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on 6 January 2014
It has taken me 66 years to become aware of the extent of the debt that I owe to Churchill. This truly great leader, under the most unimaginable pressure, was not only the saviour of our nation but of the whole of Europe. And if you believe this to be a gross overstatement then remember this - during 1940 the heads of almost every country in Europe were taking refuge in England whilst Hitler was driving all before him. With no help forthcoming from Roosevelt the United Kingdom were the only country standing between Hitler and total domination of Europe. And the man to thank for that, the only man to thank for that, was Winston Churchill. He would ultimately be supported by the magnificent spirit and resilience of the British people, never more evident than when they have their backs to the wall and when all appears lost 'there was a white glow that spread from one end of the nation to the other'. How different our lives would have been had Churchill bowed to the purveyors of appeasement. A superbly written book and one that everyone should read.
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on 4 December 2015
Lukacs is an interesting historian with a distinctive style. He shines another light on why Churchill decided against negotiating a peace agreement with Germany, although Poland could not be rescued and Britain's own defences were far from secure, especially after the unexpectedly rapid collapse of France. He reveals however that Churchill briefly considered the Hitler-fan Lloyd George as a possible peace leader as an alternative to Oswald Mosley, who was then imprisoned without charge or trial just after stating that his British Union in the event of an enemy landing would be at the disposal of the government in driving in the Nazi invaders from our soil! One would like to see Lukacs, who has also written a good book on the sad outcome of WW2, examine the long forgotten and largely unknown efforts to impede the Allied war effort made by the Communists in Britain, America, France, Belgium and China during the Russo-German Pact. Churchill ruefully remarked after the war that we faced "even worse" perils from the USSR and "perhaps we had killed the wrong pig".
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on 13 September 2017
A reasonably good account of the deliberations within the War Cabinet during those crucial five days in May. However, many of the assertions made by Lukacs purporting to be an account of crucial events on the continent have been invalidated by more recent research, especially into operations involving the RAF and the BEF. A far better account is given in Hidden Voices of Dunkirk and The Making of Dunkirk by Joshua Levine. He systematically refutes the received cut and paste wisdom that the RAF took no part in military operations and the BEF simply retreated. Levine has produced work backed by documented facts as opposed to lazy assertions.
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on 13 September 2015
I bought this and Lukacs' other book on this period, The duel. They are both excellent books on what could be argued as the most critical period in British history when the country faced the prospect of losing a war with the most evil regime in history. One may argue that the choice made by the wartime coalition war cabinet saved the world from diasaster. Lukacs has strong views, which he expresses fully but I was left with the impression that this man has thoroughly researched his subject.
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on 29 October 2015
As an immersive and thoroughly researched attempt to analyse a crucial period of history, Five Days in London is peerless. Compelling, dramatic and a real insight into the interactions between the key players.

Only gripe would be that Lukacs' scholarship is not matched by the skills of his editors: the book is strewn with typos, some even in chapter headings. Pedantic I know, but it distracts me.
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on 21 January 2013
This is a wonderful book, an attempt to recreate a critical week at the outset of World War Two. Nowadays it is fashionable to attribute victory in the War to the Soviet Union (in Europe) and the USA (in the Far East) and downplay Britain's contribution.

This book provides a useful corrective in showing Britain's role in defying the Nazis, where Churchill's remarkable courage, leadership and far-farsightedness were critical. If you want to understand the appeal and the significance of Churchill in world history (as well as his political cunning and deep humanity), read this book.
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on 11 November 2013
A gripping account of a pivotal few days in history. The rising tension as Britains true vulnerability became apparent - and the ignorance of the general population as to just how dicey things really were - is totally entrhalling.
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on 1 August 2013
Fell onto this after reading the CJ Sampson novel. It is a really interesting book about probably one of the most important points in history. Not really into history books much but really enjoyed it.
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on 25 August 2016
Loved it ... Some people are not fond of Churchill ... but if he hadn't stood up and said "no capitulation " - where would we be ...
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on 5 June 2017
very detailed a well written although heavy going in places
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