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Their finest hour (The Second World War) [Hardcover]

Winston S Churchill
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 603 pages
  • Publisher: Reprint Society (1951)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007KCSI0
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 14 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,864,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
NOW at last the slowly-gathered, long-pent-up fury of the storm broke upon us. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No one quite like Winston Churchill 21 Oct 2010
Format:Hardcover
Volume Two of the World War series is fascinating reading, not only for the details on British strategy and approach during the difficult years 1940 and 1941, but also for the issues that Churchill (writing these volumes, of course, after the war) identified as particularly controversial and which might have called his management of the British war effort into question. Wonderful insights into the details of taking on the new face of war in the skies above England and in London itself. This is also something of a lesson plan -- at the highest level -- of organizational management.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The memoir by the WW2 leader who saw it all 12 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Gathering Storm is the first book in Churchill's six volume history of WW2.

For a while this was the definitive history of WW2: no longer. Churchill had to keep some things secret (such as Ultra and Bletchley Park) when he wrote this, so there are gaps. But it is the only personal account by any of the 'Big Five' leaders in that war and as such it's still a very important source for anyone reading up on this area of history.

In this first volume, Churchill covers the Interwar years from his own viewpoint. He became convinced very early on that Germany was set on a path that could end in another World War. While it's common to portray him as 'a voice crying in the wilderness', his access to high level government information (shown in this volume) makes it obvious that many of the political leaders and civil servants had a much higher regard for him and his views than they could afford to publicly express.

The second part covers the early war months, where Churchill was in charge of the Admiralty and the sea war - the most active theatre of operations in the 'Phoney War' period. The volume ends when Chamberlain's government falls and Churchill becomes Prime Minister.

As well as being an M.P., Churchill was in the 1920's and 1930's a well-regarded writer and popular historian. While his style is of his time, the book is both logically presented and very well written. It also contains a large amount of Churchill's own letters and memoranda, so it's full of primary source material.

I do have one minor niggle with the Kindle edition: the proof reading wasn't very good. There are more than a few typographic errors - which at times became a bit irritating.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Churchill's Telling of Churchill's War 10 Oct 2010
By James Gallen TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"Their Finest Hour" is Volume II of Winston Churchill's magnus opus on World War II. Beginning with Churchill's ascension to the office of Prime Minister, it continues to the end of 1940. It covers a time of the events of legend. On these pages we read of the end of the Phony War with the Blitzkrieg on France, the evacuation from Dunkirk, the fall of France, the emergence of DeGaulle, and the titanic Battle of Britain that may have been a turning point of the war.

The sudden and shocking collapse of France is told by one who struggled mightily to hold things together as the situation disintegrated around him. Churchill's repeated trips to France to assess conditions and to try to rally the French makes for fascinating reading. Churchill's exhortations to continue the struggle, the French demands for more British commitment, the frantic pleas for an American declaration of war and the incredible offer of a perpetual union between Great Britain and France make for a rapid sequence of unique events that are stranger than any novelist's fiction. As the battle lines dissolved the incredible rescue of the BEF and other forces from Dunkirk saved the troops that were to form the nucleus of the band that would return to France four years later. The fall of France would place the French fleet in jeopardy which led to intense negotiations and the unfortunate British attack at the fleet at Oran.

When the Battle of France was over, the Battle of Britain began. The Battle of Britain was the battle in the skies over Britain in which the RAF and the Luftwaffe fought for the air supremacy that was crucial to any German plans to invade England.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Winston Churchill World War 2 20 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As I read this book I can hear his voice, his words are still inspiring.
However the quality of the text in this ebook is disappointing, many spelling errors which I can only attribute to the OCR software used to convert the book to an electronic form.
It is a pity that it hadn't been proof read before putting the ebook on sale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indeed, it was... 30 Dec 2011
By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is the second volume of Churchill's six volume history of the Second World War, which was written "just as the dust was still settling," in 1948. Of the various phases of the war, this volume covers the one that Churchill was best placed to narrate: 1940, with the rapid collapse of French resistance, Britain had to fight alone. And it was Churchill's actions and rhetoric that proved an essential catalyst in rallying the British people to the task.

The first volume The Second World War, Volume 1: The Gathering Storm covers over a 20 year period, from the end of World War I until May, 1940. This volume covers not much more than half a year, from May until the end of 1940. The first half is focused on the fall of France, following the disastrous (for the French) German break-though at Sedan. Tough decisions? Adversity tends to concentrate the mind. There is a chapter of Churchill's decision to sink the French fleet in Oran, Algeria. It was one of the tougher decisions he was forced to make: to turn British guns on his former (and still) allies, killing over 2,000 French sailors, since the French Admiral, Darlan, would not undertake the proper actions to ensure that the fleet did not fall into German hands. There are also good chapters on the evacuation of almost the entire British Army from Dunkirk, which allowed it to fight "another day," as well as the German plans to invade England, which were incorporated under the code name: "Operation Sea Lion."

The second half of the book commenced with the Battle of Britain, the air war that featured the outnumbered Royal Air Force defending Britain, and stopping the Luftwaffe.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
it could of all been over by Christmas if churchill had been in charge sooner
Published 11 days ago by canno
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good value
Published 1 month ago by tel1
4.0 out of 5 stars suggested
Wonderful book, poor cover
Published 1 month ago by Giulio Giovannetti
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Disappointed as I purchased new book and it was not new. Although in good condition it was grubby and did not look or feel new.
Published 3 months ago by Gill Delamere
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insider's account of great events
A long read but worth it. Although rather self congratulatory the inside view of great events which shaped our history is fascinating.
Published 4 months ago by B V Woodford
5.0 out of 5 stars The World Crisis.
A real eye opener on how not to behave when an obvious threat appears on the world stage.The British and French
tried to ignore it whilst Hitler and his gang gobbled up other... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Music Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, as expected
Should there be doubt that Churchill writes as well as he speaks, this should dispel it. His voice rings from the page.
Published 5 months ago by David Robert Piper
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gathering Storm
I would certainly recommend this product to my pal of 60 years standing.
It was as stated by seller
No complaints.
Published 6 months ago by burra sahib
4.0 out of 5 stars The Gathering Storm by W S Churchill
Any excellent read my impression of this great man is Will we ever see the likes of him again. A man for the time who had unbelievable confidence in his destiny
Published 6 months ago by Terry Heslop
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent read
Churchill proves to have been as great a prophet as he became a War leader in this magnificent volume. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Geoff Lord
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