86 pages 2 hours read

Alan Gratz


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2019

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Chapters 29-39

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 29 Summary: “William the Conqueror”

This chapter begins the section titled “Operation Amiens, June 6, 1944, Midmorning, Just Off the Coast of Normandy.”

The section is narrated from the perspective of Bill Richards, a nineteen-year-old British tank driver who is waiting on a boat offshore to be taken to the beach. Unfavorable currents are delaying their advance, and Bill watches in shock as tanks that are put out into the water flip over and sink. Bill’s tank and two others are the only ones left. Bill’s commanding officer orders the boat to take them to shore.

Chapter 30 Summary: “Achilles”

Bill and his crew prepare for the boat to let them off at the beach. He wants to get as far inland as a town called Amiens, where his father carved his name on a rock during the first world war, so he can carve his own name beneath it. Bill and his wife Maggie are expecting their first child in a few months. Bill is also fascinated by the figure of William the Conqueror, for whom he is named, who came from Normandy and conquered England, and he wants to make it to Bayeux to see an ancient tapestry commemorating the event. Bill’s tank, the Achilles, reaches the beach and begins to move off the boat.