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Winston Churchill's six-volume history of the cataclysm that swept the world remains the definitive history of the Second World War. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable both for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction and is an enduring, compelling work that led to his being awarded the Nobel P Winston Churchill's six-volume history of the cataclysm that swept the world remains the definitive history of the Second World War. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable both for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction and is an enduring, compelling work that led to his being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. The Hinge of Fate describes how the tide of the war gradually turned for Britain and its allies from constant defeat to almost unbroken successes - Japan's successful assault on the Pacific, Britain's attempts to aid a beleaguered Russia and the defeat of Rommel at the Battle of Alamein.


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Winston Churchill's six-volume history of the cataclysm that swept the world remains the definitive history of the Second World War. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable both for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction and is an enduring, compelling work that led to his being awarded the Nobel P Winston Churchill's six-volume history of the cataclysm that swept the world remains the definitive history of the Second World War. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable both for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction and is an enduring, compelling work that led to his being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. The Hinge of Fate describes how the tide of the war gradually turned for Britain and its allies from constant defeat to almost unbroken successes - Japan's successful assault on the Pacific, Britain's attempts to aid a beleaguered Russia and the defeat of Rommel at the Battle of Alamein.

30 review for The Hinge of Fate

  1. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    When you've done something almost supernaturally brilliant and far-sighted, and it works better than you could have dared hope, you really want to get the credit. Even Churchill is not immune. Back in 1940, when Britain was under siege and things looked almost desperate, he made a terrific strategic decision: not to go all-out on defence, but move tanks so as to be able to hold Egypt. That might give long-term chances of a counter-attack. Miraculously, it worked. We won the Battle of Britain; th When you've done something almost supernaturally brilliant and far-sighted, and it works better than you could have dared hope, you really want to get the credit. Even Churchill is not immune. Back in 1940, when Britain was under siege and things looked almost desperate, he made a terrific strategic decision: not to go all-out on defence, but move tanks so as to be able to hold Egypt. That might give long-term chances of a counter-attack. Miraculously, it worked. We won the Battle of Britain; the USSR and the US entered the war on our side; and Egypt held. Now a counter-attack in North Africa was indeed possible. It was still close, but Montgomery defeated Rommel at the Second Battle of El Alamein, and then the Allied forces had the initiative there. They advanced rapidly towards Tunis, and were suddenly threatening to cross the Mediterranean towards Sicily, Italy, and "the soft underbelly of Europe". Churchill's 1940 decision had turned out to be an incredible success, and he can't resist the temptation to present this as the turning point of the war. Indeed, up to now almost everything had gone terribly, and afterwards almost everything went well; but the Battle of Stalingrad was going on more or less at the same time. (El Alamein: 23 October - 5 November 1942; Stalingrad: 23 August 1942 - 2 February 1943). Needless to say, Churchill doesn't ignore it, but it's also hard to feel he gives it the correct weight. At least, those are my thoughts when looking back at the book. When I read it, I was so swept away by the narrative that I couldn't help accepting Churchill's version of events at face value. What a guy. Perhaps this was the zenith of our civilization, and we're now on the decline; it's hard to accept that anyone around today is in the same league. If you haven't read the series, put it on your list without delay. It won't disappoint.

