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The Second World War, Volume 3: The Grand Alliance Paperback – 5 May 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 3 edition (5 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141441747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141441740
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 259,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Winston S. Churchill (1874-1965) was prime minister of Great Britain from 1940 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1955. A prolific writer, whose works include The Second World War and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.

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First Sentence
LOOKING back upon the unceasing tumult of the war, I cannot recall any period when its stresses and the onset of so many problems all at once or in rapid succession bore more directly on me and my colleagues than the first half of 1941. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the third 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 approximately seven months, commencing with the German attack on France until the end of the year. "The Grand Alliance" covers one year: 1941. Britain, and her Empire had fought the Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan alone for almost a year 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 fighting was truly global even when Britain fought alone, due to the resources of its Empire. The Blitz, the German air attacks on England continued, as did the countermeasures, but the possibilities that the Germans could pound England into submission had largely passed. Much of the fighting was in southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean. In general, Britain was still in retreat, as the Balkans and Greece fell. (The resistance in Greece may have played a crucial role in delaying Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union by a month, and thus, enabling Russia's "best ally," its winter, to stop the Germans at the gates of Moscow.) Crete also was lost to German airborne units. The action in North Africa see-sawed back and forth, with the British defeating the Italians, but were then pushed back by the Germans, who reached a high-water mark advance, and were routed in 1942. The 240 day siege of Tobruk notably occurred during this period. There were also maneuvers and fighting in Iraq and Syria.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Gallen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
"The Grand Alliance" is the third installment in Winston S. Churchill's six volume history of The Second World War. It is a strong link in that chain. This volume essentially covers 1941, a momentous year of transitions. As the book starts, Britain, the Dominions and its Empire are standing alone against Germany and Italy. The war is at something of a lull. France has fallen, the Battle of Britain has receded, because, unbeknownst at the time, Hitler was turning his attention to the East, leaving only a diminished air war, with active fighting largely confined to North Africa. The United States was maintaining its neutrality while President Roosevelt was working to guide America into a more active support of Britain. This period of diplomacy and relative quiet would soon be swept away.

As is customary in this series, Churchill reports the events in the war from his perspective in London. Through the year the tide of war in North Africa ebbed and flowed, leaving Tobruk at times a base for operations and at other times an enclave encroaching on a German-Italian desert empire. I found the Australian insistence on withdrawal of its troops from Tobruk to be a surprising break in Allied cooperation. The Spring brought the breakout and sinking of "Bismarck" along with war and anxious diplomatic maneuvering in the Balkans and Greece, including a desperate, but unsuccessful, British intervention. Amidst all of this, Rudolf Hess parachuted into Scotland on his own bizarre peace mission.

The first really big story of this book is Operation Barbarossa, the June German invasion of Russia, as Churchill always called the Soviet Union. Providing his own insight, Churchill records the British warning of German troop movements made to Stalin in April.
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This is the third volume of a six volume account of WW2 from Winston Churchill. I am completely absorbed with these first hand accounts from the countries leader during this world conflict. Although written several years after the war, Churchills writing style is such that it could have been written within the last few years. The story of this conflict is narrated using many of Churchill's letters and correspondence to millitary, political and world leaders. Although there are sometimes throughout the book several pages of just these records of correspondence which tend to stray from the authors personal account of the time, I believe this keeps this book objective and factual. These volumes help me understand the fears of the country and very real threat posed against Britain during the height of Nazi power. I am amazed at Sir Winstons grasp of all the various aspects of running the Empire during the war and the whole range of different aspects he personally kept involved in and supervised. Having read many books on this subject over the period of thirty years I would say that this is the definitive account of WW2 from the British side of the conflict. I am really looking forward to the next volume and would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested this period of world history.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You only ever hear about the highlights of WW2. Dunkirk, Battle of Britain and D Day. But there was far more and this book shows how Churchill was almost all that stood between freedom and Nazism for 3 years. His effect on the war during the later years was not great as the Russians did more to win the war than we did but this book shows that there would have no second half of the war had it not been for Churchill standing up to the Axis forces whist the US stood by and sold arms.

I real must for anyone studying modern history.
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