National Press Club

Book signing: historian McManus chronicles the D-Day assault and triumph

March 12, 2014 | By Nicole Hoffman | nhoffman@press.org

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the most important battle in modern history: the Allied invasion of Europe.

Acclaimed historian John C. McManus gives a white-knuckle account of the 1st Infantry Division’s harrowing D-Day assault on the eastern sector of Omaha Beach in his new book “The Dead and Those About to Die.” The discussion and book signing is scheduled for May 5, 2014, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Conference Rooms.

This is a ticketed event and registration is required. Click here to register. This event is a fundraiser for the NPC Journalism Institute. Books must be purchased through the NPC. No outside books or memorabilia permitted. All sales are final.

Nicknamed the Big Red One, 1st Division had fought from North Africa to Sicily, earning a reputation as stalwart warriors on the front lines and rabble-rousers in the rear. Yet on D-Day, these jaded combat veterans melded with fresh-faced replacements to accomplish one of the most challenging and deadly missions ever.

As the men hit the beach, their equipment destroyed or washed away, soldiers cut down by the dozens, courageous heroes emerged: men such as Sergeant Raymond Strojny, who grabbed a bazooka and engaged in a death duel with a fortified German antitank gun; T/5 Joe Pinder, a former minor-league pitcher who braved enemy fire to save a vital radio; Lieutenant John Spalding, a former sportswriter, and Sergeant Phil Streczyk, a truck driver, who together demolished a German strongpoint overlooking Easy Red, where hundreds of Americans had landed.

"The Dead and Those About to Die" draws on a rich array of new or recently unearthed sources, including interviews with veterans. The result is history at its finest, the unforgettable story of the Big Red One’s nineteen hours of hell — and their ultimate triumph — on June 6, 1944.