A vivid and moving account of preparations for D- Day and the advance into Normandy. Published in the 75th anniversary year of the D-Day landings, this is based on the author’s first-hand experience of D-Day and has been described by Antony Beevor as ‘undoubtedly one of the very greatest British novels of the Second World War.’
My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours and the Imperial War Museum for the Invite to the series of Tours of newly re-published wartime classics marking the 80th anniversary of World War 2. My first stop of 3 in the series is 'From The City, From The Plough' by Alexander Baron.
First written in 1948, this is a piece of fiction yet it is based on Alexander Baron's real life experiences.
Whilst not a huge read physically, its less than 200 pages, it's a huge read literary wise, this book is a stunning accomplishment which stands the test of time to this day.
Detailing the story of the Fifth Battalion as they train and await their posting, the first part of the book, is engaging, and builds subtlety as we are introduced to the characters in the book, all well believable and possibly very real people.
Later, the book describes the most harrowing D-Day landings in Normandy and then the press onward through France battling the enemy.
At times, horrific, haunting and emotional, it’s very deep, and very sad as you know what your reading is based on real events. I found my self so caught up in these events I was almost heart-broken at the outcome of the soldiers we meet through the book.
Baron wrote this raw powerful story without wasting any extra filling words. His story is both compelling and beautiful. It’s very moving.
Quite simply a fantastic achievement that a book written over 60 years ago can be picked up by a 37-year-old man, and effect me quite the way it has.
My reading of books from, and based on the tragic awful events of ww2 are limited, yet I think I would be hard pressed to read another book so vivid and so very realistic
Please join me on September 14 , for my next stop on the tour, where I will share my thoughts on 'Trial by Battle, by David Piper.
Alexander Baron was a widely acclaimed author and screenwriter and his London novels have a wide following. This was his first novel.
IWM (Imperial War Museums) tells the story of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War.
Our unique collections, made up of the everyday and the exceptional, reveal stories of people, places, ideas and events. Using these, we tell vivid personal stories and create powerful physical experiences across our five museums that reflect the realities of war as both a destructive and creative force. We challenge people to look at conflict from different perspectives, enriching their understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war and its impact on people’s lives.
IWM’s five branches which attract over 2.5 million visitors each year are IWM London, IWM’s flagship branch that recently transformed with new, permanent and free First World War Galleries alongside new displays across the iconic Atrium to mark the Centenary of the First World War; IWM North, housed in an iconic award-winning building designed by Daniel Libeskind; IWM Duxford, a world renowned aviation museum and Britain's best preserved wartime airfield; Churchill War Rooms, housed in Churchill’s secret headquarters below Whitehall; and the Second World War cruiser HMS Belfast.