  2. 5 out of 5

    GoldGato

    I ought to have known. My advisers ought to have known and I ought to have been told, and I ought to have asked. Winston Churchill's WWII series has turned out to be intriguing reading, albeit very long reading. This volume is the first one in the series where relief, not much but relief nevertheless, starts to show. After the first three volumes focused on one disaster after another, Churchill leads the reader to what he feels is the turning point of the war. The British people can face peril o I ought to have known. My advisers ought to have known and I ought to have been told, and I ought to have asked. Winston Churchill's WWII series has turned out to be intriguing reading, albeit very long reading. This volume is the first one in the series where relief, not much but relief nevertheless, starts to show. After the first three volumes focused on one disaster after another, Churchill leads the reader to what he feels is the turning point of the war. The British people can face peril or misfortune with fortitude and buoyancy, but they bitterly resent being deceived or finding that those responsible for their affairs are themselves dwelling in a fool's paradise. The fall of Singapore deeply hurt Churchill, who tried to fathom why 80,000 Commonwealth troops could simply surrender. He also had to deal with the "sullen, sinister Bolshevik State" of Stalin's Soviet Union, which had originally partnered with Hitler with the objective of gleefully dividing the British Empire, only to run afoul of Hitler and Prussian pride. Then, there were the Yanks. Would they eventually join the fight? And if they did, would that single step portend their eventual rise to their own empire? I was more attracted by the goldfish. (Churchill on Moscow) This is not a book for those simply wanting a quick review of World War II. This is Churchill. This is 1,000 pages of memos, personal thoughts, letters, telegrams, military notes, and a wonderful appendix filled with enough data to satisfy any modern-day chart fanatic. This is why it takes a long time to complete, as you think you're reading a straightforward account only to discover that Mr. Churchill wants you to really read each sentence, and oh how enjoyable it all becomes. Stalin: "Why should we not go to my house and have some drinks?" Churchill: I said that I was in principle always in favour of such a policy. The Hinge, in Churchill's view, is the British victory in North Africa. But it's also the Soviets' stout infantry defence of Stalingrad and the Americans' naval rebound in the Pacific. If one had no idea of the eventual outcome of the war, it becomes clear that the tide had begun to turn in favour of the Allies. In the night all cats are grey. Churchill's ambivalence toward Darlan's Vichy French ("so much for Vichy") and the Free French (De Gaulle as the new Joan of Arc) makes for wonderful reading as his disgust at their infighting makes for glorious bon mots. His fractious relationship with Stalin ("in his heart...so far as he has one") and his between-the-lines read of the Americans are worth the slowing down and double takes, as in, did he actually just say that? ...it was the Americans, by their high tariff policy, who led the world astray, it is pretty good cheek of them now coming to school-marm us into proper behaviour. Classic Churchill. Book Season = Spring (you'll need as many seasons as possible)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    The time frame of this book covers approximately one and a half years, from late 1941 until May 1943, during which a cascading series of events, some of them catastrophic, tried the resolve of the British peoples and their Prime Minister. There were several bright spots early-on, including the recent thumping that the British Commonwealth armies had given to German General Rommel in the North African desert, and the long-hoped-for entry of the United States into the war. This latter development The time frame of this book covers approximately one and a half years, from late 1941 until May 1943, during which a cascading series of events, some of them catastrophic, tried the resolve of the British peoples and their Prime Minister. There were several bright spots early-on, including the recent thumping that the British Commonwealth armies had given to German General Rommel in the North African desert, and the long-hoped-for entry of the United States into the war. This latter development certainly gave Winston Churchill and the British military leaders cause for rejoicing, because Great Britain would no longer be standing alone against the Germans, who had spent the last two years gobbling up most of Europe. The reason for the United States' sudden abandonment of its former neutrality, however, brought a whole new set of huge problems. The U.S. was attacked by Japan, not Germany, and Churchill would spend a good part of the time covered in this volume using his utmost diplomatic persuasion skills trying to keep American military planners focused on looking at Europe as the main theater of war. This was no small matter since many in the American government were at odds over the assigning of precedence; America's highest ranking military leaders, Admiral E.J. King, Chief of Naval Operations, and General George Marshall, U.S. Army Chief of Staff, were evenly divided in this matter. In this effort Churchill cultivated and received the friendship of his increasingly good friend and ally Franklin Roosevelt, who sided with him on this issue. Not that anyone could ignore what was going on in the Pacific. The British were certainly relieved when Hitler declared war on the U.S. in the wake of Pearl Harbor, forcing attention toward the European theater of war, but this also meant that Great Britain would now be fighting Japan. The consequences of this widening of the war were felt in the pressure exerted in the Pacific by a rampaging Japanese military, which very shortly began the action which would cause huge losses to America in the Philippines, and would take over other Allied bases in the Pacific. By March of 1942, the Japanese would conquer the Dutch East Indies, taking many allied soldiers prisoner. Prior to that, the Japanese had steamrolled down the Malayan Peninsula and had conquered the British island fortress of Singapore. They also overran Siam and invaded Burma, capturing Rangoon. The beauty of Churchill's books comes from the combination of his command of English in writing historical narrative, and his liberal insertions of the voluminous correspondence carried out between himself and all manner of government agencies and foreign allies. The unfolding of the Singapore disaster, from the government's frantic steps to reinforce its defense at all cost, to the realization that nothing could be done to prevent the loss of the island, was both fascinating and sickening to read about.. This calamity was followed by the news that General Rommel had counterattacked in the African desert. Tobruk fell back into German hands and Britain faced a grave situation, despite earlier overconfident assurances Churchill had received from his commanding general there. There is no doubt that, in any other circumstances, heads should have rolled on the discovery that one of Britain's most valuable bases was lost in good measure because it was set up to be practically impregnable to a sea attack, but all of its defenses folded because no one thought far enough ahead to plan for a land-ward threat. Most of the blame for this fell upon Churchill, who was not in the government when the planning for Singapore's defense happened, but he had to face a Motion of Censure in Parliament. His political and oratorical skills met the challenge, and the result was a renewed vote of confidence in the National Government which he headed. Fighting a two-ocean war was very difficult for the Allies. Churchill's job was not made easier by the fact that the Australian Prime Minister, fearing a Japanese invasion, made demands for the return of Australia's best army divisions, which were sorely needed in North Africa. They were especially panicked after the loss of Singapore, an installation which they believed to be critical to the defense of their island, and about the Japanese presence in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. There was no way that England could provide any significant defense to Australia. The United States solved this predicament by making Australia an important base for garrisoning growing numbers of forces that would be used in numerous Pacific island campaigns. Campaigns in Guadalcanal and New Guinea as well as significant American sea victories at the Coral Sea and Midway would eventually, but slowly, remove the immediate Japanese threat to Australia. One of the greatest challenges to the Allies at this time was the danger of getting supplies shipped across the Atlantic Ocean. Naval convoys were coming under increasingly deadly German attack, from submarines and from the air. The Battle of the Atlantic was one of the most fearful campaigns of the war, because Britain could simply not survive without the food and material shipped from America, and Russia, now an Allied power, sorely needed everything that could be sent there. The problem was exacerbated by the lack of forward planning by American Naval authorities, causing severe shortages of escort vessels to guard the convoys. Churchill provides data showing the loss of three and a quarter millions of tons of British and other allied shipping lost between December 1941 and August 1942, and another almost three and three quarter million tons sent to the bottom of the ocean between August 1942 and late-May 1943, representing huge loss of lives as well as ships and their cargoes. All of these losses and military reversals made it difficult to envision a pro-active strike against Germany. America would be able to provide the human and manufacturing resources needed to make this happen, but the country would take time to overcome years of pre-war isolationist military neglect. Churchill was especially feeling the sting of not-so subtle prodding from Joseph Stalin, whose country had felt severe punishment from German invasion. Churchill had made it a point to send as much assistance to Russia as possible from the beginning, but Stalin criticized him for having to suspend arctic ship convoys due to high losses from German submarine wolf packs and for not opening a second front against Hitler in western Europe. Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt, and their top military staffs, would work very hard to come to some kind of consensus on when that European invasion would begin. As 1942 began, it became very apparent that no kind of invasion could possibly be mounted in 1942, much to Stalin's chagrin. The planners decided that an all-out attempt should be made to send an invasion force to France to begin pushing the German forces back into Germany, and ultimately defeat, in 1943. The 1942 campaign, code-named "Sledgehammer," formerly named "Bolero" and aimed at an attack on Brest or Cherbourg, morphed into "Roundup" for the liberation of France, based on the capture of Antwerp in 1943. Much attention is mentioned in the book about planning for numerous Anglo-British military campaigns. There is an almost bewildering array of code-names, some of which evolved into other names. Thus, the projected 1943 "Roundup" eventually became the 1944 "Overlord" invasion. Likewise, the late-1942 "Gymnast" invasion of French North-Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia), begat "Torch." Before Torch happened, the British forces under General H.R. Alexander, the new Commander in Chief of the North African Theater of Operations, and his deputy, General B.L. Montgomery, Commanding the British 8th Army, bolstered Allied morale when they won back Tobruk and then defeated Rommel at Alamein (November 1942). This is where Churchill marked the turning of the "Hinge of Fate", when he declared that the British never had a victory before Alamein; after Alamein, they never had a defeat (p. 1065 of 1782). If Alamein was the beginning of the end for the Germans in North Africa, it would need to be followed by months of hard slogging in the Western deserts. One of the compelling reasons for Torch was that it would give the Americans a chance to finally get a sizable force in battle against the Germans, since it was becoming obvious, as mentioned above, that an American-British invasion of France would not be feasible for some time. This is one reason why Churchill deferred to the naming of an American general, Dwight Eisenhower, as the operation's supreme commander. Churchill's description of this operation is, as always, detailed and orderly. The Allies would not become, as General Alexander wired to Churchill, "masters of the North African shores" (pp 1375, 1376 of 1782) until May 13, 1943. This news followed the final encirclement and defeat of the Germans at Tunis, which compared, according to Churchill, to the Russian victory at Stalingrad. As Churchill sums up the situation at the middle of 1943, then, there was light at the end of the tunnel. Over two years of destruction, involving loss of countless numbers of civilians and military people, would have to transpire until this war ended. Much friendly collaboration would have to transpire among the Allies to make victory happen, and Churchill would be the most energetic leader in traveling whenever needed to consult on important matters. Already, within the pages of this book, he had made three trips to Washington D.C. to meet with Roosevelt, had broken the ice with Stalin with a trip to Moscow, and had participated in the first "Big Three" conference with the other two leaders at Casablanca, in January 1943. This at a time when long-range air travel was both arduous and highly risky, even for a head of state. However, if it was not immediately apparent at this time, Italy was almost out of the war as a military power, while Hitler's invasion of Russia was coming back to bite his ass, leaving Germany as an isolated combatant in Europe, and the Japanese juggernaut had peaked. If Alamein was Britain's hinge of fate, June 1943 was the turning point for the Allied cause.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    So, everyone out there, pop quiz. Who knew before now that just after the United States entered WWII our shipping was attacked constantly by the German Navy, even just off shore of New Orleans and in the Chesapeake Bay and all around Florida? We didn't have very effective anti-submarine defense at the time and they picked off ships at will. Even to the point of picking and choosing which ships to sink. Two-thirds of the ships that went down were tankers, since they were the most important. 70 sh So, everyone out there, pop quiz. Who knew before now that just after the United States entered WWII our shipping was attacked constantly by the German Navy, even just off shore of New Orleans and in the Chesapeake Bay and all around Florida? We didn't have very effective anti-submarine defense at the time and they picked off ships at will. Even to the point of picking and choosing which ships to sink. Two-thirds of the ships that went down were tankers, since they were the most important. 70 ships were lost in 6 months. Most of the American. Hello, I had never heard this before. All I have heard is we were never attacked on American soil except for Pearl Harbor (which almost doesn't count) and 9-11. OK, so this isn't soil but right offshore should count for something. I have asked various people and no one had heard this before. We tend to edit out losing things from our histories I suppose. I knew that the desert war turned around at El Alamein, but I never knew just how close to Cairo and all the important stuff in Egypt it was. Had Rommel won there things would have turned out much different. But he didn't and this was the battle Churchill calls the Hinge of Fate, because it was the beginning of the Allied victories. After this they didn't lose any major battles.

