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Great read with lots of details about the ending of WWII I would recommend this one. Our strength, which had overcome so many storms, would no longer continue in the sunshine.With that sentence, Churchill neatly summed up this last volume of his massive WWII collectionthe coming victory of the Allies would mean the end of office for the Great Lion, the man who stayed true from beginning to end The theme of this book isHow The Great Democracies Triumphed, and so Were Able to Resume the Follies Which Had so Nearly Cost Them Their LifeUnlike the previous volumes, this one is centered on politics as the post war world began to come into play The conniving Soviets, the bankrupt Brits, the still don t get it French, and the we pretty much trust everyone Yanks all start divvying up the goods We cannot go running round into every German slum and argue with every German that it is his duty to surrender or we will shoot him.It s been said that Churchill was the greatest civilian war leader of all time His writing echoes that thought When he is discussing the last gasps of Hitler s brood or, even better, taking the reader through the island by island battles of the Americans versus the Japanese in the Pacific theatre, it s almost impossible to stop reading However, when Churchill goes off into the devious world of politics, it s a bit harder to pay attention Only just in time did the Allied armies blast the viper in his nest.Decades later, hindsight has proven Winston Churchill correct in his view that the Americans had the chance to stop the Soviets before they raised the Iron Curtain But unlike Churchill and his British subjects, the Yanks clearly were still newbies and still full of that heartland farmer trust which meant Roosevelt and Truman and Eisenhower were naive about the Soviets and the Chinese The reader doesn t need to read between the lines here, as Churchill s frustration flows through His bitterness is there, also It s a bit hard to blame him, after all His nation suffered, his nation became bankrupt, his nation lost its empire, and his nation was pushed aside by the Yanks and Soviets When they discovered the progress the Nazis had made with missile science and what was in store for Great Britain had the war continued, one feels the fatigue It all must have hurt him greatly In these great matters failing to gain one s way is no escape from the responsibility for an inferior solution.As usual, the appendix section is outstanding I could barely wait to get there, as here be the jewels in each of the six volumes Churchill discusses womenWomen ought not to be treated the same as men,and Irelandwe left the Dublin government to frolic with the Germans and the Japanese representatives to their hearts content,the wrongs of the Versailles Treaty of WWIthere would have been no Hitler, and the need for food for his own peoplewe need another three or four thousand tons of fish, to help us through the hard years which are comingHis letters and memos are magnificent While this wasn t my favourite volume of Churchill s WWII set, it resonated than the others Certainly, my respect for this man increased a hundredfold Defy Hitler, hold back Stalin, partner with Roosevelt, withstand the destructive bombs, win the warand get voted out of office How the heck did he manage to survive all the stress Forward, unflinching, unswerving, indomitable, till the whole task is done and the whole world is safe and clean. Book Season Year Round you shall not pass This is the last of Churchill s volumes on WWII This one had a different tone than the other ones Perhaps because the issues in this volume had not been resolved at the time of writing, or perhaps because Churchill himself was disappointed at how things ultimately turned out apart from winning the war that is The theme of this volume is telling How the great democracies triumphed, and so were able to resume the follies which had so nearly cost them their life.Not bitter about being kicked out of office as soon as the war was over, is he Because this book opened with D Day, Hitler was soon reduced to a paper villain, unimportant because his fall was inevitable The real evil of the time was Stalin Even if you add all the fatalities of WWII at Hitler s feet, Stalin still killed people He was shrewd, cunning and a virtuoso at public appearances He could lie to your face and smile He openly called for the underground of Warsaw to rebel against the Germans, then left his armies 10 miles away until they had all been slaughtered to enter the city Though it trivializes the war a bit, the image that keeps coming to mind is Hitler s Count Dooku to Stalin s Darth Sidious.The present ineffectual design of the United Nations is the result of maneuvering to get Russia to join it Field Marshall Smuts, who was tasked with finding a compromise that Russia would accept in forming the UN, optimistically wrote to Churchill, The principle of unanimity will at the worse only have the effect of a veto, or stopping action where it may be wise, or even necessary Its effect will be negative it will retard action But it will also render it impossible for Russia to embark on courses not approved of by the USA and the United Kingdom.Russia soon proved that it would do as it liked and operated through its proxy states, even as early as before the Germans capitulated Marshall Tito nearly got into open combat