The Viney Agency

ROBERT KERSHAW

Robert KershawBorn in 1950 and a graduate of Reading University, Robert Kershaw joined the Parachute Regiment in 1973. He served numerous regimental appointments before being selected to command the 10th Battalion (10 PARA). His active service includes several tours in Northern Ireland, the First Gulf War and Bosnia. He has exercised in many parts of the world and served in the Middle East and Africa. His final army appointment was with the Intelligence Division at HQ NATO in Brussels Belgium.

On leaving the Army in 2006 he became a full-time author of military history as well as a consultant military analyst. He has written a paper on the military impact of HIV AIDS for Cranfield University and more recently was the historical editor for ParaData, an on-line archive for the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces.

His narrative history books combine succinct military analysis drawn from thirty four years as a serving soldier with the physical and psychological impact of conflict on ordinary soldiers. What did soldiers at the Little Big Horn in 1876 or Arnhem in 1944, see, smell, hear or touch?  

Robert Kershaw’s The Street about what occurred on the pivotal highway in Arnhem during the intense battle in September 1944 was published in the UK by Ian Allan and by Balans in Holland in 2014. His 24 Hours at Waterloo was published by W.H. Allen/Random House in 2014 is widely regarded as the outstanding recent book on the battle. His most recent book, 24 Hours at The Somme was published by W.H. Allen/Random House in 2016.

Robert Kershaw’s Landing on the Edge of Eternity: Twenty Four Hours at Omaha Beach was published by Pegasus in 2018.

Praise for 24 Hours at The Somme:

‘A powerful account of this devastating day in history’ (Britain at War)

‘Visceral and atmospheric’ (Daily Telegraph)

‘Powerful and vividly-drawn’ (Glasgow Sunday Herald)

‘Excellent bottom-up battle history ... a harrowing portrait of the first day at the Somme’ (Sunday Times)

For more information visit www.robertjkershaw.com

LATEST BOOK: LANDING ON THE EDGE OF ETERNITY - TWENTY-FOUR HOURS AT OMAHA BEACH

Robert Kershaw
A visceral and momentous narrative of the first twenty-four hours of D-Day on Omaha Beach: the most dramatic Allied landing of World War II.

Before World War II, Normandy’s Plage d’Or coast was best known for its sleepy villages and holiday destinations. Early in 1944, German commander Field Marshal Erwin Rommel took one look at the gentle, sloping sands and announced ‘They will come here!’ He was referring to ‘Omaha Beach’―the prime American D-Day landing site. The beach was subsequently transformed into three miles of lethal, bunker-protected arcs of fire, with seaside chalets converted into concrete strongpoints, fringed by layers of barbed wire and mines. The Germans called it ‘the Devil's Garden’.

When Company A of the US 116th Regiment landed on Omaha Beach in D-Day’s first wave on 6th June 1944, it lost 96% of its effective strength. Sixteen teams of US engineers arriving in the second wave were unable to blow the beach obstacles, as first wave survivors were still sheltering behind them. This was the beginning of the historic day that Landing on the Edge of Eternity narrates hour by hour―rom midnight to midnight―tracking German and American soldiers fighting across the beachhead.

Mustered on their troop transport decks at 2am, the American infantry departed in landing craft at 5am. Skimming across high waves, deafened by immense broadsides from supporting battleships and weak from seasickness, they caught sight of land at 6.15. Eleven minutes later, the assault was floundering under intense German fire. Two and a half hours in, General Bradley, commanding the landings aboard USS Augusta, had to decide if to proceed or evacuate. On June 6th there were well over 2,400 casualties on Omaha Beach – easily D-Day’s highest death toll.
 
The Wehrmacht thought they had bludgeoned the Americans into bloody submission, yet by mid-afternoon, the American troops were ashore. Why were the casualties so grim, and how could the Germans have failed? Juxtaposing the American experience―pinned down, swamped by a rising tide, facing young Wehrmacht soldiers fighting desperately for their lives, Kershaw draws on eyewitness accounts, memories, letters, and post-combat reports to expose the true horrors of Omaha Beach.
 


These are stories of humanity, resilience, and dark humor; of comradeship and a gritty patriotism holding beleaguered men together. Landing on the Edge of Eternity is a dramatic historical ride through an amphibious landing that looked as though it might never succeed. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Landing on the Edge of Eternity (Pegasus, 2018); 24 Hours at Balaclava (The History Press, 2018); 24 Hours at The Somme (Random House UK, 2016); 24 Hours at Waterloo (Random House UK, 2014; Casemate, USA 2015); The Street, (Ian Allan, 2014; Balans, Holland, 2014); Sky Men, Hodder and Stoughton, 2010; Never Surrender, Hodder and Stoughton, 2009; Tank Men, Hodder and Stoughton, 2008, Yauza (Russia);Red Sabbath, Ian Allan (USA), 2005; War Without Garlands, Ian Allan, 1999. (USA, Russia). D-Day; Piercing the Atlantic Wall, Ian Allen, 1994. (USA, Poland); It Never Snows in September, Ian Allan, 1989. (USA, Germany).

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