  5. 5 out of 5

    K A

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 1942-43 Britain having survived Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain to hold off invasion is fighting back and forth across North Africa and at sea against air and U-boat attack with large losses. Russia has joined the war and been driven back to Moscow and the Caucuses. The US has joined after Pearl harbour but Japan is sweeping through the Far East conquering Singapore, Burma and threatening Australia and India. This book charts the turn of fate as the Allies finally conquer Rommel in Africa, the 1942-43 Britain having survived Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain to hold off invasion is fighting back and forth across North Africa and at sea against air and U-boat attack with large losses. Russia has joined the war and been driven back to Moscow and the Caucuses. The US has joined after Pearl harbour but Japan is sweeping through the Far East conquering Singapore, Burma and threatening Australia and India. This book charts the turn of fate as the Allies finally conquer Rommel in Africa, the Russians win at Stalingrad and the US destroy Japanese carriers at Midway and start the fight back in the Pacific. Fascinating first hand letters and telegrams between Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin and the Generals and Politicians of the day.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mikey B.

    This fourth volume takes us from January 1942 to May 1943. During this period, as the title indicates, the fulcrum of the war shifted from one of constant defeats to one of victory. The tide had changed, but as Churchill continued to warn, the road to triumph was still to be long, costly and arduous. Page 493 (my book) June, 1942 We had survived the collapse of France and the attack on Britain. We had not been invaded. We still held Egypt. We were alive and at bay; but that was all. On the other h This fourth volume takes us from January 1942 to May 1943. During this period, as the title indicates, the fulcrum of the war shifted from one of constant defeats to one of victory. The tide had changed, but as Churchill continued to warn, the road to triumph was still to be long, costly and arduous. Page 493 (my book) June, 1942 We had survived the collapse of France and the attack on Britain. We had not been invaded. We still held Egypt. We were alive and at bay; but that was all. On the other hand, what a cataract of disasters had fallen upon us. The fiasco of Dakar, the loss of all our Desert conquests from the Italians, the tragedy of Greece, the loss of Crete, the unrelieved reverses of the Japanese war, the loss of Hong Kong, ... the catastrophe of Singapore, the Japanese conquest of Burma, Auchinleck’s defeat in the Desert, the surrender of Tobruk, the failure, as it was judged, at Dieppe – all these galling links in a chain of misfortune and frustration to which no parallel could be found in our history. Churchill was much on the road visiting Washington, going to Casablanca and from there to Cairo, and a long journey to Moscow (with a stopover in Teheran) to visit Stalin. In many ways this was Churchill’s top ascendancy in the war – he was the elder statesman and leader who had been the very first to join the battle against Hitler. But he must have felt his voice and status beginning to diminish. From henceforth he would be listened to less – and his allies would assert their dominance. Stalin’s armies were killing and engaging far more Germans than the British. U.S. production was just beginning to have a growing role – and their navy and air force was starting the onslaught in the Pacific where the British had been so humiliated, particularly at Singapore. Britain’s role was receding. There were a few tiresome chapters about India of which I had little interest. Britain and Churchill’s attempts at empire preservation hold little appeal to me. Also there were too many military details on Tobruk. But Churchill’s accounts of personal interactions with Roosevelt, Stalin, de Gaulle, and the Darlan episode in Algeria were eloquently depicted. Page 611 (on de Gaulle) I knew he was no friend of England. But I always recognised in him the spirit and conception which, across the pages of history, the word “France” would ever proclaim. I understood and admired, while I resented, his arrogant demeanour. Here he was, a refugee, an exile from his country under sentence of death, in a position entirely dependent upon the goodwill of the British Government, and also now of the United States. The Germans had conquered his country. He had no real foothold anywhere. Never mind; he defied all. Always, even when he was behaving worst, he seemed to express the personality of France – a great nation, with all its pride, authority, and ambition. And once more the drilling down of Churchill to minute details continues to startle and amaze me – here is one letter. Page 833 Prime Minister to Lord President 6 Mar 43 Transport of Flowers I am distressed that your Committee should not have seen their way to agree to any relaxation of the ban on the transport of flowers by train. I recognize that in present circumstances the provision of special trains for flowers cannot be justified; but surely some half-way house can be found between the provision of special facilities and the complete abolition of the traffic. I should be glad if your Committee would give immediate consideration to an arrangement whereby such transport capacity as can properly be made available for flowers, without damage to essential war purposes...can be fairly distributed between the growers. And one of my favourite quotes of Churchill from a letter Page 808 The maxim “Nothing avails but perfection” may be spelt shorter: “Paralysis”.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael Bafford