with Allied soldiers over the Italian port of Trieste, even though they were supposedly on the same side When Churchill asked Stalin to reign in his underling, Stalin denied he had any influence over Tito at all.It didn t help that France was actively empire building and resisting all calls to free Syria and other held possessions and Greece was close to anarchy, with only British troops able to keep the peace I think Churchill felt the war had only been paused and forsaw a rapid decline into anarchy with Russia a vulture, eager to devour the spoils.Though the death of Roosevelt and Churchill s loss of political power enabled Stalin to set up puppet states all through eastern Europe, the Iron Curtain Churchill coined the phrase did not result in another world war I think Churchill would have been surprised that the ideological conflict between democracy and communism never erupted into than regional conflicts.Through all of his distrust of Stalin, he was still as swayed by the dictator s personal magnetism as any At the meeting where Truman told Stalin of the atomic bomb, Churchill reports, I was certain that at that date Stalin had no special knowledge of the vast process of research upon which the united States and Britain had been engaged for so long We know now that Stalin knew all about it He had a spy at Los Alamos for years.It is intriguing to think what would have happened if during the post war negotiations, the Conservative party had stayed in office The animosity between the US and USSR that developed would have been shared equally by Great Britain it is almost certain. The final of Churchill s volumes comes to an abrupt end with his surprising election loss immediately at the end of the war I have been several years reading through these and, as always, Winston never is at a loss for words or opinions Still convinced that every opinion he had was the best, we should give him credit for acceding to the demands of others as often as he did He is quick to point out the error of thinking diverging from his own I believe I will return to these often when seeking the proper words to confront enemies, encourage friends or communicate hard truth Churchill was the master of all. This volume concludes Winston Churchill s six volume history of World War II As previously noted, this is a highly personalized history, closely revolving around the Prime Minister s own participation in the military and political activities during the war The book is constructed of two interwoven approaches a narrative, chronological history of the war and a set of source material composed of telegrams, letters, and notes sent and received during the course of the action Much of the latter involved Churchill s communications with President Roosevelt and Marshall Stalin Churchill successfully recorded his perspective of the military and political struggles for future generations.The importance of this final volume for American readers is that we gain a perspective on the British activity during the war, with particular emphasis on the military campaigns in Italy and Greece Great Britain s efforts against the Communist partisans in Greece and, Churchill s ultimately unsuccessful efforts to create an independent, post war Poland As to the latter, Churchill s efforts take on a rather quixotic quality England was clearly not powerful enough in 1945 to put any military pressure against Stalin s Russian juggernaut in Poland and the United States did not have the political will to oppose the Soviets Yet, Churchill continually fought for Polish independence, ultimately to no avail He was turned out of office by the British voters and this effectively ended his ability to tilt his lance at the Polish windmill.The book ends very abruptly with the close of the Potsdam conference which determined the fate of Eastern Europe and and the allies role in post war Germany We would like to have learned about England s post war recovery and the fate of the German state from the British perspective. Triumph and Tragedy is the final installment in Winston Churchill s remembrances of the second World War The title of this book is derived from Churchill s view that the war s outcome, as much of a triumph as it was, ended up being squandered by the onset of the Cold War.Triumph and Tragedy opens with the Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy before going on to detail the final year of World War Two Churchill describes the re invasion of France before veering off into discussion of Hitler s own plans for forcing an early end to the war the V1 doodle bug or buzz bomb missile It comes across like a prehistoric version of a drone or cruise missile, and is used to rain wanton destruction on England The terror caused by the V1s is followed up by further aerial pilotless attacks on British cities with V2s Yet the tide changing potential of these pale in comparison with the Manhattan Project s ultimate outcome The U.S led research project is touched on in the most rudimentary way during this British perspective based book The decision of how to break news of the atomic bomb s creation to Stalin creates almost comedic awkwardness between FDR, Churchill, and the Russian leader.The push from the western coast of France toward the Meuse River and finally past the Rhine are assisted by Operation Dragoon the Allied invasion of Southern France end up taking on a feeling of inevitability when it comes