7 Leadership Lessons of D-Day

Lessons from the Longest Day—June 6, 1944

Col. John F Antal (Ret).

This book examines the leadership of seven men who led American soldiers during the D-Day operation and what we can learn from them. Not only a fascinating approach to the historic events of June 6, 1944, this is a primer on how you can lead today, by learning from the leadership of these seven.
Date Published :
September 2017
Publisher :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612005294
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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The odds were against the Allies on June 6, 1944. The task ahead of the paratroopers who jumped over Normandy and the soldiers who waded ashore onto the beaches, all under fire, was colossal. In such circumstances, good leadership can be the defining factor in victory or defeat. This book is about the extraordinary leadership of seven men who led American soldiers on D-Day and the days that followed. Some of them, like Eisenhower, Theodore Roosevelt Jr., and Lieutenant Dick Winters, are well known, while others are barely a footnote in the history books.

All of them made a dramatic difference during Operation Overlord. All understood that they had a mission to accomplish and that if they failed to lead, that mission would fail and more men would die. When things did not go as planned, they took action, adapted and overcame – they were leaders. Leadership was the only ingredient that would get them through the storm of death surrounding them and their men.

This book is not a full history of D-Day, nor does it cover the heroic leadership shown by men in the armies of the Allies or members of the French Resistance who also participated in the Normandy assault and battles for the lodgment areas. It is, however, a primer on how you can lead today, no matter what your occupation or role in life, by learning from the leadership of these seven.

A critical task for every leader is to understand what leadership is. Socrates once said that you cannot understand something unless you can first define it in your own words. This book provides the reader with a means to define leadership by telling seven dramatic, immersive and memorable stories that the reader will never forget.

About The Author

John Antal is a soldier, military historian, and leadership expert. He served 30 years in the US Army as a combat arms officer, senior staff officer, and commander. He has commanded units from platoon level through regiment and served on corps and multinational staffs. In his post-Army career he has become a video game producer, military consultant and author of thirteen books and hundreds of articles on military and leadership subjects.


Preface: Why Leadership Matters

Introduction: The Road to the Longest Day

Making the Decision: Eisenhower
The Paratroopers: Hang Tough!
Rangers Lead the Way
Tanks on Omaha Beach
Rough Rider on Utah Beach
Before the Sun Rises: The Widowmakers
The Alamo of Normandy
Earn This



"If you have any doubts about American leadership on D-Day, or that it was courage and leadership and not bombs and bullets that won the day -- read this book. Nobody tells a story better than John Antal and nobody knows better how to root out the lessons of history."

- James Jay Carafano, historian and author of After D-Day.

"This is a leadership book of the highest order. Colonel Antal's own military and corporate successes position him perfectly to grasp the deeper leadership lessons of D-Day--a "management event" like no other in its scope, scale, risks and stakes. Drawing universal truths from urgent battlefield crises, the author provides a terrific guide and training tool for leaders at all levels, from small businesses or tech start-ups to multi-national corporations or military commands. It's a pleasure to read, as well!"

- Ralph Peters, author of Judgment at Appomattox

"Even after 75 years, the modern military professional can learn a great deal from the 1944 battle of Normandy. Aside from their duty, optimism, courage and sacrifice, the men who kicked in the door of fortress Europe also left a legacy of critical decision making under the duress and complexity of combat. In 7 Leadership Lessons of D-Day, Colonel John Antal has chosen to analyze some of the most remarkable moments of truth that Americans confronted during the Normandy invasion. From Omaha Beach and Utah Beach, to the Drop Zones and Landing Zones, he has profiled some of the most important lessons learned from the battle that changed the course of the war to liberate Europe."

- Martin K.A. Morgan, historian and author of Down To Earth: The 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Normandy and The Americans on D-Day: A Photographic History of the Normandy Invasion.

"John Antal has captured the enduring seven lessons of D-Day. Only a Soldier, Leader and Scholar, like John Antal, could have captured the realities of war and combat action of the finest hours of the greatest generation. John has taken care to honor those that have made the ultimate sacrifice by his research and narrative to capture the accurate details of the times and events of small unit actions in the context of a major campaign to secure a foothold and breach German defenses in World War II in Europe. 7 Leadership Lessons of D-Day will be a best seller in Leadership in combat."

- John N. Abrams, General, US Army (ret)

“A fascinating insight into the history of D-Day.”

- The American Magazine

“7 Leadership Lessons of D-Day takes the reader deep into D-Day, exploring different theaters of battle and moments that helped make the invasion of Europe by allied forces a success… People like to talk about history coming alive…well, Antal manages that feat here.”

- Manhattan Book Review

“The leadership lessons personified in Antal’s book, based on events that occurred almost 75 years ago, speak universal truths that resonate today. Junior and senior leaders, both military and civilian, will find applicability and historical insight here. Antal’s lessons are perfect for professional development classes or personal development.”

- ARMY, September 2018

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