    I haven’t read all of this; I have read all of Mr Churchill’s narrative and a good many telegrams and reports and even “Personal Minutes” to various and sundry high-ranking officials. Our library has the full set of these memoirs and I have considered giving them a try for many years but it was not until I saw one of the codgers in the movie The Bucket List reading just this, the fourth volume, that I finally got down to it. The preface is intriguing: I have called this volume The Hinge of Fate I haven’t read all of this; I have read all of Mr Churchill’s narrative and a good many telegrams and reports and even “Personal Minutes” to various and sundry high-ranking officials. Our library has the full set of these memoirs and I have considered giving them a try for many years but it was not until I saw one of the codgers in the movie The Bucket List reading just this, the fourth volume, that I finally got down to it. The preface is intriguing: I have called this volume The Hinge of Fate because in it we turn from almost uninterrupted disaster to almost unbroken success. For the first six months of this story all went ill; for the last six months everything went well. (p. vi) And then come: Moral of the Work In War: Resolution In Defeat: Defiance In Victory: Magnanimity In Peace: Good Will Theme of the Volume How the power of the Grand Alliance become preponderant The “Grand Alliance” is that between the U.S. (particularly) but also the Soviet Union. This new year of the Second World War, 1942, opened upon us in an entirely different shape for Britain. We were no longer alone. At our side stood two mighty Allies, Russia and the United States were, though for different reasons irrevocably engaged to fight to the death in the closest concert with the British Empire. This combination made final victory certain . . . (p. 3) The mention of the British Empire is a recurring theme. Soldiers from Australia, New Zeeland, South Africa and India form a large part of the Eighth Army in North Africa and there is considerable politics involved in keeping them up to the mark. Early on Australia feels threatened by Japan, reasonably so, and wants their troops back. Mr Churchill is pressed to explain why they can’t have them. This whole North Africa campaign is something I have never really understood. The French, the Vichy French, had large colonies in the west and Britain had control of Egypt – and the Suez in the east. Nazi Germany needed oil, but surely the Middle East would have been a better target? Another question which I found increasingly confusing was why the Germans did not invade Malta. They had already taken Crete yet Malta remained in British possession from which air strikes on shipping from Italy to North Africa could be launched and convoys and war ships could find a relatively well-protected harbour. That the British had great trouble supplying Malta caused Mr Churchill considerable deliberation. Yet it was supplied and remained a threat. Mr Churchill had a pet project called “Jupiter” an invasion of northern Norway. The purpose was to capture a couple of airfields which could be used as bases for bombers and fighters protecting the convoys running from the U.S. to Murmansk. This sounds like a good idea to me, but despite his efforts in pushing it forward the project never came off. Mr Churchill’s callousness is apparent in planning this: “[during the invasion]…it seems unlikely that more than one-fifth or one-sixth of the transports and covering craft would be sunk. A military attack is not ruled out simply because a fifth of the soldiers my be shot on the way, provided the others get there and do the job.” (p. 352) The story, though, begins in the far east as the Japanese march through Malaya and then take Singapore – the major British fortress. It is not until later, when he is informed of the fall of Tobruk that he truly expresses his feelings. This was the fortress that had resisted a siege by Rommel’s German and Italian forces for 241 days only a year earlier. At the time of this disaster Mr Churchill was in the U.S. with Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Hopkins: ...In a few minutes he [general Ismay] brought the following message, which had just arrived from Admiral Harwood at Alexandria. “Tobruk has fallen, and situation deteriorated so much that there is a possibility of heavy air attack on Alexandria in near future…” This was one of the heaviest blows I can recall during the war. Not only were its military effects grievous, but it had affected the reputation of the British armies. At Singapore 85,000 men had surrendered to inferior numbers of Japanese. Now in Tobruk a garrison of 25,000 (actually 33,000) seasoned soldiers had laid down their arms to perhaps one-half of their number. If this was typical of the morale of the Desert Army, no measure could be put upon the disasters which impended in Northeast Africa. I did not attempt to hide from the President the shock I had received. It was a bitter moment. Defeat is one thing; disgrace is another. Nothing could exceed the sympathy and chivalry of my two friends. There were no reproaches; not an unkind word was spoken. “What can we do to help?” said Roosevelt. (p. 382-3) The answer, of course, was “Give us as many Sherman tanks as you can spare and ship them to the Middle East as quickly as possible.” Well, we know how it went, but considerable of the charm of this book is that at the time no one knew. After the Japanese had also taken Burma Mr Churchill feared for both India and Ceylon. He also feared that the Axis would sweep on through Egypt as he expressed in a message to General Auchinleck on 25 June 42: I hope the crisis will lead to all uniformed personnel in the Delta and all available loyal man-power being raised to the highest fighting condition. You have over seven hundred thousand men on your ration strength in the Middle East. Every fit male should be made to fight and die for victory. There is no reason why units defending the Mersa Matruh position should not be reinforced by several thousands of officers and administrative personnel ordered to swell the battalions or working parties. You are in the same kind of situation as we should be if England were invaded, and the same intense, drastic spirit should reign. (p. 389) After being driven from Mersa Matruh there is a change of command and on 30 June 42 Prime Minister to Minister of State: … you should insist upon the mobilisation for battle of all the rearward services. Everybody in uniform must fight exactly like they would if Kent or Sussex were invaded. Tank hunting-parties with sticky bombs and bombards, defence to the death of every fortified area or strong building, making every post a winning-post and every ditch a last ditch. This is the spirit you have got to inculcate. No general evacuation, no playing for safety. Egypt must be held at all costs. (p. 425-6) The man does have a way with words. “Every post a winning-post and every ditch a last ditch…” Meanwhile over in Russia the Soviet resistance was stiffening. Mr Churchill is clearly ambivalent here: “I feel we at least deserve credit for our patience in the face of ceaseless affront from a Government which had been hoping to work with Hitler, until it was assaulted and almost destroyed by him.” … “This is however the point at which to tell, all too briefly, the tale of the magnificent struggle and decisive victory of the Russian Armies…” (p. 582) Mr Churchill regrets frequently that the western allies have not been able to relieve the pressure of the Axis armies on the Soviet Union by an invasion of France in 1942, or even in 1943. Not even obliquely does he admit that Commies and Nazis killing each other could be a good thing. Prime Minister to General Ismay, for C.O.S. [Chiefs of Staff] Committee 4 Mar. 43 I feel so very conscious of the poor contribution the British and American Armies are making in only engaging perhaps a dozen German divisions during the greater part of this year while Stalin is facing 185, that I should not be prepared myself to court the certain rebuff which would attend a request for information as to his plans. (p. 935) Throughout the struggle there is still class-consciousness as revealed in a message from General Alexander to Prime Minister and C.I.G.S. (Chief of the Imperial General Staff) 1 Nov. 42 during the battle of Alamein: “Best estimate of casualties up to 6 A.M., October 31: killed wounded, and missing – officers, 695; other ranks, 9,435…” (p. 597) That this was a an all-out struggle is made evident in, for example the Prime Minister’s Personal Minutes: Prime Minister to Secretary of State for War, C.I.G.S., and Minister of Production 8 May 42: …3. 1,700,000 is the figure given for men in the Home Guard. My latest figure is 1,450,000, of which only 840,000 have rifles. Of course those with rifles are relieved by those without, and they all ought to be trained, but surely the emphasis should be on getting a number trained in shooting equal to the rifles issued. Let me know what is the plan about this. 4. I still think that, in view of the immense quantities of .30 ammunition now being produced in America – 319,000,000 rounds in March, for instance – we ought to try to get another 100,000,000 over to improve holdings of the Home Guard and for practice. I should be willing to make an effort for this… (p. 859) These “Personal Minutes” are often interesting as Mr Churchill gets after his various Ministers, Secretary’s, Sea Lords, and Generals. As for example: Prime Minister to Minister of Aircraft Production 13 May 42 Your latest returns shows that you have 1797 [aircraft] “in preparation.” These are presumably in addition to the 649 ready, and ready within four days. The shortage of aircraft at the present moment is acute. Now is the time for you to bring forward this reserve of 1797, which are presumably defective in this or that spare part. Lord Beaverbrook in 1940 gained great advantages for us by a searching analysis and scrutiny of the machines in the Air Supply Units. What we want now is more aircraft in the front line. Get at it and bite at it. (p. 860) He can also offer praise. Prime Minister to Minister of Labour 24 Sept. 42 I have read with great interest your note describing what has been achieved in the man-power field during the year ended last June. I see that you drafted nearly a million men and women into the Services, thereby fulfilling the great bulk of their requirements, and at the same time added 800,00 to the labour force on munitions. I congratulate you on this great performance. (p. 901) The view is, of course von oben as for example in the Battle of the Atlantic when he reports “gross tons of shipping lost” and also “the number of ships lost” but nothing about the number of lives lost. Still I found this interesting, especially when the narrator is as dedicated and involved as Mr Churchill. From worrying – and writing to those in charge – about the distribution of flowers to the larger cities, providing a ration of sugar for bee-keepers, reviewing a “typical standard infantry battalion” or ordering increased air attacks on transport convoys, or defending himself in Parliament, or planning an invasion of West Africa or Sicily, or sweetening the Free French and the Russians and the Americans, while travelling to Africa and America no job is too large or too small.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Canfield