to Germany s collapse Battles in late 1944 against the Fifth and Sixth Panzer Army, including near Marche, underscored just how desperate the Wehrmacht attempts to stave off the push into Germany was The relentless push forward by men like Generals Omar Bradley, George Patton, and Bernard Montgomery all under the aegis of Dwight Eisenhower end up breaking Germany s Panzer, infantry, and Luftwaffe resistance Churchill is effusive in his praise of just how efficiently the American and British militaries worked together toward victory.The tragedy aspect of the book oftentimes takes precedence over the triumph portion Even before V E day officially occurs, Churchill makes clear his concern about the rate at which eastern European territory is being gobbled up by the Soviet Union At times it seems as if there is a race toward Berlin from the west and south on the part of the Anglo American alliance and from the east on the part of Russia Of particular concern to the Prime Minister is the country whose invasion allegedly sparked their entry into the war in the first place Poland There is much talk about the drawing of its borders whether or not the Curzon line should serve as the eastern Polish border as well as which cities in the west should fall under Poland sovereignty and British concerns that Russia was attempting to install a puppet Polish government Stalin backs the Lublin Committee as the rightful leaders of liberated Poland, while Churchill and the Americans loyalties lie until the Poles can decide for themselves at the ballot box with the exiled Polish Government in London Stalin seems to justify his obsession with obtaining a pro Soviet government in Poland by pointing to its proximity to his country and its history as being a launching point for invasions into Russia At one point he tells the Anglo American allies they should give each other a free hand in how they set up the post war governments in liberated countries near their borders.Russian efforts to seemingly block election monitors in Poland monitors Stalin explains away as unnecessary and whose very presence he claims would be an insult are a bridge too far for Churchill He describes the descent of an Iron Curtain over Europe even before the war has drawn to a close, lamenting that the vision of the world s future entertained by Russia was drastically different than the one envisioned by FDR then Truman and himself According to Churchill, It must be remembered that Britain and the United States are united at this time upon the same ideologies, namely, freedom, and the principles set out in the American Constitution and humbly reproduced with modern variation in the Atlantic Charter The Soviet government have a different philosophy namely, Communism, and use to the full the methods of police government, which they are applying in every State which has fallen victim to their liberating arms These words sum up the Prime Minister s view of the future threat posed by the Soviet Union.Churchill notes the irony the book was written several years after the war s conclusion that at one point during the war he felt the U.S governmental establishment was not taking the Soviet threat seriously enough, a view which obviously evolved in the years after 1945 The final major negotiating between Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin takes place at Yalta Diplomats like Vyacheslov Molotov, Averell Harriman and Anthony Eden join Churchill at the conference, an event where Russia telegraphs their intention to join in the War in the Pacific two or three months after Germany s surrender The reader gets the sense this news was at first welcomed by the Americans before being a possible cause for concern when nefarious Soviet intentions became readily apparent During the Yalta meeting Stalin appears to take offense when he hears the Uncle Joe moniker used aloud by Roosevelt, only to be calmed down upon hearing the in America Uncle Sam was an accepted nickname But these moments of levity obscure the deep and growing distrust between the Soviet Union and the West during the war s final year, a dire situation brought to the forefront over Stalin s paranoia that the Anglo American Allies were negotiating an early, separate end to the war with the Nazis so as to push further into Germany thereby claiming land which could have been Russia s before the war s end The tense relationship between the British U.S governments and Marshal Josep Tito in Yugoslavia were a foreshadowing of the type of bedfellows with either Western or Communist sympathies the upcoming Cold War would produce The death of FDR on April 12, 1945 produces a stirring tribute from Churchill He regretted that he was unable to travel to the U.S for the funeral, but delivers a eulogy from Britain that makes clear how close the two men became during the war Churchill stated, I conceived an admiration for him as a statesman, a man of affairs, and a war leader, I felt the utmost confidence in his upright, inspiring character and outlook, and a personal regard affection, I must say for him beyond my power to express today Not one man in ten millions, stricken and crippled as he was, would have attempted to plunge into a life of physical and mental exertion and of hard, ceaseless political controversy These words give a taste of the high level of esteem in which he held the U.S president.The ascension of Harry Truman onto the job, though unexpected, ends