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The Second World War, Volume 4: The Hinge of Fate Paperback – 5 May 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 4 edition (5 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141441755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141441757
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 288,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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This is the fourth 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 third volume 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. This volume describes how the three greatest allied powers, each in their own way, finally turned the tide, and reversed the relentless advance of the axis powers. It commences at the beginning of 1942, and covers the next 18 months, until mid-1943.

The first half of the book is focused on the relentless onslaught of Japan. It seemed that victory was only followed by another. All of Indochina fell, and the entire coast of China. The Japanese quickly raced down the Malay Peninsula, and seized Singapore from behind, one of the greatest defeats of the British Empire. The Dutch East Indies also fell, and Australia and New Zealand prepared for invasion (Darwin was bombed.) Burma was also invaded, and occupied, and the invasion of northeastern India was the high water mark of the Japanese advance. Few actions could underscore the true global nature of the war than the invasion of Madagascar. In the first half, Churchill also covers the vital battles against the U-boats in the North Atlantic, in order to keep the supplies flowing to Britain and the Soviet Union.

The second half of the book is entitled "Africa Redeemed.
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There's really not much one can say about this book as the books speak for themselves, written by the man who made most decisions during World War II this book is filled with interesting facts and figures and is a must read for anybody who has an interest in that period or in English history. Well written and very informative. Makes for a great read.
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If you are interested in WWII, then this, and the rest of Churchill's books are for you. There is a huge amount of detail, and you get a real sense of the drama and problems surrounding Winston as the war nears and then unfolds. Clearly written, this book is an absolute education on the war, and all the politics to make sure it was won.
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"The Hinge of Fate" is the fourth of 6 volumes of Winston S. Churchill's monumental history of World War II. The title is drawn from the fact that it was during the period of this book, late 1941 to the middle of 1942, that the hinge of war turned and the German and Japanese, who were advancing so quickly as the book opened, had started their long march to defeat and destruction. In the early chapters the Japanese are running rampant throughout the Pacific and into the Indian Ocean, threatening even Australia and India, while America was trying to recover from Pearl Harbor. The German Army was running out of steam in Russia, but months of bitter siege lay ahead. In North Africa, the Axis were still struggling with the British for control. In the Atlantic, U-boats exacted their deadly tolls, even within sight of American shores.

In the Far East, the Japanese marched through Malaya to the shores of the British bastion, Singapore, whose guns were, unfortunately, pointing to the sea rather that toward the land approaches. There inferior Japanese forces received the greatest surrender in the history of the British Army. The Dutch East Indies and its oil fell to the Japanese while their Navy menaced Ceylon, their Army conquered New Guinea and their pilots bombed Australia.

In North Africa the combined Italian-German forces threatened the Suez Canal and made the Mediterranean a hostile Sea for Allied shipping. The surrender at Tobruk, again to inferior enemy forces, was another blow to British confidence and prestige.

Churchill is mostly telling the story from his viewpoint, which was not, during this period, limited to Downing Street. The book starts with him visiting at the White House.
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I have read all the six volumes which are a really "good read". Better than a good read - now I want to re-read them all. WSC was an amazing man, but a "magnetic" author. As each story unfolds - especially the French side - you can see the characters, the personalities that WSC had to deal with. The country that claims to have "won the war" darned near lost it for us!!!

How we won that war is a miracle. Without him we would never have had a chance.
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Excellent brand new book, well packaged and delivered. Presently have first three volumes, plus this one (Vol.4) hope to buy the rest of the six volume set as time goes on.
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