“Cornelius Ryan has a lot to answer for,” says Al. And that may be true. But as a chronicler of conflict, Ryan sure knew how to write a book. 700 D-Day survivors were interviewed for The Longest Day – don’t worry, they’re not all included word for word. But they are referred to, and cross-referenced, and used as the detailed backdrop to ensure his account of the hours before and after H-Hour is captured for posterity. Cornelius was a pre-eminent war correspondent, flying fourteen bombing missions with the Eighth and Ninth U.S. Air Forces. He also covered the D-Day landings and, as the sun comes up on June 6th, 1944, he sets down the story of paratroopers bringing up the PIATs, hiding in the hedgerows of Normandy and witnessing the greatest armada the world has known – almost 5,000 ships carrying more than 200,000 soldiers. A must-have title for Independent Company members.