Dan Gwynne Jones

D-Day and Derring-Do

Coward on the Beach

By

Bloomsbury 336pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

The blood-spattered, oily beaches of the D-Day landings of June 1944, and the ensuing slaughter at the Battle of Normandy, are still a bit too close for comfort. It is therefore a brave place for James Delingpole to begin a series of light-hearted historical romps. But he has made a pretty decent fist of it.

Dick Coward is billed as a twentieth-century Flashman: charismatic roister-doyster with permanent semi-erection and a knack for getting out of the most devilish scrapes. His memoirs, we are told, have been transcribed and edited by his grandson from a set of old cassette tapes. This first volume sees Coward dodging Nazi bullets and largely undeserved opprobrium from his fellow commandos as they take part in the early stages of Operation Overlord and strive to capture the strategically useful town of Port-en-Bessin.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,
    • 'It is a scent of animal wrath, of instinctive need, of brutal life which affects the cultured nostrils of our civi… ,
    • 'The day produced countless stories of chance, of people taking one route or another without realising that the dec… ,
    • In this month's 'Silenced Voices', looks at the case of Azimjon Askarov, the journalist and human rights… ,