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The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (Liberation Trilogy) [Paperback]

Rick Atkinson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: £19.99
Price: £17.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Kindle Edition £11.36  
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Paperback, 6 Feb 2014 £17.79  
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Book Description

6 Feb 2014 Liberation Trilogy (Book 3)

In the first two volumes of his bestselling Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson recounted how the American-led coalition fought through North Africa and Italy to the threshold of victory. Now he tells the most dramatic story of all - the titanic battle for Western Europe.

D-Day marked the commencement of the European war's final campaign, and Atkinson's riveting account of that bold gamble sets the pace for the masterly narrative that follows. The brutal fight in Normandy, the liberation of Paris, the disaster that was Market Garden, the horrific Battle of the Bulge, and finally the thrust to the heart of the Third Reich - all these historic events and more come alive with a wealth of new material and a mesmerizing cast of characters.

With the stirring final volume of this monumental trilogy, Rick Atkinson's remarkable accomplishment is manifest. He has produced the definitive chronicle of the war that unshackled a continent and preserved freedom in the West.

Frequently Bought Together

The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (Liberation Trilogy) + The Day Of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy 1943-44 (Liberation Trilogy) + An Army At Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 (Liberation Trilogy)
Price For All Three: £43.26

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Product details

  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; New ed edition (6 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034914009X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349140094
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 5.3 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 476,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


As one might expect from a Pulitzer Prize winning author, it is written with verve and panache . . . highly recommended (Military History)

Easily the best history of the Second World War in western Europe that I have ever read (History Today)

The Guns at Last Light tells [the story from D-Day to VE-Day] brilliantly . . . fascinating (Choice Magazine)

[Atkinson's] storytelling verve and infectious, boyish enthusiasm swept me up and carried me along from D-Day in June 1944, all the way through Normandy, Paris, Arnhem and the Bulge to the final apocalyptic reckoning ... gripping and harrowing ... for sheer relentless readability, Atkinson is hard to beat. (Telegraph)

For history buffs or anyone interested in how men react in extremis ... top storytelling (Antony Beevor Mail on Sunday)

as fast and furious as the conflict it describes (The Times)

Superbly researched . . . an epic tale in Atkinson's expert hands. He never stoops to breathless prose in this perfectly paced account, and he always comes up with fresh and revealing details (Antony Beevor Sunday Times)

Book Description

The magnificent conclusion to Atkinson's monumental and highly acclaimed trilogy about the Liberation of Europe in the Second World War.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost a 5 Star 23 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This would have been a 5 star rating except that there are two bits that I know are wrong. He reports that soon after D Day Spitfires and Hurricanes were based in France. In the summer of '45 I was flying a Hurricane in a training job in Scotland and I know there were no Hurricanes operational in France at that time. The author also relates that during ground attacks pilots flew at 50 feet while firing at ground targets;.personal experience again says he has got it wrong. In January '45 I was posted to 137 Squadron, 124 Wing, 2nd Tactical Air Force in Holland to fly Typhoons. I flew ground attacks firing air to ground rockets and cannon and to aim at a ground target required that the aircraft be nose down and aimed at the target. Do that when flying at 50 feet and you hit the ground.
These are two very small points but it means that twice the author has included material without checking it for accuracy and one must have some thought that he may have done this in other parts of the narrative.
These points apart, I think this book is excellently well written and, as one who was there at the time, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Destined To Rank Among The Classics! 16 Jun 2013
By James Gallen TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Those who have began The Liberation Trilogy at Dawn and remained faithful during the Day have now reached the end with "The Guns At Last Light" and what a journey it has been. We have seen the American Army's uncertain first attacks against the Axis and watched as it matured in the fire of battle to become the unstoppable force that rolled across Europe in this last volume.

This final volume begins with The D-Day invasion of Normandy. It highlights the successes and failures of that night and day and the stalemate and breakout that followed. Controversies about Operation Market Garden and the Falaise and Colmar Pockets are reported in detail. The Allied Intelligence failures that permitted the Ardennes Offensive to advance as far as it did are objectively examined. The counter offensive that cut off the spearhead and started the advance across the Rhine over the Ludendorff Bridge at Ramegen and continued until the Americans met the Soviets at various locations. The horror of the liberated concentration camps is adequately portrayed. It concludes with the final surrender, destruction of the Nazi state and the advent of peace.

The times covered in this volume were days of trial and contention within the Allied ranks. Montgomery reached a high point as an irritant to Eisenhower and other Americans as blame for the post landing stalemate was apportioned, plans for the advance into Germany were debated and the response to the Battle of the Bulge was formulated.

