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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Judged the book by the cover and loved it
I really enjoyed this book - great day-in-the-life and historical perspectives of the French and France during wartime. Particularly amusing to read about French forces determining which soldiers should attack through excellent vineyards (themselves) and which would attack through lesser ones (everyone else)...
Highly enjoyable.
Published on 2 Oct 2002

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Obviously written by an American.
Biased towards America one would never have thought the other nations were involved in the war according to this book.
Published 17 months ago by Lynne Stoneman


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Judged the book by the cover and loved it, 2 Oct 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Wine and War: The French, the Nazis and France's Greatest Treasure (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book - great day-in-the-life and historical perspectives of the French and France during wartime. Particularly amusing to read about French forces determining which soldiers should attack through excellent vineyards (themselves) and which would attack through lesser ones (everyone else)...
Highly enjoyable.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vive Les Vins Francais, 8 May 2005
This review is from: Wine and War: The French, the Nazis and France's Greatest Treasure (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book immensely. It was factual and informative and despite being set in depressing times, an underlying humour and deviance is never far from the surface. The book is perfect for amateur wine buffs (like me) and amateur historians (like me) who are interested in daily life during World War Two. The ingenuity of the French was amazing but, after all, they were protecting their greatest asset. By the end of this book Vichy france does not come out too well but at least france lived to fight another day with her vineyards pretty much intact. Vive La France.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bottled, 3 Dec 2010
By 
Ian Millard - See all my reviews
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This is a pretty good account of what happened in and around the French wine industry in the early to mid 1940's. The book makes an attempt to show not only the thuggish behaviour of some German soldiers in the early days of invasion, but also the better and in fact usually very polite of the same forces thereafter.

The collapse of the French forces in 1940 and the subsequent squirming of the vineyard owners to fit in somewhere between outright collaboration and outright support for the foreign agents and other riff-raff of the Resistance and Maquis is fairly well told.

I was interested to see that the French called the Germans who came to buy (not seize) wine by a pidgin phrase "les weinfuhrers"! One of the main "weinfuhrers" was a man whose family had owned a Bordeaux vineyard before WW1 and whose family had had that vineyard confiscated during that war. After the Second World War, the German returned and eventually bought another vineyard. Life goes on. Europe goes on.

A very good read on the whole.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A highly enjoyable account the French wine industry in WW2, 5 Sep 2001
This is an amusing, but poignant account of how the French wine industry coped with the Nazi occupation (the telegrams from the French station master to his German superior had me laughing out loud!). Despite the humour it stills manages to convey the fear and hardships which were imposed on the people of France. It reads almost like a novel but each chapter is based upon interviews with the people involved. If you want an 'academic' study this is not for you, but for people who enjoy their history in a more 'relaxed' style I highly recommend this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dramatic and interesting angle on the French Ressistance during WWII, 6 Jan 2010
By 
R. Fried "Theatrepursuits" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wine and War: The French, the Nazis and France's Greatest Treasure (Paperback)
A fascinating angle on WWII. Perhaps it is not surprising that wine became a battlefield over which the French chose to ressist the Nazi ocupation. Short, enjoyable and easy read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An amusing account of French wine and the German occupation, 9 Feb 2013
By 
G. M. Whiting (Hampshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wine and War: The French, the Nazis and France's Greatest Treasure (Paperback)
An entertaining account of the effect of the 1940 German invasion of France on the French wine industry. In the first half of the book there is a comical situation on almost every page.The book is well written and holds the reader's attention.

However, I did find the absence of any mention of Britain's part in the war and de Gaulle's career a little hard to take.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great insight into the history of French wine though the war, 31 Jan 2013
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This is a well researched and fantastic book, if you really want to understand why French wine is so important to their cuture then look no further.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brave French men and women, battle to save their wine from the Germans., 22 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Wine and War: The French, the Nazis and France's Greatest Treasure (Paperback)
It is unbelievable how, during the second World War, brave French men and women showed enormous courage in their battle to save the wine from the Germans.
I really enjoyed reading this, well researched book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wine and War, 26 Nov 2012
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Indispensible for anyone who studies the history of wine. Best read in the those regions mentioned in the book. Fascinating
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary stories of individuals, 9 Sep 2012
By 
N. Young (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wine and War: The French, the Nazis and France's Greatest Treasure (Paperback)
Oddly, the book starts at the end of the war, when one Sergeant de Nonencourt of the French Army found himself in Berchtesgaden alongside the Americans. There, he and his men helped to `liberate' many bottles of the finest champagne that the Nazis had been hoarding. Quite incredibly, Sergeant de Nonencourt was not only from the Champagne region, but his family was (and still is) in the champagne business and he had witnessed the Germans carrying away those same bottles back in 1940.

Thus begins Wine and War, a book which tells the wartime story of `France's greatest treasure' - her wine.It's an unusual angle, but the Kladstrups succeed in presenting an informative, poignant and highly readable account of how France, with particular emphasis on the French wine industry, coped with the German occupation. Hitler's teetotalism notwithstanding, many Germans from ordinary soldiers to high-ranking Nazi officials regarded the wine as the best of the spoils of war, and the Wehrmacht requisitioned tens of thousands of bottles to be sent back to Germany. This book is the story of how the vintners of France reacted to this.

There are tales of heroism, ingenuity, black humour, resistance and (it has to be said) a few actions which verge on collaboration - be it with either the Vichy regime or with the Germans. Some vintners, like the owners of Moėt & Chandon, engaged in acts of outright resistance whenever they could, while others resisted in more passive ways, such as lying about yields and relabeling inferior vintages to fool the Germans into thinking they were being given the best bottles (which were hidden in walled-up parts of the cellars). Ultimately, it is the extraordinary stories of individuals that shine through, as ordinary people risked their lives and the lives of their families to save something that they believed, with considerable justification, to be worth saving. As such, the wine at times almost becomes a metaphor for France itself.

If you are interested in the war, or interested in wine, I would recommend that you read this book.
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Wine and War: The French, the Nazis and France's Greatest Treasure
Wine and War: The French, the Nazis and France's Greatest Treasure by Donald & Petie Kladstrup (Paperback - 4 April 2002)
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