    The Hinge of Fate is the fourth installment of Winston Churchill's World War Two volumes. His theme for this book is described as "How the power of the Grand Alliance became preponderant." Accordingly, he spends the book's 800 plus pages detailing how the tide turned (particularly against Germany and the Axis powers) during 1943. The first two hundred pages deal largely with the fight against Japan. Fear over losing Singapore and Australia to the Japanese invaders looms large in Churchill's mind, The Hinge of Fate is the fourth installment of Winston Churchill's World War Two volumes. His theme for this book is described as "How the power of the Grand Alliance became preponderant." Accordingly, he spends the book's 800 plus pages detailing how the tide turned (particularly against Germany and the Axis powers) during 1943. The first two hundred pages deal largely with the fight against Japan. Fear over losing Singapore and Australia to the Japanese invaders looms large in Churchill's mind, and the loss of the former is a cause of particular anxiety to him. (Australia would remain safe due partly to the defeat of the Japanes navy in the Coral Sea). Subsequent to Singapore's fall, President Roosevelt writes to the Prime Minister"I reali(z)e how the fall of Singapore has affected you and the British people. It gives the well-known back-seat driver a field day, but no matter how serious our setbacks have been-and I do not for a moment underrate them-we must constantly look forward to the next moves that need to be made to hit the enemy." This February 1942 letter underscored the strength of the growing bond between the U.S. and U.K., but it also alluded to political troubles at home for Churchill. It is incredible to see read about just how much domestic criticism Churchill's government was willing to put up with in such a time of crisis. A Vote of Confidence on his leadership was called by the opposition in the House of Commons in early 1942 at a time when the war in Pacific and in the Middle East was not faring well. This resulted in a two hours long speech to that chamber by a Prime Minister worried about his government being toppled. During the course of his speech Churchill would inform the members that any one of them "will be free to say anything he think sift about or against the Administration or against the composition of personalities of the Government, to his heart's content, subject only to the reservation which the House is always so careful to observe about military secrets." He would go on to say that he owes it "to the House (of Commons) to explain to the them what has led me to ask for their exceptional support at this time." Churchill avoided a vote of no confidence, allowing a stronger hand to be exercised in execution of his wartime responsibilities. He would also survive a vote of censure later on in 1942 when the situation in North Africa appeared not to be going Britain's way. Ensuring India does not fall to Japan is of critical importance to Churchill as well. Interestingly, he expresses distaste for Gandhi and his peace movement, citing its potential success as a guarantee that the country would fall to the invaders. Later in the book Gandhi is temporarily jailed over British concern that he would frustrate their desire to keep India on a war footing. It is from his confinement that the world-renown promoter of peace would go on a hunger strike. After the first few hundred pages the book transitions to the fight against the Axis Powers. The Middle Eastern theater becomes the area of focus, and Churchill utilizes ample detail to lay out fights in this region. The struggle against Erwin Rommel and the Africa Corps take up numerous pages, and Generals Bernard Montgomery and Claude Auchinlek prove invaluable to Churchill during the campaign to gain a foothold in the Middle East. The Eighth Army and its relentless battling against German Panzer divisions make for suspenseful reading. The surrender of the Tobruk fortress to Rommel by General Hendrik Klopper marked a low point in the campaign, and it was not until the fighting at the Alamein position that the tide began to turn against Rommel. The help of New Zealand and Australian divisions in the victory there showed just how much Great Britain's empire contributed in manpower during the war. The failure of Rommel to take Egypt or to successfully follow up on victories at Tobruk doomed Axis efforts to maintain a base of operations in the desert. The book then turns to north and western Africa after things settle down in the desert. "Operation Torch" is the new objective for the Allies, and by this juncture the American military is finally ready to spearhead a major operation against the Germans and Italians. General Dwight Eisenhower plays a key role for the first time in this operation, and Churchill's admiration for the American general is apparent. While the motivations for the invasion of north and West Africa is apparent, the political gamesmanship with the French leaders-in-exile in north Africa makes for confusing reading. Trying to discern if leaders like Philippe Petain and Francois Darlan would actively/passive oppose or actively/passively support the American-led landing in north Africa made for guesswork among the American and British military staff. Britain distrust of Darlan, whom they viewed with disdain, did not eliminate the necessity of working to prevent him from stirring up opposition among the locals against the attempt to gain an Allied stronghold in the Tunisia/Algiers area. Charles de Gaulle's stance as part hero, part enigma also makes the relationship between the Anglo-American partners and France complicated. Franklin Roosevelt is shown to have particular difficulties accepting de Gaulle as a genuine partner in the fight against Hitlerism. The concern that a cabal of Frenchmen would use the crisis and disorder precipitated by the German invasion for their own nefarious purposes was always at the back of American and British minds. The Americans end up being appointed to take the lead in the initial landings in Operation Torch. This is done to prevent a potential backlash if Royal Navy ships and British troops are seen as spearheading the operation in the opinion of the local French population. The success in establishing Allied control over north and west Africa causes The Hinge of Fate to end on a very encouraging note for the cause of worldwide freedom. The finishing off of Axis control in northeastern Africa allows full Allied control of the northern portion of that continent, eliminating Italian and German control of a crucial region. Once in command in this area, the debate over what to do next takes center stage. A cross-English Channel invasion of German positions in France held appeal for Allied some war planners. Still others felt a bold campaign against southern Italy and a working up into the interior of Axis-controlled Europe (undertaken most likely after surrounding areas like Sicily were subdued) from there was a better, bolder next move. Men like Generals George Marshall and Eisenhower take on an increasingly pivotal role in the direction of the war as the Hinge of Fate advances toward its ending, and their advice is taken seriously by Churchill and the Combined Chiefs of Staff. The link between America and England becomes so strong that the Prime Minister even mentions the idea of a postwar joint citizenship between the two nations. He also expounds on his desire for a postwar United Nations, envisioning a sort of Security Council as well as regional governmental bodies and international troops which would underpin a peaceful world order. Against the backdrop of war planning looms the fighting on the Russian front, where many German divisions are held up in brutal combat. Stalin's longing for the Allies to open up a major second front in Europe are a source of frequent frustration, as he hopes this would force Hitler to pull ground and air forces from the fight in Russia to stave off an invasion of the Reich from the west. The contribution made by the expelling of the German invasion from Russia is impossible to miss: the amount of German machinery and troops absorbed by that theater left the Allies in the west with a much weaker enemy to do battle against. The Allies ultimately decide a cross-Channel invasion must be put off for another year (until 1944), opting instead to invade through the Mediterranean as a followup to victories in northern Africa. This is where the book leaves off. Throughout its entirety The Hinge of Fate is a comprehensive, thorough account of the second World War through the firsthand accounts of Britain's Prime Minister. This spectacular work is an important contribution to the world's collective understanding of the key players, battles, and forces which shaped the battle to save mankind from fascism. -Andrew Canfield Denver, Colorado

  9. 4 out of 5

    Owen

    Winston Churchill was remarkable, as much as for any other reason, for the sheer volume of words he produced. In a long life, during which he was often preoccupied by both family matters (he had four children) and matters of state, he nevertheless found the time to compose an inordinate number of books. I say compose, because he perfected a system during the first war, which revealed its efficacy more than ever in the second, of working through secretaries. There are many odd anecdotes told abou Winston Churchill was remarkable, as much as for any other reason, for the sheer volume of words he produced. In a long life, during which he was often preoccupied by both family matters (he had four children) and matters of state, he nevertheless found the time to compose an inordinate number of books. I say compose, because he perfected a system during the first war, which revealed its efficacy more than ever in the second, of working through secretaries. There are many odd anecdotes told about Churchill, not the least of which is that his secretaries, sometimes working in rotation throughout much of the night, were obliged to attend to him and take down what he said, even in the bath. This way of getting the material down in print proved to be very effective, as the tens of thousands of published pages of his work amply demonstrates. His long history of the Second World War continues with "The Hinge of Fate." Although he was personally assured that the American entry into the war meant the ultimate defeat of Germany, he still had to see to the day to day running of the war machine, and counter the perverse effects of both German victories and British pessimism. Now began, as well, the long battle with Stalin about opening up a second front in France, to take some of the heat off the Russian armies in the East. In fact, his relationship with the Russian leader is one of the most interesting sources of anecdotal references throughout this series. This is history being well told by a man who was, while perhaps not a trained historian as such, so steeped in the history of his family and his country, that he an utterly unique point of view. The fact that he was also a central figure in the war itself, means that we have, if you like, a one in a million chance victory on our hands, as though we had just won a lottery of sorts, by being able to read him.

