens next is well known to any student of modern history - but the outcome could have been very different, as Peter Tsouras shows in this devastating account of a D-Day in which plans, missions and landings go horribly wrong. Peter Tsouras introduces minor adjustments at the opening of the campaign - the repositioning of a unit, bad weather and misjudged orders - and examines their effect as they gather momentum and impact upon all subsequent events. Without deviating from the genuine possibilities of the situation, he presents a scenario that keeps the reader guessing and changes the course of history.

  11. 4 out of 5

    John

    Interesting what a few tweaks can do to history. The element of chance expanded and a different outcome. Good read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tom Kutt

  13. 4 out of 5

    John Nellis

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jorge Cano

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stevie Beeson

  17. 5 out of 5

    Srynerson

  18. 4 out of 5

    BRIAN R BUTLER

  19. 4 out of 5

    Richard Zabadal

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brian Gillum

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ian Racey

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robert

  23. 5 out of 5

    Craig Smith

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dale

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mark Engi

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  27. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  28. 5 out of 5

    Henrique Bolhão

  29. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Dale

  30. 5 out of 5

    L. D. Maners

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