up being met with mostly positively reviews by Churchill Although he expresses surprise at how little was done to prepare Truman for the possibility of his assuming the presidency, admiration is expressed for his resolve and for how quickly he gets up to speed on the complex world situation It is regrettable to Churchill that FDR does not live to see the war s victorious conclusion The Rhine River is crossed and the Ruhr region is circled by the Allies The First, Ninth, and Third Armies U.S move in on Magdeburg, Leipzig, and Bayreuth the crossing of the Elbe River in April 1945 places Berlin barely sixty miles away It is around this same time that Prague is liberated by the Third Army The Russians capture Vienna that same spring, and their actions to form a Provisional Austrian Government over British objections to take it slower alert Churchill that they are trying to organise Austria prior to the arrival of the other Allied armies from the west.The final days of the Nazi government are briskly recounted The fate met by its top leadership as the Soviet troops close in on Berlin close the chapter on a dark time in world history The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, such earth changing events, are touched on only sparingly by Churchill Given the U.S centric nature of the campaign through the Japanese held Pacific islands, it is understandable that Churchill devotes the vast majority of these six volumes to the European theater He does, however, take some time to delve into the setup of the Battle of Leyte Gulf Considering his background in naval affairs, it is no surprise Churchill takes at least some opportunities to analyze sea based fighting against Japan But when the fighting against Japan is discussed, it deals mostly with areas like Singapore and mainland China He expresses no second thoughts on the part of the U.S or himself when it comes to dropping the nuclear weapons After the war draws to a close, Churchill loses his prime minister post following a failed effort to hold together the British coalition government of right and left for a little while longer This offer was flatly rejected by Labour leader Clement Attlee Churchill expresses his concern that isolationist elements in the U.S would once again push for a withdrawal from European affairs, a situation he viewed as highly undesirable given the U.S.S.R s expansionist aims He has a strong desire to see the United Nations succeed as an instrument to keep tyrants in check going forward This book is a strong final entry It delves much into the issues of postwar frontiers than the volumes before it, laying out for readers just how the U.S., Great Britain, and Russia jockeyed for position in a post World War Two world Churchill s distaste for the tactics and philosophy of Stalin s Russia are clear despite his efforts to try to find common ground, the aggressive actions employed in the cities liberated by the Soviet Union only further degrade faith in their intentions Triumph and Tragedy does not finish these memoirs on the sort of high note readers might have expected or hoped for The Prime Minister s disappointment in how the postwar world began to shape up is apparent, and he does not hide this to bask in the glory of victory in Europe and the Pacific This book is a truthful recounting of the personal point of view of a man in a position of high power during a consequential time For this it deserves recognition as a valuable piece of writing for anyone seeking an understanding of the Second World War from a British point of view Andrew Canfield Denver, Colorado Battle of Italy, the Mediterranean conflicts, Normandy, and the division of Europe between the Soviet Union and the other Allies Why I started this book While only the second book of the series was on the Navy s Recommended Reading list, I couldn t just read that one I was eager to finish this series.Why I finished it My American prejudices prevented me from fully enjoying the last installment I was frustrated by Churchill s insistence that it was American lack of foresight that let the U.S.S.R gobble up Eastern Europe, especially Austria, and Yugoslavia it was our selfishness that kept the atomic bomb research from the British and mostly that it was his personal relationship with Stalin that could have worked out these issues if the Americans had only followed his lead Followed by the idea that they should have flown a showcase bomber across Russia to demonstrate just how easy it was to bring a nuclear weapon to their former friend cause that would have definitely calmed the Cold War tensions Stalin is the definition of does not play well with others and I don t think that Churchill could have negotiated favorable terms Granted it s easier to be critical of Churchill s opinions because I know that the Iron Curtain fell without bloodshed just 40 years after it went up Read along The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich A History of Nazi Germany for the German perstpective and An Army at Dawn The War in North Africa, 1942 1943 for the American perspective close to 60 years after.Side note Churchill s history of the Second World War was originally published in six volumes 1 The Gathering Storm2 Their Finest Hour3 The Grand Alliance 4 The Hinge of Fate 5 Closing the Ring6 Triumph and Tragedy Churchill then condensed these into four volumes, which have since been released as one, rather hefty, publication