  10. 5 out of 5

    David Rubin

    This is the fourth volume in Winston Churchill's monumental work on the Second World War. This is not history of a grand scope, but rather, Churchill's personal memoir of the war. Of course, being a key player on the allied side, Churchill brings a wealth of information and insight to the decision making process. We Americans are so inculcated with the American roles and perspectives of the war, that Churchill's quintessential British version of events is a refreshing view. The book is composed This is the fourth volume in Winston Churchill's monumental work on the Second World War. This is not history of a grand scope, but rather, Churchill's personal memoir of the war. Of course, being a key player on the allied side, Churchill brings a wealth of information and insight to the decision making process. We Americans are so inculcated with the American roles and perspectives of the war, that Churchill's quintessential British version of events is a refreshing view. The book is composed of two interwoven parts: His personal recollections and opinions and verbatim copies of telegrams, letters, and radio transmissions. Source material not in the primary text is included in appendices taking up one third of the book (Kindle version). Another major allure of this book is the wonderful command of the language which the author has demonstrated throughout his lifetime. I highly recommend the four volume "History of the English Speaking People," for example. Churchill was not just a great public speaker; at heart he is a reporter. In fact, Winston Churchill was the first major British politician to have made his living as a reporter and writer. Use a dictionary or an electronic reader with a built in dictionary; some of his language is a bit archaic. One downside: Amazon has apparently scanned the physical volume to make its Kindle edition and sometimes errors occurred. Shame on Amazon for not doing a better job with the editing. Well, for me, its off to the next volume, "Closing the Ring."

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Elliott

    Being 1,000 pages it took me a while to get through. There were a few good chapters on leadership (4 and 5). Having been a fan of Churchill this became a must read. During the time I have been reading this book I have learned some other things about him from another perspective. It's hard to read someone's work objectively until you have outside sources. Churchill's tendency to meddle in areas outside of his domain was what cost him his job before the war but also led to his success during it. A Being 1,000 pages it took me a while to get through. There were a few good chapters on leadership (4 and 5). Having been a fan of Churchill this became a must read. During the time I have been reading this book I have learned some other things about him from another perspective. It's hard to read someone's work objectively until you have outside sources. Churchill's tendency to meddle in areas outside of his domain was what cost him his job before the war but also led to his success during it. As I read his thoughts about himself and the war it is now easy to see how this accusation rings true. In one of the appendix notes he is writing to someone about re-releasing a German propaganda film as an edited English film highlighting German atrocities. He even goes so far as to suggest a title for the film. I'm still a big fan of Churchill and admire his courage and moxy but I can also see how that could be taken as arrogance and meddling. It will probably be a while before I begin the fifth book in this series. I have some other books I want to get through first...perhaps this fall.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    I have read almost every one of Churchill's books. Reading any of them is like going to a technicolor movie. I have read almost every one of Churchill's books. Reading any of them is like going to a technicolor movie.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael Scott

