Acclaimed historian John C.
McManus has written a gripping history that will stand as the last word on this
titanic battle—a white-knuckle account of the 1st Infantry Division’s harrowing
D-Day assault on the eastern sector of Omaha Beach.
Nicknamed the Big Red One,
1st Division had fought from North Africa to Sicily, earning a reputation as
stalwart warriors on the front lines and rabble-rousers in the rear. Yet on
D-Day, these jaded combat veterans melded with fresh-faced replacements to
accomplish one of the most challenging and deadly missions ever. As the men hit
the beach, their equipment destroyed or washed away, soldiers cut down by the
dozens, courageous heroes emerged: men such as Sergeant Raymond Strojny, who
grabbed a bazooka and engaged in a death duel with a fortified German antitank
gun; T/5 Joe Pinder, a former minor-league pitcher who braved enemy fire to
save a vital radio; Lieutenant John Spalding, a former sportswriter, and
Sergeant Phil Streczyk, a truck driver, who together demolished a German strong
point overlooking Easy Red, where hundreds of Americans had landed.
Along the way, McManus
explores the Gap Assault Team engineers who dealt with the extensive mines and
obstacles, suffering nearly a 50 percent casualty rate; highlights officers
such as Brigadier General Willard Wyman and Colonel George Taylor, who led the
way to victory; and punctures scores of myths surrounding this
The Dead and Those about to
Die draws on a rich array of new or recently unearthed
sources, including interviews with veterans. The result is history at its finest,
the unforgettable story of the Big Red One’s nineteen hours of hell—and their
ultimate triumph—on June 6, 1944. Download and start listening now!