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Triumph and Tragedy: The Second World War Hardcover – 1953

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (1953)
  • ASIN: B0049JXOE2
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.7 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 870,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
OUR long months of preparation and planning for the greatest amphibious operation in history ended on D Day, Tune 6, 1044. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 April 2013
Format: Paperback
...and so were able to resume the Follies which had so nearly cost them their life." So said Winston Churchill in the preface to this volume.

This is the last volume of Churchill's six volume history of the Second World War. The first volume covers the approximate 20 year period between the end of WW I until May, 1940. The second volume covers seven months, commencing with the German attack on France until the end of the year. The third volume covers one year: 1941. Britain, and her Empire had fought the Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan alone before Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union, in June, 1941, led to the USSR joining an alliance with Britain. Six months later, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the third major power into conflict with the Axis. The fourth volume describes how the three greatest allied powers, each in their own way, finally turned the tide, and reversed the relentless advance of the axis powers, and spans from the beginning of '42 to mid-'43. The fifth volume commences in mid-'43, and spans a year, until D-Day, June, 1944. This last volume commences on D-Day, and ends BEFORE V-J Day, the surrender of Japan, since the British people refused to continue his leadership mandate in the election of July, 1945.

As with his other volumes the primary focus is on British and American efforts to defeat Nazi German and fascist Italy. It commences with a workable account of D-Day, and the Allied drive to Paris. Not as crucial to the final victory, but still noteworthy was the Allied invasion of southern France with 86,000 troops. The coverage of the fighting on the Eastern front is limited, and was primarily focused on the Warsaw uprising. Churchill also devotes an entire chapter to the critical naval battle in the Pacific, in Leyte Gulf.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Churchill's personal account of the final months of World War II is as engaging and interesting as the previous five volumes. However, I was disappointed with the subjects not covered as much as I was interested in what was.

To start with there is no mention in any of the volumes that I can recall around the Concentration Camps and certainly not in this volume. As these were liberated and the truth around 'The Final Solution' became apparent, I was looking forward to reading Churchill's disgust and shame about what had been going on under the Nazis for many years, but there was nothing. This is one of the major issues associated with World War II and for one of the main antagonists of the conflict not to make any reference to it at all is astounding. Similarly Japanese treatment of POWs was also overlooked.

Then there is Dresden. The rights and wrongs of the blanket bombing of this city towards the end of the war is still a cause for debate almost seventy years on, but again nothing. Perhaps Churchill felt it to be too controversial to be discussed, but I feel this means his famous work misses something.

Finally the fate of Rommel, whom Churchill was keen to laud as a worthy adversary in an earlier volume, is neglected. I would have felt that he would want to pay a final tribute to the man, who was a true officer and gentleman, but alas no.

Given that we are shown memos dealing with less important matters such as the beer allocation for the troops in the appendices (and the supply of playing cards in an earlier volume), these omissions seem even more baffling to me.

You can also tell that this volume was written after he had returned to power.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. R. Pearson VINE VOICE on 13 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
As exciting and absorbing as the rest of this work, thoroughly recommended for anyone with a serious interest in the Second World War.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was given a box set of five of the first five volumes and having read all of them, I had to have the sixth. Why a box set was produced which omitted the final volume I so not know!
All volumes are worth reading - they are the actual words of the Greatest Englishman. Written just after the war, without the 'benefit' of years on hindsight and analysis, it shows that we definitely had the right man in the right place at the right time.
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By steve langton on 27 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Churchill was a great writer as well as a remarkable politician. All style as well as substance, his writings would make him interesting even if he had done nothing else.
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By Tim on 7 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Winston Churchill's historical facts of WW2 are first class and cannot be faulted but unfortunately the proof reading and spelling is atrocious.
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