The audio version of the unabridged recordings of Churchill s condensed volume, divided into four parts, as follows 1 The Second World War Milestones to Disaster2 Alone The Second World War Condensed Series, Book 23 The Grand Alliance4 Triumph and Tragedy This is the last volume in Winston Churchill s war memoirs It begins with the D Day Normandy landings The two chapters on D Day are almost desultory constituting of only 33 pages He writes on the intervention in Greece at Christmas, 1944 almost 44 pages where Britain wanted to prevent the ascendancy of the communist party Page 181 my book Communism raised its head behind the thundering Russian battlefront Russia was the delivery, and Communism the gospel she brought.This volume is brilliant on the origins of the Cold War.It all started in August 1944, when Stalin withheld his troops from liberating Warsaw He let the Germans to the dirty work and they ruthlessly eliminated the Warsaw Polish resistance so that Stalin s troops would have no opposition This was the first indicator of Stalin s real intentions in Eastern Europe Churchill and Roosevelt s letters to Stalin to intervene and help the Polish resistance were ignored After the Yalta Agreements in February 1945, Churchill pleads passionately for the Soviet Union and Stalin to adhere to them, particularly for Poland, but to no avail After all Stalin had millions of troops in Eastern Europe and verbal pressure from his two Allies was not going to deter him Stalin, in violation of Yalta, was going to appoint his own stooges to the Polish Government and to those in Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and was certainly never going to allow free and unfettered elections to take place He never permitted British or U.S representatives to roam freely in Eastern Europe Still the Yalta Agreements led to the formation of the United Nations and, importantly at the time, a promise from Stalin to attack Japan once the Germans had surrendered Churchill, with his constant bickering with Stalin over the fait accompli in Poland seemed to overlook this Soviet pledge The U.S saw only years of bitter and bloody struggle with the proposed Japanese invasion the first successful atomic bomb test only occurred in New Mexico in July, 1945 Prior to this the Allies needed Soviet military participation to overthrow Japan.Having now read these six volumes over 4,000 pages one does gain insights into this man Churchill Significantly the writing can be majestic, for example in this last volume his tribute on the death of Franklin Roosevelt and his victory speech at war s end on May 13, 1945 The prose is filled with passion and there is no dryness to speak of Someone mentioned that there are probably thousands of pictures of Churchill and in not one does he seemed bored with life His writings reflect that.Other observations Churchill brought a scientific and statistical approach to government He wanted statistics constantly He was able to use these for clarifications to pronounce and to judge.He was a man of detail and would drill down to the source to determine the root of a problem Also he was not beholden to protocol obstacles and standard procedures could and would be removed.Also in every volume Churchill writes page after page on the importance of Turkey in the war effort, and there were meetings with emissaries and government leaders but nothing came of this.He professed friendship and admiration for Franklin Roosevelt but I didn t buy into this Churchill needed U.S might and production to win the war, so after the fall of France And he knew the U.S., having read its history and he had travelled there several times before the war He felt the common ground between Britain and the U.S for language, democracy, personal freedomBut Churchill and Roosevelt were two very different personalities and governed in divergent ways Roosevelt was politically astute with Churchill it was emotional and upfront Roosevelt was opaque and wouldn t reveal all the cards in the deck I could never see Roosevelt going into the details that Churchill would do almost on a daily basis Roosevelt was much better at delegating I would assume for example that Churchill wrote far letters to Eisenhower then Roosevelt The written word was far important to Churchill And Roosevelt was pragmatic, he knew at wars end that the game was to be between the U.S and the Soviet Union and Britain relegated to becoming a junior player I don t think Churchill wanted to acknowledge this new position However both were magnanimous and would not hold recriminations And also both could be very flexible if something didn t work, try something else These six volumes constitute a magnum opus of the Second World War They provide a very important and impassioned portrayal of those tumultuous years. Having read the entire six volumes series over the last few months, it was chilling to read about the missed opportunities, appeasement and general unwillingness to confront the looming Soviet threat that would take nearly four decades to undo.With a recalcitrant Iran and a distracted Europe, this series is a powerful warning that our generation faces similar choices to those that confronted Churchill and the West in the years before WW2 I have little faith that today s leaders in Europe and the U.S have the same courage and conviction as Churchill, which makes the inevitability of avoidable bloodshed all the disturbing.