One thing I really liked about this book, and the Trilogy, is the way Author Rick Atkinson so skillfully blends strategy at the highest levels with the experiences of the common soldier.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best account you will find 25 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a terrific book. Atkinson has a firm and detailed grasp of all aspects from D-day on through the liberation. He is brilliant on the strengths and weaknesses of the dominant personalities like Eisenhower, Montgomery, Patton and vividly presents other participants like the unforgettable General Ted Roosevelt. He does what contemporary historians now do so well : he covers the big strategies and events and also drills down to the perspective of named individuals. And he writes so well. Its a very easy book to read, almost a page-turner.

One niggle. Little,Brown haven't done so well. The pages of photos started to fall out before I had reached page 100. It is shockingly badly bound, I suspect just glued like a paperback. Poor for a book retailing at £35. The US edition is probably better.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive History of WW2 17 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This definitive history of events in Europe leading up to June 6th 1944 and the subsequent defeat of Nazi Germany reads almost like a novel in its account of this brutal campaign.
The tensions between world leaders, military commanders, the sufferings of ordinary soldiers and civilians are starkly recounted.
From detailed accounts of strategy to the costs in blood and treasure ,this epic history is the finest narration of this bloody campaign brings the horrors of war to grim reality.
American war production and the overwhelming mass of materiel finally ground down the superb soldiering of the Wehrmacht. The liberation of the concentration camps finally showed the world of the truely evil nature of the Nazi regime.
I cannot recommend this majestic book highly enough.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent. 8 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The author's intelligent and engaging style makes for a refreshingly easy to read book, bearing in mind the number of military and geographical references. Yet,it's hugely informative, gripping and painstakingly researched. I've read many books dealing with the Second World War (as we call it here in the UK!) and this is unquestionably the finest, in my opinion. The last few pages (Epilogue) are unexpectedly moving, and found me reading tearfully. Read it and discover why. In the meantime I'll be getting hold of the first two volumes...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Despite basic differences in military philosophy between the Anglo American partners,they succeeded despite all obstacles in achieving a total victory against the Axis Powers.
In this the final volume of Rick Atkinson's epic account of the American Army's war in North Africa and Europe, the story is taken from the difficulties on the Normandy beaches through to the River Elbe and Austria. Although this is a familiar history for many readers , in Atkinson's authoritative writing it develops into an heroic account; and its viewpoint ranges from Supreme Commander to the lowliest Private.
This is a well researched history yet written in a pacey form which is always interesting and informative. Though written mainly from the US viewpoint, it still is an even handed account which pays full tribute to the contribution made by the British forces.
Strongly recommended for both the specialist and the general reader.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book.
Many fascinating details.Sparse on German strategies.Too generous to Montgomery failures and behaviour.Nonetheless a informative and cogent account of the campaign.
Published 1 month ago by dnm
5.0 out of 5 stars Final volume of a brilliant trilogy
The Guns at Last Light is the final volume in a trilogy which tells the history of the main combined allied operations in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Western Europe. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gregory Spawton
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic price and the usual super service from Amazon
Waited two years for Rick Atkinson to complete the trilogy, well worth the wait, fantastic price and the usual super service from Amazon, what would we do without you
Published 3 months ago by david whitfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent end to a brilliant trilogy on the WW2 US Army
Guns at last light is the final book in this trilogy on the United States Army in the Second World War.
This covers the D Day landings and on to the German capitulation. Read more
Published 4 months ago by guyjfp
5.0 out of 5 stars Rick Atkinson at his best in the Liberation Trilogy- Buy the hard...
This is the third volume covering WW2. Others covered the war in Africa and the operations in Sicily and Italy. Read more
Published 6 months ago by bernard hardy
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving
RICK Atkinson has done a very good job! He has not been too pro American, he gives Patton as much stick as Monty for example. Read more
Published 7 months ago by stuart collingwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect gift for husband
Arrived on time book is exactly as promised, gave it to my husband as an anniversary gift. He had read it at the library but wanted to own it.
Published 9 months ago by Mrs Mary Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Last ight good light
I had not read Rick Atkinson before, and went on recommendation, which was a wise decision. I read it on holiday and found it interesting and informative. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mr. P. G. Aylott
5.0 out of 5 stars Normandy etc
Best of the three as it T&K's the reader from Ike's appointment and the character defects of the great leadership, the text reveals the absolute carnage and awful conditions of the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by George Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly researched
One of the most extensively researched works ever produced of this period of WW 2. Ranks with the best of Hastings and Beevor
Published 11 months ago by TonyBroadbent
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