Stephen Ambrose, a military historian famous most recently for his assistance to Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks in the making of HBO's Band of Brothers utilizes oral histories from over 1400 sources in this book. His sources come from the United States, Canada, Britain, France and even Germany. His information is so thorough that he even lists information about the various military divisions from each country, types of weapons used, particular biographies of numerous soldiers and the beaches in which the battles were fought.
Through these oral histories, research and interviews with those who stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, Ambrose gives major detail about the most notorious invasion in history. Termed "The Longest Day" by then General Dwight D. Eisenhower, D-Day is considered by some to be the most important day in modern history.
Ambrose' first interview in the making of this book was with General Eisenhower.
This occurred in 1964 when Mr. Eisenhower was searching for a military novelist to write his biography. During their first meeting, General Eisenhower informed Ambrose of a man named Andrew Higgins. His opinion was that "He is the man who won the war for us." This really piqued my interest when I read this section because I always thought that Eisenhower was the brains behind the defense of the Allied Forces. To imagine him praising a non-military person in this way truly amazes me.
Andrew Higgins' was considered a self-taught genius who designed small boats which were flat-bottomed. In 1939, the Marine Corps. requested Andrew Higgins of Higgins Industries to begin building landing craft in preparation of the war. The final product was a 32-foot boat with enough room for 32 soldiers. (Imagine - One foot per grown man?!) The boats were made of steel and wood.