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Storming the Eagle's Nest: Hitler's War in the Alps [Hardcover]

Jim Ring
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Sep 2013

From the Fall of France in June 1940 to Hitler's suicide in April 1945, the swastika flew from the peaks of the High Savoy in the western Alps to the passes above Ljubljana in the east. The Alps as much as Berlin were the heart of the Third Reich.

'Yes,' Hitler declared of his headquarters in the Bavarian Alps, 'I have a close link to this mountain. Much was done there, came about and ended there; those were the best times of my life . . . My great plans were forged there.'

With great authority and verve, Jim Ring tells the story of how the war was conceived and directed from the Fuhrer's mountain retreat, how all the Alps bar Switzerland fell to Fascism, and how Switzerland herself became the Nazi's banker and Europe's spy centre. How the Alps in France, Italy and Yugoslavia became cradles of resistance, how the range proved both a sanctuary and a death-trap for Europe's Jews - and how the whole war culminated in the Allies' descent on what was rumoured to be Hitler's Alpine Redoubt, a Bavarian mountain fortress.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; First Edition, First Impression edition (5 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571282385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571282388
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 344,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The story is told with scholarship and verve ... Storming the Eagle's Nest has the quality of a crisp, well-written thriller, lingering vividly in the mind. (Ian Thomson Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

The first full account of a pivotal theatre of the Second World War. How did the Alps, Europe's lofty and majestic playground, become its battlefield?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Untold History 16 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Storming the Eagle's Nest is a not just a fascinating and largely untold history of Hitler's war in the Alps, but a great read.

Unlike the dry history books of old, Jim Ring conveys the complex and riveting story of the role the Alps played in WWII in a compelling and accessible manner.

It is clear the author has full command of the many cold hard facts, but it is his ability to convey the human dimension as well as the political that makes it such a resounding success.

Before reading this, I had no idea of the ebb and flow of the war in and around the Alps. It is an aspect of the conflict that we, in Britain, have largely overlooked.

In great style, Jim Ring has now made ample amends for this discrepancy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Nelson
I have to say I was savouring the reading of this book but, sadly, once I finished, I ultimately came away feeling a little disappointed.

I approached this volume with enthusiasm as, to the best of my knowledge, there have been no other recent books telling the story of the Alps at war in such a holistic fashion - the region really does have a mystical and romantic feel about it (a point Mr. Ring labours) and at the same time I also have to admit that unlike the previous reviewer, my knowledge of the wartime history of the area was somewhat scanty; I for one was unclear how the history of the region might have all fitted together for example. This bigger picture scene setting was well done, especially when discussing the precarious positioning of Switzerland throughout the war.

So in the context of the above comment, I would have to say that my disappointment was twofold. First, I found the lack of depth frustrating; there simply was not enough of what looks tantalisingly like some really fascinating detail. This, to me at least, is the missed opportunity for this book - the wartime history of the region was characterised much less by the clash of the big battalions as seen on the Eastern Front or that of the logistics war with the West but much more about how individuals could and did influence events.... Guisan, Dansey, Dulles, Tito, as well as myriad of other lesser characters, are all worthy of greater exposition.

Despite the scrimping on the detail, Mr.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, thrilling 20 Sep 2013
Having read Jim Ring's first book about the Alps (How the English Made the Alps -- a title designed to annoy the Swiss, French, Austrians etc) and his biography of Erskine Childers, it is a delight to be in this author's company once again. He has a lively laconic style. Combine that with deep knowledge of the mountains -- he has trekked up and over many of them -- the result is a compelling, thrilling read. I was surprised to read about Switzerland's perilous position and the compromises needed to maintain it, and to be intrigued as Ring teased out that strand in tandem with the more obviously dramatic elements to the story, for example resistance in the mountains and the tragic plight of refugees, not to mention Hitler's own attachment to the region. Ski resorts that are today mere fleshpots become infinitely more sinister in the light of their wartime role as camps and factories. I like books about the Second World War and about mountains, so it is a treat to find both subjects in one volume.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and easy to read 9 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A most interesting and little known history of this part of the war. Well written and easy to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read 23 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was an area I knew nothing of....I had visited the Eagles Nest many years ago and was fascinated by just how much of the war was conducted from this Alpine stronhold
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5.0 out of 5 stars worth while read 27 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book..
Would recommend it to any second world war enthusiast.
so good I read it twice.
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