The Liberation Trilogy, by Rick Atkinson

The Epic Story of the Liberation of Europe in World War II

To mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, I've asked my fellow historian Joseph Balkoski, whose scholarship on Operation OVERLORD is unsurpassed, to write a series of short essays about preparations for the invasion. A new article will appear every two weeks between now and June 6.

— Rick Atkinson


Montgomery Tackles OVERLORD
by Joseph Balkoski
Posted February 3, 2014

On New Year’s Day 1944, the two most famous Englishmen of their day drove north toward the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech, Morocco, for a picnic. Winston Churchill considered Marrakech “the most lovely place in the world” and wanted to share with Gen. Bernard Montgomery, late of the legendary Eighth Army, the breathtaking vistas of snowcapped mountains, azure skies, and bloated clouds that Churchill himself had often tried to capture on canvas. It was, Churchill wrote, “an oasis in the vast desert of human conflict,” and after lunch near a “dazzling stream in fresh air and brilliant sunshine,” the troupe pushed up into the hills. Recovering from a bout of pneumonia that had almost killed him, Churchill remained car-bound, but Monty, he recalled, “leaped about the rocks like an antelope.”

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