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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eleven Days in August
This account of the liberation of Paris in 1944 takes the reader from the early hope of June-July, through the main events of August, and on to the restoration of the city in later months. The German Army marched into Paris on the 14th June 1940 and occupied the city for the next four years; during which time the population of the city were oppressed, exploited and...
Published 16 months ago by S Riaz

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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Every death, every betrayal - the French don't change
This was a small campaign if that but terribly important to those who suffered, fought and died so it seems mean to cavil at the length although I, at least, did get irritated at learning about so much nastiness, jealousy and pettiness amongst the undoubted heroism.
Published 14 months ago by dms


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eleven Days in August, 19 April 2013
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
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This account of the liberation of Paris in 1944 takes the reader from the early hope of June-July, through the main events of August, and on to the restoration of the city in later months. The German Army marched into Paris on the 14th June 1940 and occupied the city for the next four years; during which time the population of the city were oppressed, exploited and suffered rationing and shortages. In London, General Charles de Gaulle called for French resistance to the occupation. In this book, the author uses diaries and eye-witness accounts to show personal experiences and includes the views of both the French and Germans, members of the resistance, occupiers and members of the public caught up in momentous events.

However, the liberation of Paris was not easy or unified. The resistance wanted a mass, popular insurrection to drive out the Germans and take power. The Gaullists wanted the resistance and population to be passive participants in de Gaulle's triumphant entry into Paris. As the possibility of liberation came into sight, those involved kept an eye on events in Warsaw, also rebelling in anticipation of Soviet troops arriving and the fierce reprisals this had unleashed. Paris was both wary and worried that they could easily become such a battleground.

This was a time of strikes, threats, rumours and panic. General von Choltitz was ordered to take command as Commander of the city until "the end", but many German soldiers were stealing bicycles from civilians in order to flee. Field Marshal Walter Model, loyal to Hitler, turned up at Choltitz's headquarters with a handwritten order giving him command over all German troops in the West. In Paris, the metro closed, households had electricity for one hour a day, the gas supply was erratic, water scarce and food supplies hard to obtain. Meanwhile, Berlin issued unrealistic and shrill demands.

Although it is interesting, of course, to read the overall picture of what happened in military terms, much of what makes this book so readable are the human stories. The seventeen year old girl who, living through the sporadic violence and outbreaks of fighting, remarks in her diary, "All this is very exciting! I don't think that mum will let me go to the dentists this afternoon..." The story of a woman hiding two young Jewish girls, or that of Andre Amar, a resistance fighter who was evacuated along with other prisoners and put on a train for an unknown destination.

As liberation finally reached the city, it did not, of course, mark the end of the war. It took months for some kind of normality to return to the battered city and the population, who had suffered so much. This is a very well written, and detailed, account of the liberation of Paris and how it was achieved. A time when the Germans seemed stunned by their capture; when many French people felt sorrow for those lost, others were hunted down for collaborating and many simply rejoiced. This is a very readable account of those times which I became totally immersed in and recommend highly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of times, the worst of times, 23 Jun 2013
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Just what was it like to be in Paris during those heady days before its final liberation from the Nazis?

This book tells the story of all the competing factions for post-war power in France, and how the uneasy truce between them finally prepared the city and its residents for the day when it was free again.

It's a story of joy, bravery, and pathos. the best and worst of humanity laid bare for all to see.

Its compelling reading for anyone who wants to know what it was like to share the city's finest hours of WW2.
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5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERLATIVE HISTORY CHRONICLE, 30 April 2014
By 
DOPPLEGANGER (TEDDY B) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eleven Days in August: The Liberation of Paris in 1944 (Paperback)
The art of relating historical periods and events cannot get any better than the story of the final days of the German occupation of Paris in 'Eleven Days In August' by Matthew Cobb.

For the story of one of the most turbulent periods in the life that great city of Paris, the reader is literally given a place on one of the many barricades blocking the streets of the city by the resistance and ordinary citizens to thwart the German occupation, such is the realism generated by the author.

I did not think that an account of a mere 11 days could keep my interest, but how wrong was that! I was captivated by the evolving events, and the struggles, hardships, dangers, and brutality that the citizens of Paris were exposed to, and could not put the book down.

Comes with my highest recommendation.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and informative., 28 April 2014
This review is from: Eleven Days in August: The Liberation of Paris in 1944 (Paperback)
Tells an interesting (factual) story about the Leclerc divison, the resistance and the German occupiers.
So, there was a ceasefire and Von Choltitz didn't really put up much resistance himself!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Exciting History, 3 Jan 2014
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Matthew Cobb has provided a vivid, moving and thrilling account of the liberation of Paris in 1944. The story is mainly in the words of the people who were there - members of the Resistance, German soldiers, "ordinary" Parisians. The author delved deep in the Archives Nationales to unearth previously unpublished diaries and memoirs. Accompanying the book is a website which includes a dramatic film made at the time, as well as maps, photographs and audios of radio broadcasts. Eleven Days is a multi-media production. What does it tell us?
The notes, which comprise almost half the text, reveal just how much uncertainty surrounds most of the events described. This includes when meetings took place, who attended them and what decisions they made. It extends to military actions, generally brief stand-offs and shoot outs. But the chaos and confusion are very much part of the events themselves. Into the narrative Matthew Cobb also weaves key questions of politics and strategy: did de Gaulle want an insurrection? Did the Allies take Paris to prevent another Warsaw or to prevent a Communist rising? Did the Germans give the city up or did the French seize it back?
The insurrection acquired mythic status even while it was going on. It has affected the history of "France's war" ever since. As Cobb shows there were heroes and heroines in August - they gave their young lives, they are commemorated in plaques and street names today. The film on the website shows millions on the victory parade, but only a brave few engaged in the days of fighting. The author shows that most of the barricades went up in the working class areas, while there was not a single person even wounded in the posh 16th arrondissement. Perhaps they were busy sewing their tricolours. August represented the apotheosis of the Resistance, before the old France got back in power and restored order.
Could it have been otherwise? Was there a revolutionary situation? Some of the workers occupied their factories and the left still had arms. The author looks at this theme in the final pages. The bulk of the book is a fantastic account of a tumultuous week in the history of the World War. The author is at his best on the details - the account of the liberation of Drancy is intensely moving. I was astonished to find that this camp, where Jews were held prior to going east, is still a housing estate, but that is another story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Is Paris burning?, 19 Dec 2013
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An important addition to the history of the second world war. So near and yet so far for many people as the Allies drew nearer to the city. There are many indivdual stories and some are tinged with the sorrow that on the brink of the dawn of liberation came the darkness of death. Is Paris burning? is a myth but the destruction of a fine city was averted. I enjoyed it, a good read for those who are interested in a turning point in the war.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vibrant History coming to Life, 3 Dec 2013
Very wonderful and moving account of Paris'Liberation. Unputdownable! A gripping (real) story wonderfully and vividly told. Superb. At times, really, really moving.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eleven Days in August, 26 Oct 2013
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My Wife lived through that period in the Paris Region. ( That dates us !)
The book evokes memories and those of our acquaintances who were there at the time/
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4.0 out of 5 stars Professional, 29 Sep 2013
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Very Professional and thorough history of a particularly important event and events. Recommended for all interested in France and her people.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, 15 Sep 2013
By 
J. A. Myles (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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I am about a quarter through the book and it is worth reading. Hope to finish it by the end of the month.
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Eleven Days in August: The Liberation of Paris in 1944
Eleven Days in August: The Liberation of Paris in 1944 by Matthew Cobb (Paperback - 27 Mar 2014)
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