This week

This week marks two major milestones in American military history, the battles of Midway and D-Day. There have been many fine websites on these events.

Here's Blackfive's extensive roundup of D-Day

And here's the Other McCain's roundup of Midway links and coverage

I thought I would, of course, add some books to the mix.

Gordon Prange wrote one of the definitive accounts of the battle, showing just how thin the American margin of victory was and the extensive bravery by the American carrier aviators to win the battle.

I will be honest and say I have not read this book, but it has received outstanding reviews and is considered the best account of the battle from the Japanese point of view, incorporating a lot of new source material to examine why the Japanese lost a battle that should have been an overwhelming victory.

This remains one of the best recent books on D-Day. Ambrose used extensive oral histories to tell the battle from the grunt's point of view. His coverage of Omaha Beach is really excellent. A little light on the British and Canadian landings, but otherwise a very fine book.

THE classic account of the battle, this is one of the first books I ever read, and of course I loved watching the movie. Ryan's classic work pioneered oral history and using the soldier's stories to narrate the battle. All of Ryan's books are highly recommended.

Balkoski has written books on each of the American landings. His book on Utah Beach is particularly good as it incorporates not only the landings, but the Allied airborne landings behind Utah and narrates how the landing forces and paratroopers worked together to ensure a successful landing. Balkoski makes a pretty good case that if you consider the sea and airborne landings, there were in fact nearly as many casualties at Utah as there were at "Bloody Omaha"

And of course, what post would be complete without the obligatory reminder to never forget what these men did. I can only hope that we are not surrendering the freedoms they gave so much for in the name of free health care (an oxymoron) and union takeovers of American car companies.