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The battle for Normandy was the most complex and daring military operation in the history of modern warfare. Two years of intense, detailed planning reached its successful conclusion when the Allied forces took the beaches on D-Day. But the seventy-six-day campaign that followed, the Allies' crucial bid for a toehold in western Europe, was one of the bloodiest of the war, and its true story has been concealed in myth. Drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished papers, declassified documents, diaries, and personal interviews, Carlo D'Este has written the first full account of what actually happened in Normandy, how the campaign went wrong, and how it was eventually won. Step-by-step the reader is taken through the Normandy campaign from the earliest days after Dunkirk when Churchill first considered the idea of a cross-channel invasion of France, to the key battles that determined that outcome, with maps clearly explaining the strategy and logistics of each battle.