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Conquerors' Road: An Eyewitness Report of Germany 1945 Paperback – 27 Mar 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; New Ed edition (27 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521537517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521537513
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.4 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 405,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'Osmar White was not only one of the finest correspondents of the Second World War but a visionary writer and philosopher of courage and conviction. If you care about the future of civilisation then you must read this extraordinary book.' Phillip Knightley

'Conquerors' Road is compelling reading: candid and immediate, full of vivid witness detail, but inquiring and sceptical.' Philippa Hawker, The Age

'This book ought surely be considered a key document in the literature of the war and the Holocaust.' Tina Kane, Quadrant

'This highly personal account of the death agonies of Hitler's Third Reich is war reporting at its absolute best. White was one of Australia's finest war correspondents and the publishing of this memoir opens a fascinating time capsule of contemporary reporting on remarkable events.' Tim Bowden

'The writing is just excellent … I had not heard of Osmar White until I read this book but I will seek out his other writings now. He has provided a concise report which brings alive his part of the war. It seems to me to be as fresh as the day it was written and if this is a period which interests you or you are involved in reconstructing nations, then buy this book. It is a significant commentary from a skilled observer.' British Army Review

Book Description

A highly acclaimed inside account of the Second World War from the diaries and articles of one of Australia's finest war correspondents. Chosen as one of the top 100 pieces of journalism in the twentieth century, Conquerors' Road remains as fresh and more timely than ever.

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The end began in winter, the hardest winter in memory on the German frontier. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Pj Williams VINE VOICE on 4 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is one for people who like to read about journos in war. his writing is superb in description. he really gets to the heart of what the scene is. shame its not a longer book but is a very interesting read non the less. from the age of the typewriter lugging war correspondent
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Courageous journalism 3 Nov. 2003
By Neil Jillett - Published on
Format: Paperback
Brilliant, courageous and accurate reporting from the front line has been one of the great international contributions of Australian and New Zealand journalism, especially during World War ll. Osmar White, who reported from both the Pacific and Europe, was among the finest of the Anzacs who achieved global recognition as war correspondents. "Conquerors' Road" -- a first-persona account of the US Third Army's push to Berlin -- shows why he had such a high reputation. He brought the skills of a novelist (which he later became, in tandem with his work as a journalist) to his depiction of the horror and folly of war, whether he was describing Buchenwald concentratin camp or Herman Goering's trove of looted treasures. White was too experienced and intelligent to believe that complete objectivity was possible in journalism, but his subjectivity never slipped into bombast or sentimentality. His precise, vivid writing always allows you to distinguish between fact and his opinion and emotions. Much of this book was virtually written on the run, yet it is an important contribution to the history of the 20th century.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excellent first-hand account of the end of WWII in Europe 29 Aug. 2010
By Owen Hughes - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a book with a very odd history. Australian journalist, novelist, author and war correspondent Osmar White published a very good account of the New Guinea campaign, Green Armour, which should be read alongside George Johnston's admirable New Guinea Diary. White then moved on to the European theatre, arriving in time to enter Germany in the wake of Patton's army (like everybody else, he couldn't actually keep up with Patton!). This is his first-hand account of the invasion of Germany, the surrender, and the early weeks of a Russian-held Berlin and the mopping up campaign of the Americans. When he submitted the book for publication in 1946, it was at first gleefully accepted as a natural follow-on in tone and temper from his earlier work. And then suddenly, after publication dates had been set and all seemed ready to go, the book was dropped.

Looking back, it is not difficult to see why: White made no bones about the over-zealous attitude of the invading armies at the end of the war, and what he felt to be the foolish processes that took place at the beginning of the peace, including the Nuremberg trials. This was much too controversial a topic at the time and neither the Americans or the English would publish the book as it stood.

Yet White was back in Australia by this time and working on other projects, so he let the matter drop. It was not until 1996 that the idea of publishing this long-forgotten work surfaced, and White decided that he would try and get it out. This edition has now been available for a decade or so and must constitute one of the last remaining documents of its kind (without including still-classified government information, of course) to be made available to students, historians and the general public.

It is initially a straightforward account of the fast-paced campaign to cross the Rhine and head for the heart of Germany and White's prose is certainly up to the task. Once the war is over, however, White begins to analyze certain aspects of the end-of-war scenario that is building, and he becomes a severe critic of much of the military and political leadership of the day. A very worthwhile read with that unbeatable additional ingredient: first-hand experience of these very historic, yet very sad weeks and months at the end of the European war.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Timely Read 1 Jun. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
A well paced and interesting read. Conquerors Road is a gripping journey through events at the end of WW2. Importantly, many facets of war journalism are discussed, and this is extremely pertinent in the current political climate. To the younger reader such as myself it gives a great impression and sense of the time and events of WW2, and with this the reader can get a good perspective on the recent events in Iraq and especially issues around their reportage.
I really liked the flow of the book, which is understated and progressive - it was difficult to put down. The events unfold naturally, and the distance between 1945 and the present is greatly reduced.
There are some strong descriptions about conditions and the depravity which occured in the war, and these have a lasting impact. The book is an effective window to the past.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Read it twice! 13 Oct. 2013
By J. Byrd - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An extremely interesting perspective on the end of WW2 in Europe. I had to read it again to see if I missed anything. Highly recommended for everyone, not just those interested in history or WW2. Check under the "other options" for used books if you want to get the best deal. My copy ended up coming from a thrift store in California for about $5, and is in good condition.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
White's Conqueror's Road is particularly relevant now with the anniversary of the D Day landings bringing back to mind the allies' slog through Europe which White captures so well. He compels us to ask again why so many of those involved in the conflict behaved the way they did. More than that, he insinuates the question in our minds "have people changed, could these things happen again?" The book is timeless and disturbing; no wonder publication was refused for decades.
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