    [TODO] --- Considering ElAlamein as "the hinge of fate" is, to put it mildly, British-centered. It was a battle of great tactical importance, which opened up the campaign in Italy, but "the" hinge? How about Stalingrad (Russia)? How about Midway and Guadalcanal (US)? Admittedly, Churchill does say "Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat." (Emphasis mine.) --- The terse treatment of Stalingrad and, in general, of the Russian plight. Although Churchill does compla [TODO] --- Considering ElAlamein as "the hinge of fate" is, to put it mildly, British-centered. It was a battle of great tactical importance, which opened up the campaign in Italy, but "the" hinge? How about Stalingrad (Russia)? How about Midway and Guadalcanal (US)? Admittedly, Churchill does say "Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat." (Emphasis mine.) --- The terse treatment of Stalingrad and, in general, of the Russian plight. Although Churchill does complain that it was not fair of the Russians to keep asking (in no polite terms) for help from the Allies (which the Russians considered a duty of the Allies) after having aided Nazi Germany for more than a year, at the start of the war and until the Ribbentrop-Molotov treaty was unilaterally broken by Hitler, the material in this book seems to suggest that Churchill aided Stalin's Russia reluctantly and as little as possible while not appearing to break their treaties. --- It also seems that Churchill did everything in his power to prevent spill of British and, to some extent, British Empire and American lives, using the Russians as a human shield. A poorly equipped human shield led by a criminal leader who could not get along politically with the other two major Allies, but a human shield nevertheless. --- Churchill spends a disproportionate amount of material arguing his case, which he feels is in need of this. He defends his management of the Eastern war (which ended in total collapse at the hits of the Japanese army); the disastrous campaigns in North Africa (where Rommel plays the non-commitment of the British generals and re-gains, while using few troops but novel tactics with armored troops, all the territory the British have conquered from the hapless Italians); the non-intervention in Europe; the disaster at Dieppe (good learning experience, in the opinion of Churchill); etc. He blames everyone but the British and, when the British cannot be defended, everyone but himself. Among others, he blames the Australians; the impossibility to predict the precarious status of the US troops in the Pacific; the US reluctance to enter the war; the previous administration's building of adequate defenses in Singapore, where the inland part of the fortress was not built (?!); etc. This reviewer would have preferred an admission of guilt. At some point, Churchill is close to admitting the mistakes, but, even then, defers to higher ground: " The Australians’ claim that they had understood and foreseen the dangers in the Far East and from Japan better than I had done in London can only be judged in relation to the war as a whole. It was their duty to study their own position with concentrated attention. We had to try to think for all." Churchill, Winston (2010-07-01). The Hinge of Fate (Winston Churchill World War II Collection) (Kindle Locations 403-405). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition. In another place, he does admit some part of guilt, about the complete collapse of the British situation in the Pacific, and the tragic falls of Singapore and of Burma (both major strongholds of the British and considered unconquerable for a long period of time): "I do not write this in any way to excuse myself. I ought to have known. My advisers ought to have known and I ought to have been told, and I ought to have asked." Churchill, Winston (2010-07-01). The Hinge of Fate (Winston Churchill World War II Collection) (Kindle Locations 885-886). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition. -- The political treatment of India, which seems to contradict the general position against tyranny that Churchill insists the British were taking. Among others, the political games to keep India a British protectorate: "The document on which we have agreed represents our united policy. If that is rejected by the Indian parties, for whose benefit it has been devised, our sincerity will be proved to the world, and we shall stand together and fight on it here, should that ever be necessary." Churchill, Winston (2010-07-01). The Hinge of Fate (Winston Churchill World War II Collection) (Kindle Locations 3558-3560). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition. -- The little attention given to the plight of Jews. -- The little attention and somewhat malicious statements regarding the bombing of German cities, which Churchill considers due retaliation for similar aggression acts started by the Germans: "Only the weather is holding us back from continuous, heavy bombing attack on Germany. Our new methods are most successful. Essen, Cologne, and above all Lübeck, were all on the Coventry scale." Churchill, Winston (2010-07-01). The Hinge of Fate (Winston Churchill World War II Collection) (Kindle Locations 3361-3363). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition. ++ Churchill was able to correctly predict the impact of the China on the war. On the losing side of prediction, the US President Roosevelt estimated a quick growth, similar to what he saw in Japan. In hindsight correct, Churchill deplores the overall capabilities of China: "I would of course always be helpful and polite to the Chinese, whom I admired and liked as a race and pitied for their endless misgovernment, but that he must not expect me to adopt what I felt was a wholly unreal standard of values." Churchill, Winston (2010-07-01). The Hinge of Fate (Winston Churchill World War II Collection) (Kindle Locations 2230-2231). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition. He also recounts an episode of Chinese misinformation, from the official reply of General Wavell (Commander in Chief of the Pacific front):  << “I did not refuse Chinese help,” replied Wavell. “You say I have ‘now’ accepted 49th and 93rd Divisions. I accepted both these divisions when I was at Chungking on December 23rd, and any delay in moving them down has been purely Chinese. These two divisions constitute Fifth Chinese Army, I understand, except for one other division of very doubtful quality. >> Churchill, Winston (2010-07-01). The Hinge of Fate (Winston Churchill World War II Collection) (Kindle Locations 2246-2248). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition. (The Chinese claim has been of the British General refusing their aid and of aid being comprised of much larger armies.) + The exploit at Saint Nazaire, where a courageous group of British commandos stormed the port and destroyed the only place along the Atlantic coast where the supreme yet damaged battleship Tirpitz could have been repaired. This cost the Germans many months of repairs and helped the Allies survive in the Battle of the Atlantic, where attacks from German U-boats were already more than the Allies could manage. + Identifying some of the weaknesses in German war strategy, such as the inability to continue their most successful plans (Goering's aerial attacks of British war factories, now Raeder's submarine attacks on the Allied fleets in the Atlantic). + The very interesting defensive war carried out in the Pacific after the fall of Burma, with establishment of bases at Fort T (Addu Atoll, in the Maldives); the defense of Ceylon (Sri Lanka); etc. +/- Small piece mentioning Doolittle's aerial attack and subsequent bombing of Tokyo, on April 18, 1942, the first during this war on Japanese soil, which likely helped in the Japanese setting policy of defense-first. +++ Churchill assesses the cost of feeding the Russian front, for both Britain and Allies: lack of ammunition for other military action, a heavy price in lives and shipping tonnage in the Atlantic, weak defenses left in Britain, etc. For years during and after the war, and especially in their satellite countries, the Russians have built the myth that they, by themselves and alone, fought and conquered Hitler's Germany. In reality, the murderous policy of Stalin of throwing human lives at the enemy was a contrast to the British policy of preserving as much as possible their soldiers, and of compensating with equipment aids to the Russians, and of putting lives at stake only when necessary or when winning chances were very favorable. + The interesting piece on the exploit at Bruneval, Cap d'Antifer, near Havre. There, the Germans have installed a new type of Radar, which was causing many British planes to be detected and lost. To study it, "a detachment of paratroops dropped at midnight behind the German station on the cliff summit, and held the defenders at bay. With them went a carefully briefed party of sappers and an R.A.F. radio mechanic, with instructions to remove as much of the equipment as they could, sketch and photograph the rest, and if possible capture one of the German operators." Churchill, Winston (2010-07-01). The Hinge of Fate (Winston Churchill World War II Collection) (Kindle Locations 4561-4564). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition. The action was successful and British Intelligence and war research were able to use the results to good effect. -- The endless stream of letters cannot compensate the overall feeling that the British were simply stalling. Roosevelt writes to Churchill: "the Russians are to-day killing more Germans and destroying more equipment than you and I put together." Churchill, Winston (2010-07-01). The Hinge of Fate (Winston Churchill World War II Collection) (Kindle Location 5164). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition. -- The feeling that the Her Majesty's Government was covering it all up in bureaucratic lettering, while human lives were lost on a gigantic scale on the Russian front: "When subsequent reproaches were made by the Soviet Government, and when Stalin himself raised the point personally with me, we always produced the aide-memoire and pointed to the words “We can therefore give no promise”." Churchill, Winston (2010-07-01). The Hinge of Fate (Winston Churchill World War II Collection) (Kindle Locations 5636-5637). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition. And "Nearly all my work has been done in writing, and a complete record exists of all the directions I have given, the inquiries I have made, and the telegrams I have drafted. I shall be perfectly content to be judged by them." Churchill, Winston (2010-07-01). The Hinge of Fate (Winston Churchill World War II Collection) (Kindle Locations 6683-6684). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition. ++ Interesting mention of the class prejudice existing inside the British army, which prevented people such as Michael Dunbar, a sergeant in the armored brigade with relevant experience in the Spanish war, from being used to their capacity. ++ The episode when Churchill is criticized and censored publicly, in the middle of the war! +++ An interesting thought regarding an European Union: "I trust that the European family may act unitedly as one under a Council of Europe. I look forward to a United States of Europe in which the barriers between the nations will be greatly minimised and unrestricted travel will be possible. I hope to see the economy of Europe studied as a whole. I hope to see a Council consisting of perhaps ten units, including the former Great Powers, with several confederations—Scandinavian, Danubian, Balkan, etc.-which would possess an international police" Churchill, Winston (2010-07-01). The Hinge of Fate (Winston Churchill World War II Collection) (Kindle Locations 9170-9173). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition. ++ Churchill makes an interesting speculation about the general reason for which the French accepted so readily to collaborate with the German invaders: the unquestionable trust the French public officer puts in the chain of command (droit administratif). It was sufficient for a trusted group of people to man the Vichy Government, for the general French public officer to find acceptable an unbroken link with the Germans. +++ The mention of flying fortresses, an American invention much derided at first, but useful later in the bombing of Axis cities. +++ The very interesting debate about the term unconditional surrender, which many detractors of Churchill claim has prolonged the war. In Churchill's view, it was needed to appease the public and prevent that the Axis, once defeated, are burdened with similar terms as those of 1918 (which he blames in The Gathering Storm as important in the rise to power of Hitler), has helped pushing Italy into submission to the Allies, and has also helped prevent that Germans and other defeated nations start a new World War. +++ The interesting story of the battle for North Africa, including the brilliant maneuvering of Generals Alexander and Montgomery, and the political encounters with the French. + Desert Victory, a propaganda film that inspired the Russians. +++ An example of the poor ability of the British to wage war, even in 1943: "General Marshall somewhat hesitatingly observed, “I admired your gallery, but we had one like it [the tunnels inside the Rock of Gibraltar] at Corregidor. The Japanese fired their artillery at the rock several hundred feet above it, and in two or three days blocked it off with an immense bank of rubble.” I was grateful to him for his warning, but the Governor seemed thunderstruck. All the smiles vanished from his face." Churchill, Winston (2010-07-01). The Hinge of Fate (Winston Churchill World War II Collection) (Kindle Locations 13239-13242). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rob Markley

