Item description for AT THE POINT OF NO RETURN: Pictorial History of the American Paratroopers in the Invasion of Normandy by Michel de Trez...
Where American Warriors concentrated on pathfinders, demolitions units, and first-wave troops on the eve of D-Day, No Return provides equally exhaustive coverage of troops in the field, medical units and equipment, military police, and the glider troops of both divisions.
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Reviews - What do customers think about AT THE POINT OF NO RETURN: Pictorial History of the American Paratroopers in the Invasion of Normandy?
I found this book disappointing Oct 1, 2006
I purchased this book along with de Trez's "American Warriors" based on the positive reviews. Now that I have these books in my possession, I'm convinced that the previous reviewers are used to the mediocre or happen to be friendly with the author. For those not familiar, "American Warriors" is a pictorial history of the US paratroopers in preparation for the invasion of Normandy and "At the Point of No Return" is a pictorial history of the US paratroopers during the invasion. They are meant to compliment each other. In examining both books, it didn't take long for me to figure out that this set was designed to maximize profits for the publisher/author, taking from us readers as much of our hard earned money as possible. I believe anyone with integrity would have published these books as one complete volume instead of two. This becomes apparent when one sees all of the filler material used to maximize the pages. For example, it is common to see multiple images of the same scene, just taken at a different angle by the war photographer. These replicated images show nothing more and explain nothing more to the reader. There is no reason to include them other than to fill the pages of the book. In "American Warriors" the author goes even further to fill out the book by including a dozen full page photos of the same reenactors in paratrooper garb, some taken in black and white to give the appearance of being authentic. I did not buy the book to look at photos of reenactors. I bought the book to see the real thing. I did however like seeing the color examples of items from the author's collection, but it is unclear when examining some of these photos what items are part of an original identified grouping, and what items have been added by the author to complete the impression. The text does not clarify this and rarely is any provenance given on the items depicted. The author explains that his English is poor and admits that the English captions are not what they should be. I am sympathetic to this but with a price tag of $100 for the two volumes, the author should have hired an English editor to correct his sentence structure. It wouldn't have taken long due to the minimal text. Because of the repetition, the author finds little need to add captions to a large portion of the photographs and on others the captions are very short. Another frustrating aspect of this book is that the author will add a caption such as "A closer look at this photograph shows that the jeep driver wears a helmet of the MP Platoon, Division Headquarters." but guess what? The photo is so small on the page that it is impossible to make out this detail. Numerous times I felt like I was reading a "Where's Waldo?" book, trying to find the piece of equipment the author mentioned only to be frustrated by the small, blurry images depicted. All in all, this is a poorly designed and poorly written book of marginal quality. It does not deserve the price tag that is on it. For all of you true scholars out there, this is fair warning.
Faces of the battles Oct 5, 2005
This book is a wonderful look at those paratroopers who liberated Normandy, from D-Day onwards to their return trip to England in July 44. If you are interested in the 'faces of the battles' then by all means buy it. It isn't a 'history lesson' as such, but I mean seeing photos never before published of the Normandy battles is enough reason to put down your hard earned. Any WW2 buff should have this in their collection anyway. Great read!
Excellent Reference Book ! Jul 19, 2001
This book has it all; Maps, Close ups, detailed outfits, gear and lots of pictures. Some of the pictures are very impressive (even some in color). I found some pictures of the 506th PIR Easy-Company (Band of Brothers) and having read the Ambrose book I knew what I saw in some of the pictures, gear and posters ! Are you into Para's and Normandy ? Then you'll just have to get this book !
At The Point Of No Return-American Paras at Normandy Jan 13, 2000
An excellent large format (10x13") hardcover volume with lots of original black & white photos of US Paras during the D-Day Invasion.Many of these photos have not been published before..coming from several soldiers private albums. ALSO, the best part of this book for US Militaria Collectors..are the COLOR photos of original web equipment, helmets, and insignia. Great close-ups on details such as helmet decals, patches, crickets, medical & demolition box contents..Original uniforms are posed on full length mannequins...all color....all sharp photos! Can't beat this book ...breaks up some D-Day uniform myths about crickets, arm insignia, etc. And...to top it all ..it's published by a Frenchman...a studious collector who worked countless hours on this volume to get it right, once and for all!