By: Hans Dollinger (580.16/36107)
Here is a completely objective account in picture and prose of the deciding final days of World War II in Europe and the Pacific.
First-hand accounts, messages, diary-entries, letters and other papers by Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, Ridgway, Montgomery, Alanbrooke, Roosevelt, Churchill, De Gaulle, Stalin, Truman, Halsey and many other leaders, together with eye-witness reports, serve to enhance and document the narrative and analysis.
On the German side we see the unbelievable destruction accomplished by Allied bombing: the shortages of men, food, and weapons; the calling up of boys and women to active combat. There are the desperate last-minute measures to prevent individuals from surrendering or deserting, such as holding the families of soldiers as hostages.
At top level, there is the account of Hitler's self-delusions, leading to his dismissal of one after another of the general staff. All of this is documented by witnesses' accounts of high-level conferences and conversations.
The war on land, on the sea, and in the air is completely covered. Photographs and text of German vindictiveness before leaving conquered lands such as Holland, where dikes were breached to flood the land and all food was commandeered.
On the Allied side there are accounts, based on the same type of documentary evidence, of top-level disagreements such as the dispute between General Eisenhower and Churchill and Montgomery.. The former sped the Allied troops toward Leipzig as the logical military move to destroy the German Army and hasten the war's end. The latter, for political considerations, wanted to beat the Russians to Berlin, even at the cost of prolonging the war. Or the actions of General de Gaulle in sacrificing large numbers of French troops to gain the political advantage of crossing the Rhine.
The war in the Pacific is investigated and documented just as thoroughly. Maps and tables make all troop movements and logistics remarkably clear in little space.
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