Invasion On

Being there . . . . for author Lt. Col. Stephen M. Rusiecki, PhD, USA (Ret.)’s brilliant, meticulously
researched, in-depth treatise how D-Day in Europe, 6 June 1944, was conceived, media shaped,
then almost instantly matched, if not excelled, 7 December 1941 as the most important date in
American history. Traditionally, us Americans have been taught to believe U.S. and world
politics, purposes, events by what we read, see, told, and overheard from newspapers,
magazines, and radio broadcasts and telecasts from even the most reputable sources. What
makes Stephen’s new narrative so exciting is that likely to last through eternity – – the 80-year-
old accepted accounts, “top-down, inside and out”, became accepted true history. Says
Stephen C. Kepher, author of “COSSAC: Lt. General Sir Frederick Morgan and the Genesis of
Operation OVERLORD, “ ‘Invasion On!’ makes a significant contribution to the broad
understanding of the execution of Overlord and specifically the ways in which press coverage
shaped the public’s understanding of the event or campaign. It is an area, concerning Overlord,
that has not to my knowledge, been well examined up to this point.”
Reviewed and 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: 2023, 331 pages, hardcover, 6 ¼” x 9 ¼”, $45, eBook
edition, available. Visit, www.usni.org.
ESSENTIAL READING FOR ANYONE TRULY INTERESTED IN THE FIGHTING FOR NORMANDY IN
1944 – NEWS ACCOUNTS WERE GENERALLY WELL-WRITTEN, WELL-EDITED, COLORFUL,
ACCURATE, AND PROFESSIONAL, ALL ON THE AUTHORITY OF THE ARMY’S HIGH COMMAND. IN
FACT, LISTENING TO RADIO BROADCASTS AND READING UNIT NEWSPAPERS ON A DAILY BASIS
MAY HAVE BEEN THE MOST IMPORTANT SINGLE FACTOR AFFECTING THE MORALE OF THOSE
MEN WHO SMASHED AND CONQUERED AXIS EUROPE. BUT DID THE NATURAL HYPERBOLA
THAT FOLLOWED OUR FIGHTING GUYS CREATING UNTRUTHS DO MORE DAMAGE THAN GOOD?
The Army had insisted that the writers for such newspapers as Stars and Stripes were
soldiers first and newspapermen afterward. The writers disagree. They felt that their job was
to print the news and get it up to the guys who were actually doing the fighting. So, the staffs,
like the one for “Stars and Stripes – – A Paper for Joe”, they wrote and kept operating on a daily
basis in spite of blood, bombs, and brass – – particularly brass. Yes, World War II was being
fought with bullets and bombs, but in the foxhole, alone or with others, minds needed to be
reminded why they were there, and, back at home, the families had to keep working. And, so it
was this kind of war the line between truth and propaganda often became blurred whether our
Allied motive was to subjugate or to inspire.
This reviewer is indebted for Stephen M. Rusiecki’s effort since it’s the first piece of writing
he has read placing him behind the typewriter of what it was like to operate a daily or weekly
newspaper less than a hundred or so yards from the front line. Not only are we privy to how
soldier newspapermen spoke, felt and behaved in editorial rooms, their simplicity, humor, lack
of heroics, but also this irresistible, fascinating story will be treasured by every G.I. who

depended entirely on his unit’s unique “newpaper’s” second-hand accounts of how it was over
there.
For the truly interested in wartime journalism, as this reviewer is having been editor of his
Edison High School Hi-Lite Newspaper in south Stockton, California, I was fascinated to learn
about the news-making process during dawn to dusk D-Day operation. What information was
made available to the writers; how did the writers assign meaning, or perveived, that
information; what information remained unavailable to them that day due to censorship or
procedural breakdowns caused by the frictions and irritations of battle. In the end, this gem of
a book that will make a stunning impression on a loved one is about the process by which the
print and broadcast media constructed a very specific storyline of D-Day in the moment, a
narrative that granted it a unique and war-defining status in the minds of the American public
of the sort enjoyed by few events in American military history.

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