The Silent Day
A Landmark Oral History of D-Day on the Home Front
By Max Arthur
A unique landmark oral history of D-Day on the Home Front, 6 June 1944, told through the voices of those who experienced it first-hand.
On 6 June 1944 Britain woke up to a profound silence. Overnight, 160,000 Allied troops had vanished and an eerie emptiness settled over the country. The majority of those men would never return.
This is the story of that extraordinary 24 hours.
Using a wealth of first person testimonies, renowned historian Max Arthur recounts a remarkable new oral history of D-Day, beginning with the two years leading up to the silent day which saw the UK transformed by the arrival of thousands of American and Canadian troops. We also hear the views of the American troops, who quickly formed strong views of both the British military and civilian populations.
Then, on that June morning, many British people woke up to discover that vast areas of the country, which had throbbed with life only the day before, were now empty and silent. Civilian workers found coffee pots still warm on the stove but not a soul to greet them. Many women - and children - felt bewildered and betrayed.
Then, throughout that day and the days that followed, the whole population gathered around wireless sets, waiting for news. There are powerful testimonies from families of who lost loved ones on the beaches of Normandy, and dramatic personal accounts from young widows who had never had the chance to say goodbye.
THE SILENT DAY is an original and evocative portrait of a key event in world history, and a poignant reminder of the human cost of D-Day.
Max Arthur is acclaimed for his speciality in sourcing first-hand recollections of the twentieth century, particularly the First and Second World War. He is the author of many bestsellers including 'Forgotten Voices of the Great War' and 'Forgotten Voices of the Second World War' which were both written in association with the Imperial War Museum.
He has presented two television documentaries based on his books: The Brits Who Fought For Spain for the History Channel and 'Dambusters'.
Arthur was recognised in the 2013 New Year Honours with an OBE for his services to military history.
- Other details
- Publication date:
22 May 2014
- Page count:
Hodder & Stoughton
Enthralling ... captures the nerve-shredding tension of the build-up to D-Day from the unique perspective of ordinary Britons at home. — Daily Mail