Countdown to D-Day

The German Perspective

Peter Margaritis

An accurate, exciting diary-like chronicle of the day-to-day machinations of the German generals as they struggle to prepare to meet the enemy in the West.
Date Published :
April 2019
Publisher :
Illustration :
16-page color plate section and 13 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612007694
Pages : 648
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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An accurate, exciting diary-like chronicle of the day-to-day machinations of the German generals as they struggle to prepare to meet the enemy in the West.

In December 1943 with the rising realization that the Allies are planning to invade Fortress Europe, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel is assigned the title of General Inspector for the Atlantic Wall. His mission is to assess their readiness.

What he finds disgusts him. The famed Atlantikwall is nothing but a paper tiger, woefully unprepared for the forces being massed across the English Channel. His task—to turn back the Allied invasion—already seems hopeless.

His superior, theater commander, crusty old Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, who had led the Reich to victory in the early years of the war, is now fed up with the whole Nazi regime. He lives comfortably in a plush villa in a quiet Paris suburb, waiting for the inevitable Allied invasion that will bring about their final defeat.

General der Artillerie Erich Marcks, badly injured in Russia, is the corps commander on the ground in Normandy, trying to build up the coastal defenses with woefully inadequate supplies and a shortage of men to fulfill Rommel's demands. Marcks is convinced that the Allies will land in his sector, but no one higher up the chain of command seems interested in what he thinks.

Meanwhile, aristocratic Generaloberst Hans von Salmuth, an outspoken, cocky, experienced veteran of the Russian Front, has been given responsibility for defending Fifteenth Army's coastline at Calais—the area that the High Command thinks is most likely to be the Allies' objective. General der Panzertruppen Geyr von Schweppenburg is preparing the élite panzer divisions for what may lie ahead. Generalmajor Max Pemsel struggles in coordinating efforts to prepare Seventh Army, suspecting that if an invasion comes he will be the hub of the German response. All of the Western Theater commanders are subject to the whims of Adolf Hitler, hundreds of miles away but continually issuing orders increasingly divorced from the reality of the war.

Countdown to D-Day takes a detailed day-to-day journal approach tracing the daily activities and machinations of the German High Command as they try to prepare for the Allied invasion.

About The Author

Peter Margaritis minored in History at Ohio State University. A retired chief petty officer, he has an extensive military background in communications and naval intelligence. He now writes and lectures on military history. He has written many technical manuals and guides as a civilian, dozens of reports in the military, and several articles on World War II and the Civil War. He is the co-author (with George Peto) of 22 on Peleliu (Casemate 2017) and has also written several short books on the European theater.


“Detailed and comprehensive, Countdown to D-Day should be a standard work on what the Germans did and did not accomplish to meet ‘The Longest Day.’” 

- Jerry Lenaburg, New York Journal of Books

"I can easily recommend this book for any World War II aficionado, be it for Rommel fans, students of D-Day history or the military-political side of the war in the West, or simply for the greater understanding the book imparts on the vast undertaking that was Fortress Europa."


"A good read for anyone interested in D-Day..."

- The NYMAS Review

"With vast depth, this is a very impressive look at what happened in the run up to D-Day, from the German side."

- Armourer

"Well researched, this book does provide fascinating insights into the tense and complex relationships between the German High Command."

- The Military Historical Society Bulletin

‘’Simply grandiose and indispensable! And yes, seventy-five years after the events, it is still possible to publish an innovative book on the D-Day landings. And yet, no revelation, no sensational announcement. To devour, provided you read English! Essential to a library on the subject...’’


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