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The Second World War, Triumph and Tragedy Hardcover – 1953

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1953
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (1953)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395075408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395075401
  • ASIN: B001YPL8HE
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My views of this Volume would be:-
1) it just shows that political, military & diplomatic objectives should be co-ordinated;
2) it is worth reading the Series as a first-hand account of the overall picture which there can't be many of! You soon become aware of his dislikes;
3) I think Churchill's strength was his ability to say the right thing, to the right person, at the right time!
4) I suppose if you're keen you can look up the various Agreements, Treaties & Conferences along the way if they are available! (I notice he says somewhere "Of all the public documents I have written..." & "its context in the secret records";
5) his unique contributions were getting France a Zone & alerting the world to the 'Iron Curtain';
6) it makes you wonder that the Berlin Wall took so long to fall! (I didn't realise there were 5 Zones after Potsdam - Poland got one)!;
7) I'd forgotten that the Russian Zone included Austria after Potsdam & that Berlin & Vienna were International Occupation;
8) it's interesting that Nuremberg & Frankfurt fall in the American Zone;
9) I didn't know that the 4 Zones were agreed with Roosevelt before he died before Truman came on the scene!;
10) what has surprised me the most is how highly Churchill regarded Eden & you would say friends!;
11) all the messages between the 3 Great Powers - Roosevelt, Churchill & Stalin are so friendly but that is the way people spoke to each other in those days.

I think this Volume could be read in isolation by my father's generation but for a younger person like myself best to read the Series in order so you can follow Churchill's thoughts!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Churchill's personal account of the final months of World War II is as engaging and interesting as the previous five volumes. However, I was disappointed with the subjects not covered as much as I was interested in what was.

To start with there is no mention in any of the volumes that I can recall around the Concentration Camps and certainly not in this volume. As these were liberated and the truth around 'The Final Solution' became apparent, I was looking forward to reading Churchill's disgust and shame about what had been going on under the Nazis for many years, but there was nothing. This is one of the major issues associated with World War II and for one of the main antagonists of the conflict not to make any reference to it at all is astounding. Similarly Japanese treatment of POWs was also overlooked.

Then there is Dresden. The rights and wrongs of the blanket bombing of this city towards the end of the war is still a cause for debate almost seventy years on, but again nothing. Perhaps Churchill felt it to be too controversial to be discussed, but I feel this means his famous work misses something.

Finally the fate of Rommel, whom Churchill was keen to laud as a worthy adversary in an earlier volume, is neglected. I would have felt that he would want to pay a final tribute to the man, who was a true officer and gentleman, but alas no.

Given that we are shown memos dealing with less important matters such as the beer allocation for the troops in the appendices (and the supply of playing cards in an earlier volume), these omissions seem even more baffling to me.

You can also tell that this volume was written after he had returned to power.
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Format: Paperback
...and so were able to resume the Follies which had so nearly cost them their life." So said Winston Churchill in the preface to this volume.

This is the last 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 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 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. The fourth 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, and spans from the beginning of '42 to mid-'43. The fifth volume commences in mid-'43, and spans a year, until D-Day, June, 1944. This last volume commences on D-Day, and ends BEFORE V-J Day, the surrender of Japan, since the British people refused to continue his leadership mandate in the election of July, 1945.

As with his other volumes the primary focus is on British and American efforts to defeat Nazi German and fascist Italy. It commences with a workable account of D-Day, and the Allied drive to Paris. Not as crucial to the final victory, but still noteworthy was the Allied invasion of southern France with 86,000 troops. The coverage of the fighting on the Eastern front is limited, and was primarily focused on the Warsaw uprising. Churchill also devotes an entire chapter to the critical naval battle in the Pacific, in Leyte Gulf.
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