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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable Voices!, 3 Nov 2004
By 
Anne Thomas (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Forgotten Voices of the Second World War: A new history of world war two in the words of the men and women who were there (Hardcover)
Right from the beginning - the outbreak of war - the individuals' accounts give an immensely moving insight into such widely different areas of the conflict - and portray such a range of experience, from the home front to the front line. The first-hand reminiscences bring the events of history to life - so vividly. I read the accounts from every year and every campaign with an increasing realisation of just how the war took its toll. The reminiscences of a former prisoner of the Japanese who returned to his family home stunned me. He went to his own room, having never been completely on his own for four years, and was suddenly alone with his thoughts - what had it all been about? It was a really powerful and moving read - whether you're a war-reader or not.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that saddens but inspires, 17 Jun 2005
By 
Mr. R. J. Millington "Richard M" (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
What can I say? This book is compelling stuff and a must-read for anyone with an interest in the human aspect of war. The book is divided into chapters corresponding to the years 1939-1945 which makes the events coherent and easy to follow.
The book is made up of accounts from people involved, from evacuated school children to glider pilots, much in the vain of the book ENEMY AT THE GATES by William Craig. We learn their name and position in the war and then they tell their version of what happened. The stories are riveting, exciting, funny and tragic.
This book is based heavily on the British aspect of things (being taken from Imperial War Museum tapes) and as such includes no accounts of the Eastern front or Pacific theatres. Every theatre where the British were involved is included - Home Front, evacuation, Dunkirk, Malta, Crete, North Africa, Burma, D-Day, Arnhem, the list goes on. I found the stories of the Atlantic Convoys particularly gripping. There is the odd account from a German or French soldier thrown in, too, to add a bit of balance.
If you like reading about real people and their own acounts of the War then this is the book for you!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be Forgotten, 16 Jun 2005
What a wonderful book. "Forgotten Voices" is one of those books that once you've started, you just can't put down. The contents are split into each year of WW2, covering events from all over over the world.
Not only do veterans from the allies remember their stories, but also there are comments from Germans. Civilians also remember those terrible years.
Having many books on WW2, this one is so different as it puts such a personal touch to events from The Blitz, Battle of Britain, D-Day and the Far East.
The sights and sounds that these people recall will make the reader appreciate exactly the trauma, fear, and elation that prevailed during those 6 years.
The book is excellent in every respect, written not by Historians, but by people who were there. That in itself should tell you that each page is is full of accounts so detailed that you imagine you were there yourself. We must never forget these voices, and books like this will ensure that we wont.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Insight into WWII, 19 Dec 2006
I have read a few books on WWII. This book will draw you into the lifes of the men and women who were there. It covers the start of the war right upto the War with Japan and VE Day. What I found interesting about this book is that it covers hundreds of different accounts from the different people who experienced the war. This book was difficult to put down. If you like WWII then this is a must read !!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real people giving truely personal accounts, 24 Nov 2008
By 
Robinho (Haverhill, Suffolk,UK) - See all my reviews
I also have Forgotten Voices of the Somme, which too is an amazingly moving account. Forgotten Voices of WWII is a longer rendition in an interestingly different tone to the Somme the later chilled me to the bone and left me in awe of those that were there

This book is of a different war in a different era laid out so that the reader can follow the progress of the war from declaration to completion albeit in a selected way. The book can be read 10 minutes at a time, enough to take in one or two personal reports where one can dwell on the experiences portrayed or like any other book it can be read in longer stints.

I am convinced it is as close as I every would wish to get to the experience that these people endured and I am grateful to be able to read some pieces of what they went through and from this book one can almost feel the time

Either book is a must buy for anyone from a passing interest to someone wishing to understand in more depth. Both books offer good value and would complement each other without repetition
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten Voices of Second World War, 5 Dec 2009
By 
G. E. Mills - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As I lived through the war 10 years of age when it started it revised many memories for me,at first nothing seemed to happen then the air raids, the local news papers with little pictures of service men killed the demolished houses the pride we felt in our air force during the battle of Britain, and many more things were brought back to me, for me it was a compulsive read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving tribute., 16 Sep 2010
By 
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I've had this book for quite a while and never really read it properly. I'd always just read short snippets to get a feel.

Now, as we've been seeing a lot of TV and press coverage to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, I decided to read it thoroughly and I'm very pleased that I did.

Other reviewers have described the format well and give you a good idea of what to expect but what i particularly enjoy is seeing the same names cropping up and piecing together their stories. Some make you realise how much of a lottery the 2nd world war must have been, not just for soldiers but also for civilians as well.

The emotions also come across so well, even though some of the accounts must have been recorded years later it's obviously still very vivid in peoples minds. You really do feel like you've been a part of the events, it's empowering!

From the perspective of the western allies, almost all the confrontations are covered. As a result of this it makes for an excellent tutorial on the war's events.

Finally, it's good to see the odd account dropped in from the German perspective. You get a sense of balance and really feel the nationalism that the Nazi's managed to ingrain in their people at the start.

A very enjoyable read that constantly piques your interest and makes you want to keep turning those pages.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding account from those who were there..., 22 Jan 2011
By 
Richard Rogers "spitfire" (Flintshire, N Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Max Arthur follows on from his 'Forgotten Voice of the Great War' with an equally compelling, first hand recounts from those who were there. We all know the story and the outcome but this format is compelling. As you read the words of the men, you can hear their voices in your mind, telling you how they got through the grim, dark despair of war.

This book is not an analitical view of war, or a judgement on where things went wrong and who was to blame. These are the thoughts of the men that were right in the middle of it. Honest opinions from those who know better than most what really was happening. Sometimes its sad, sometimes its funny, sometimes it opens your eyes.

Buy this book and become enthralled...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical fact, 3 May 2014
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Gives us an insight to an era that ordinary men and women suffered for our country in wartime. Recommend to all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Get it now, 13 Jan 2014
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I actually got this for my other half who is into History, I like history but this book is great for the both of us. It really does capture what it was like for our grandparents/great relations that were in the war. It has different perspectives from a diverse range of people like soldiers, German/English school children etc. Easy to pick up and put down again with short detailed interviews with each person in a variety of situations. A great book and good educational tool no doubt. I had the first world war book and hadn't had it a week before ordering this one! Go for it. makes great gift or personal read.
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