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Churchill's Telling of Churchill's War,
This review is from: The Second World War, Volume 2: Their Finest Hour (Paperback)
"Their Finest Hour" is Volume II of Winston Churchill's magnus opus on World War II. Beginning with Churchill's ascension to the office of Prime Minister, it continues to the end of 1940. It covers a time of the events of legend. On these pages we read of the end of the Phony War with the Blitzkrieg on France, the evacuation from Dunkirk, the fall of France, the emergence of DeGaulle, and the titanic Battle of Britain that may have been a turning point of the war.
The sudden and shocking collapse of France is told by one who struggled mightily to hold things together as the situation disintegrated around him. Churchill's repeated trips to France to assess conditions and to try to rally the French makes for fascinating reading. Churchill's exhortations to continue the struggle, the French demands for more British commitment, the frantic pleas for an American declaration of war and the incredible offer of a perpetual union between Great Britain and France make for a rapid sequence of unique events that are stranger than any novelist's fiction. As the battle lines dissolved the incredible rescue of the BEF and other forces from Dunkirk saved the troops that were to form the nucleus of the band that would return to France four years later. The fall of France would place the French fleet in jeopardy which led to intense negotiations and the unfortunate British attack at the fleet at Oran.
When the Battle of France was over, the Battle of Britain began. The Battle of Britain was the battle in the skies over Britain in which the RAF and the Luftwaffe fought for the air supremacy that was crucial to any German plans to invade England. When Germany recoiled from the battle the invasion tide receded and the British were forced to seek out other theatres if combat in which to engage the foe, this time in the Middle East.
A gifted writer, Churchill tells the story that only he knew, as only he could write. This book, along with the others in the series, are the indispensable foundations of any in depth study of World War II.