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The Silent Day A Landmark Oral History of D-Day on the Home Front by Max Arthur

The Silent Day A Landmark Oral History of D-Day on the Home Front

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Sue Baker's view...

A history of D-Day – from planning to execution, told in the worlds of the people who witnessed at first hand the epic military action. There were civilians who waited for news, others who woke to find only emptiness where there were once men and machines, and we hear of the men who took part, their experiences and the toll it took on lives and relationships and from women too with some of the most poignant memories coming from those who lost husbands, fathers or sons in the actions.

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Who is Sue Baker

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. By 1944 it was obvious that the Germans could not win the war, but there was still a chance that the Allies might not win either. It all came down to one military action – D-Day, when the Allies would seek to land troops on French soil. Had those soldiers been pushed back into the sea, as almost happened, the German occupation of France and the Low Countries would have continued. This was the fear that gripped the population of Britain in those frenetic days. In their own words, Arthur recounts the tales of people on the home front and of the service personnel who were prepared to lay down their lives if necessary. When D-Day arrived on 6th June 1944, many Britons were engaged in the normal activities of going to work and looking after the home and children, as they reveal here. Arthur’s book is a welcome addition to the war literature.
~ Carl Hughes


The Silent Day A Landmark Oral History of D-Day on the Home Front by Max Arthur

On 6 June 1944 Britain woke up to a profound silence. Overnight, 160,000 Allied troops had vanished and an eerie emptiness settled over the country. The majority of those men would never return. This is the story of that extraordinary 24 hours. Using a wealth of first person testimonies, renowned historian Max Arthur recounts a remarkable new oral history of D-Day, beginning with the two years leading up to the silent day which saw the UK transformed by the arrival of thousands of American and Canadian troops. We also hear the views of the American troops, who quickly formed strong views of both the British military and civilian populations. Then, on that June morning, many British people woke up to discover that vast areas of the country, which had throbbed with life only the day before, were now empty and silent. Civilian workers found coffee pots still warm on the stove but not a soul to greet them. Many women - and children - felt bewildered and betrayed. Then, throughout that day and the days that followed, the whole population gathered around wireless sets, waiting for news. There are powerful testimonies from families of who lost loved ones on the beaches of Normandy, and dramatic personal accounts from young widows who had never had the chance to say goodbye.


'Enthralling ... captures the nerve-shredding tension of the build-up to D-Day from the unique perspective of ordinary Britons at home.' Daily Mail

About the Author

Max Arthur is a skilled interviewer who has written oral histories of the RAF and Royal Navy during the Second World War.

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Publication date

30th November 1999


Max Arthur

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