Cornelius Ryan, born in Dublin, Ireland in 1920, worked as a reporter covering the battles in Europe from 1941-1945 and then the final months of the Pacific Campaign. His articles were printed in both Reuters and the London Daily Telegraph. His first book was The Longest Day, published in 1959, selling over 4 million copies in 27 different editions. In 1962 a director named Darryl Zannuck made the book into a movie. Ryan’s next book was The Last Battle, published in 1966. His final book, A Bridge Too Far, was published in 1974. This book was also made into a movie in 1977, and just recently re-released in 1998 on DVD. Ryan had an extensive collection of materials that he used to create the large amount of realism in this book, they can now be found in the Ryan Collection at Ohio University. There are personal files for 3,072 individuals, both military and civilian participants of the battles, containing 2,551 questionnaires, 955 interviews, and numerous letters, diaries, accounts, and observations. In addition, there are 166 audio recordings of interviews Ryan considered especially important. Of particular note among the interviews are those with Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, President Eisenhower, and General Simpson, all from 1963. Doug McCabe
University Records Manager
Athens, OH 45701
In 1976 Cornelius Ryan died from cancer.
The period covered in this book is a very short one, covering the building of the Atlantic wall in little detail, and in great detail, the few days before D-Day and the initial attacks on D-Day itself. On the German side Hitler has ordered the building of a massive Atlantic Wall to stop any Allied attackers from landing on the western seaboard, from the Kirkenes to the Pyrenees. After defeat in Africa, Field Marshall Erwin Rommel is sent to inspect and oversee the wall’s completion....