Invasion On

Being there . . . . for a spellbinding new way of looking at events leading up to and during the D-
day Normandy invasion of German occupied France, thus Western Europe, on the early
morning of 6 June 19 44, code named OVERLORD. Plagued by foul weather, shortages, and
anxiety riddled with doubt up to the moment Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of
the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe, said quietly, but resolutely, “O.K., we’ll go”, many
Allied generals not only nervously agreed launching a massive invasion of Nazi-occupied France
was necessary, but also, like Churchill, who called the Operation, “. . . undoubtedly the most
complicated and difficult that had ever taken place”. In 1986, David Eisenhower, Ike’s grandson,
saw his refreshing, highly insightful, “Eisenhower at War 1943 – 1945”, Random House, 977
pages (!) published presenting the public with thoughtful, perceptive insights about grandpa’s
views from Supreme Command that had long been submerged by myth. Since David’s
breakthrough, other D-Day authors, worldwide?, literally by the thousands, have had their say.
Our scholars, however, have never forgotten that it was Ike’s fishing partner, David, married to
Julie Nixon, who gave us the first real, truly honest inside look at Ike’s role in World War II.
PRACTICALLY GUARANTEEING BEST-SELLERDOM WHEN FIRST PUBLISHED IN 2023, STEPHEN M.
RUSIECKI’S “’INVASION ON!’- – D-DAY, THE PRESS, AND THE MAKING OF AN AMERICAN
NARRATIVE” WILL SURPRISE WORLD WAR II SCHOLARS, ENTHUSIATIC BUFFS, AND GENERAL
READERS WITH THE TRUTH THAT EMERGES FROM IKE’S MAZE OF MYTH, GUESSWORK, AND
SPECULATION THAT HAS SURROUNDED NOT ONLY THE 6 JUNE 1944 INVASION, BUT ALSO IKE’S
ROLE IN IT. . . . .
Reviewed and Highly, Highly Recommended by Don DeNevi
“‘INVASION ON!’ – – D-Day”, the Press, and the Making of an American Narrative”, by Stephen
M. Rusiecki. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD 21402: 2023, 233 pages, hardcover, 6 ½” x 9
½”, list price, $39.95; USNI, $23.97; Amazon, $30.36.
A famous excerpt from 5 June that circulated on 7 June 1944
“Slightly ahead of schedule, King George rose to depart. He asked the Almighty’s blessing on
OVERLORD, then passed down the front row, shaking hands with the distinguished guests and
pausing to speak with Eisenhower, who had delivered a brief introduction. Eisenhower’s deep
Kansas voice broke the silence. ‘Your Majesty,’ he said, ‘there will be 11,000 planes overhead,
tomorrow, and OVERLOAD is backed by the greatest armada in history. It will not fail.’ “
from David Eisenhower’s acknowledged, “Eisenhower at War 1943-1945”, 1986, 977 pages.
Which brings us to Stephen M. Rusiecki’s splendid, supremely good write, “Invasion On!”, in
short, providing us buffs and serious World War II enthusiasts a comprehensive, accurate
presentation dispelling current misconceptions of what really happened that day via a pleasant
narrative style. His extraordinary in-depth analysis begins with how American, British, and
Canadian troops attacked five separate Normandy beaches simultaneously, our units meeting

the strongest opposition, thus receiving the most causalities. Keep in mind, 5000 ships and
150,000 troops were launched across the English Channel that faithful morning a little after
2:00am. Almost immediately the radio and newspaper people got wind of it, although most
surely crafted the narrative of the “big moment” months and weeks before. In most instances,
the news that was officially released communicated their same crafted themes, all positive
albeit costly. Thus, Stephen, in Chapter One, sets the media landscape and other factors that
directly affected the on-going creation and fundamental direction of OVERLORDS’ storyline.
Chapter Two focuses on its significance to the global war effort as reporters developed it
through the first sparse radio broadcasts before the 6 June 9:00am hours. Chapter Three
broadens Chapter Two by describing how the newspapers intervened by mid-morning to
continue the same theme using “visual devices such as evocative headlines, detailed maps
prepared earlier”, and the very first landing activities photos taken, many under actual German
fire. Chapters Four and Five continue with the newspapers’ efforts to clearly visualize the
emerging D-day narrative “with wire-service summaries” dominating entire front pages.
However, Chapter Five devotes its accounts to the “sacralization” of the first troops to reach
the beaches, then heroically secure them knowing fully well half of Hitler’s western European
tanks were alerted to put those landed forces back into the Channel. Chapter Six glorifies, and
rightly so, “the best leaders leading the very best soldiers” via newspaper features and
eyewitness broadcasts. Chapter Seven, priceless, is devoted to the final D-day narrative drafted
around “ . . . four themes which have endured in America’s consciousness for more than three-
quarters of a century, principally through the speeches of American presidents at national D-
day commemorations. Author Rusiecki insists that the D-day narratives and its four themes
have remained pretty much unaltered.
In many ways, writers David Eisenhower and Stephen Rusiecki display the same qualities that
won Ike praise for winning the Normandy coastline, its interiors, and later World War II, then
the Presidency of the United States. They included some of the highest qualities a human can
attain – – prudence and wariness, attention to all circumstances, control and controlled,
reserved and reticent, and, most of all, patient perseverance and a resoluteness resulting in
winning every effort, whether writing an excellent book on a difficult subject or winning a war.

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