I’m glad that I listened to the audiobook edition of Neptune: The Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings by Craig Symonds. Mr. Symonds taught at The Naval Academy and you can hear his passion for history in his narration. Even if you think you’ve heard everything about the D-Day Landings, your understanding of it all will deepen with his book.
Neptune was the code name for D-Day preparation by the Allied forces. While I listened, I felt a nervous tension. It’s the human details that make it so compelling. From admirals to ensigns, letters home revealed that these heroes knew that they might be writing their families for the last time. He describes the meals on board the ships as they traveled to France and the seasickness and exhaustion that accompanied them through a storm so fierce that it had caused the invasion’s delay. And while the book focuses on the Navy’s heroic contribution, it’s the infantry that haunts me. They landed on the beaches, vulnerable despite the allied airmen and Navy, and marched towards what they knew were enemy bullets. The right people came together at the right time and saved the free world. I hope their sacrifice will always be honored.