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If I Don't Come Home Letters from D-Day by Alastair Bannerman
  

If I Don't Come Home Letters from D-Day

Biography / Autobiography   The Real World   

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A remarkable WW2 love story inspired by letters from servicemen and in particular those of the author Alastair Bannerman just before the D-Day landings, was brought to life by an ITV documentary to coincide with the 70th anniversary of D-Day in 2014. The book itself contains these love letters which were confiscated when he was taken prisoner but found again some years later and returned to him.

Capt Bannerman, of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, is due to lead his men ashore as part of the massive assault by the Allies on the Normandy beaches. Three days before D-Day, not knowing exactly what lies ahead, he pens a letter which becomes part of a journal, outlining his emotions to his wife Elizabeth: “From now onwards until D-Day plus One, I shall not get any letters from you… This morning this made me feel quite desperate… I felt a little empty. I am waiting so impatiently for news from you of yourself and my small sons, more than ever before in my life I am longing for you and if I am not able to send any letters at least I can write what I have to say in this little book and so express my emotions.”

Once ashore, he heads inland and leads his men on an assault on a wood, describing in a later writing the brutality of the situation when they come under heavy attack from German 88 guns. His men are forced out of the troop carrier they are travelling in and have to fight on individually: “Suddenly an 88 got our range and up went our carrier in a deafening explosion with all our ammunition, knocking us all sideways. There was nothing for it but to crawl – ‘Sauve qui peut,’ I shouted. Everyone for himself. Good luck. And the next few minutes I felt were my last.”

His son Tim, who visits the Normandy wood where his father fought, says his role at the forefront of the invasion was at odds with his earlier attitude to war: “He thought about being a pacifist. But there’s a bit here that says, ‘Finally, in the face of the foul poison of Nazi doctrine, which would destroy the flowering of our children’s minds, I am last resigned to believing that in this instance war may be the lesser of two evils the values that we still maintain, must be defended by force.”

is now ava. Alastair Bannerman decided he would write an extended love letter to his wife, recording his thoughts and emotions before and during the invasion. The notebook in which this letter was written was confiscated when he was taken prisoner by the Germans on the 7th of June. By a series of extraordinary circumstances, some years later a German translation of his letter was returned to him, and he was able to complete the story.

The book is available from all leading e-book retailers.

Synopsis

If I Don't Come Home Letters from D-Day by Alastair Bannerman

Published by ITV, Alastair Bannerman who features in the documentary, decided he would write an extended love letter to his wife, recording his thoughts and emotions before and during the invasion. The notebook in which this letter was written was confiscated when he was taken prisoner by the Germans on the 7th of June. Having narrowly escaped death, and survived the ordeal of a prisoner of war camp, Alastair returned home to his wife and sons in April 1945. By a series of extraordinary circumstances, some years later a German translation of his letter was returned to him, and he was able to complete the story. This letter, restored to its original language, tells the story of one man’s role in this momentous historical event, and of the love and hope that sustained him. The book has a Foreword and an Epilogue contributed by his three sons.

About the Author

Alastair Bannerman

For more information on Captain Alastair Bannerman please go to HistoryExtra.com.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th June 2014

Author

Alastair Bannerman

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Publisher

ITV Ventures ITV Ventures

Format

Electronic book text

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
The Real World

Second World War

ISBN

9781910332009

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