    As the balance shifts towards inevitable victory for the allies there is not just the story to follow but also many veiled lessons to be learned. Also much in evidence are Churchill's own, although a fairly old man - prodigious powers. This latter point comes through in his writing, in the vast array of topics he concerns himself with, in the diplomacy inherent in the hints without explicitly judging the living or memory of still recent events; but most of all in his ability to manage two immens As the balance shifts towards inevitable victory for the allies there is not just the story to follow but also many veiled lessons to be learned. Also much in evidence are Churchill's own, although a fairly old man - prodigious powers. This latter point comes through in his writing, in the vast array of topics he concerns himself with, in the diplomacy inherent in the hints without explicitly judging the living or memory of still recent events; but most of all in his ability to manage two immense allies in USA and USSR. Eisenhower to whom much is handed is a political sub manager not a combat soldier. This management takes a fair portion of Churchill's energy during the war and of this book, but what is apparent is the conviction that USA must take the lead and is handed such, while at the same time carefully managed to pursue Churchill's strategy and agenda in every way except with the inability to re invade Norway. Where there is general weakness both in Churchill, and in Roosevelt and Americans is naivety about the look of the post war situation. The Americans are naive and fanciful in their regard of the real situations of China and India (we see Gandhi for what he really was in Churchill's work!) and hence indirectly contribute to the disasters to follow. Churchill himself assumes a 19th century redrawing of European borders - breaking away Prussia from Germany and creating regional power blocs. Neither have any concept of the sharp polarisation and divide postwar communism will bring. Neither have regard for the terrible world wide evil they are toying with. Churchill certainly covers the Katyn forest atrocity leaving little doubt as to responsibility, but nevertheless refusing to outright condemn the Soviet's, all for the sake of defeating Nazism. Not only is there the disregard for the future of Poland (the reason for the war in the first place) but also a sad lack regard for their sensibilities, simply using them as pawns in the game. Then there is the committed huge cost in material and lives expended supporting those Soviets! Has Churchill remembered nothing from the the treachery of communism so apparent in volume one, 'The Gathering Storm' - had he become too single minded in seeking to defeat one evil, in that he more than supped with the devil - he gave the keys to the restaurant?! The other great learning theme is to reflect not to the future and without, but within and to the internal sickness. Churchill is constantly harping on as to why British units require so many more (compared to the Germans) non combatants and such a long tail dragging behind every combat unit. He overly loyal to dithering and excuse making administrators like Wavell and Auckinleck, while astutely contrasting them with true Generals like Alexander and Montgomery. The incompetence and inaction that delivers what everyone imaged as the the fortress of Singapore is castigated and Churchill hints at postwar cover up. While Churchill out of patriotism cannot say as much, Britain was infected by bureaucracy and inertia, by class prejudice and self interested privilege, by narrow minded self protectionist sentiment, by blindness, incompetence and laziness. Churchill himself is the great force attempting and in a large part succeeding in reanimating the British bulldog.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael Reilly

    (2nd half) This covers the last half of 1942 and the beginning of 1943. 1942 was the hinge in all three fronts of the war. In the Pacific, the American victory in June at the Battle of Midway stopped the Japanese advances. The rest of the war was the slow, brutal fight pushing the Japanese back to their home island. On the Russian front, the Russians stopped the German army at Stalingrad. By December the Russians had turned the tables and trapped the German Sixth Army. The rest of the war was th (2nd half) This covers the last half of 1942 and the beginning of 1943. 1942 was the hinge in all three fronts of the war. In the Pacific, the American victory in June at the Battle of Midway stopped the Japanese advances. The rest of the war was the slow, brutal fight pushing the Japanese back to their home island. On the Russian front, the Russians stopped the German army at Stalingrad. By December the Russians had turned the tables and trapped the German Sixth Army. The rest of the war was the slow, brutal fight pushing the Germans back to their homeland. On the Western front, the unbroken string of German victories was stopped in Egypt at El Alamein. Churchill says, "Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat." This section of Churchill's history focuses on the campaigns in North Africa and Egypt. Churchill had great respect for Rommel. He felt that his generals were not up to Rommel's level. He eventually flew to Egypt and meet with all of the generals. He transferred the generals who had been losing battles and territory to Rommel. He appointed General Alexander to be Commander in Chief in the Near East and General Montgomery to head the Sixth Army, which was opposing Rommel. Montgomery was the victor at El Alamein and Alexander was a success as commander. In April of 1943, the Americans landed in North Africa. The Americans and English pushed the Germans out of North Africa and Egypt. This set the stage for the invasion of Italy and the beginning of the battle in Europe. Churchill visited America twice and Russia once during these ten months. In 1942 he was 68. Travel in war time conditions was dangerous and exhausting. He tells of unheated planes and close calls on his flight to Russia. He also tells a tragic story. The Germans knew he was planning to fly from Gibraltar to England. They were hoping to shoot down his flight. They saw a guy who looked like him get on a commercial flight. They thought he was pulling a fast one. They ordered an air strike. The plane was shot down and thirteen passengers were killed. Leslie Howard, the well known English actor, was one of those killed. Each of these volumes has an appendix of memos written by Churchill during the relevant period. He was a magisterial writer with a awe inspiring ability to clearly and succinctly summarize a complicated problem and forcefully advocate for his solution. He also loved to tinker with every little thing. He constantly peppered his subordinates with questions about things he saw in the newspaper. In this volume he challenges the decision to ban the transport of cut flowers by train. He asked whether the savings in space on trains was worth the loss of flowers to beleaguered citizens? This memo is from July 16, 1942. "Complaints reach me about your new plans for poultry rationing as they effect country-folk. The hen has been part and parcel of country life since history began. Townsfolk can eke out their rations by a bought meal. What is the need for this tremendous reduction to one hen per person? Anyhow, the Cabinet ought too have been informed."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Casebolt

    With the violent entry of the Soviet Union and the United States into World War II, the fate of the Axis powers was sealed. However, history only appears inevitable in retrospect. Both Germany and Japan expanded to their greatest extents in 1942. Nazi panzers bit deeply into Russia and threatened Egypt, Britain's lifeline to to the East. Japan tore through thin colonial defenses around the Pacific rim and tightened its decade-long stranglehold on China. By 1943, however, Axis power was strained With the violent entry of the Soviet Union and the United States into World War II, the fate of the Axis powers was sealed. However, history only appears inevitable in retrospect. Both Germany and Japan expanded to their greatest extents in 1942. Nazi panzers bit deeply into Russia and threatened Egypt, Britain's lifeline to to the East. Japan tore through thin colonial defenses around the Pacific rim and tightened its decade-long stranglehold on China. By 1943, however, Axis power was strained to the breaking point in a war never intended to last this long. American industry armed the Allies with breathtaking speed while the vastness of Russian space and population bled Germany dry. The hinge of fate had turned; and from this point to the end of the war, the door would inexorably close on Axis dreams of empire. Churchill's memoirs of this time are largely dedicated to the campaigns to clear North Africa of German and Italian forces. The pivotal naval Battle of Midway is rolled into a single chapter along with the Battle of the Coral Sea. The titanic struggle on the Russian front is only occasionally mentioned, including such monumental turning points as the Battle of Stalingrad. That's not to say Churchill downplays Russian sacrifice and contribution; to the contrary, he frequently expresses his comprehension of how much final victory was owed to the Russians. However, he also never forgot Stalin's intentions to join Germany in carving up the British Empire before Hitler unleashed the Wehrmacht on him, and Churchill never (with good reason) trusted the Stalinist regime. Beyond this, though, it must be remembered that these are the memoirs of the British Prime Minister, not a comprehensive history of the war. For the British, the war in this period consisted of working with the Americans to contain Japan as best they could, supply Russia as best they could, and strike the Axis on the only feasible large-scale front available to the western allies: North Africa. What most stands out to me about this volume is Churchill's palpable sense of relief over the ultimate outcome of the war. This is illustrated by a memo in the appendices in which he writes to one of his ministers that he hasn't reviewed the ammunition returns in months because the supply from America is so large. The entry of the United States into the war transformed a struggle for survival into a crusade to victory, and this comes through clearly in the brightening tone of this volume.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Darcy

    I had quite a large interruption in the flow of reading this book. About halfway through I moved and the relocation involved packing and losing track of this volume. When I finally discovered it I finished it off, in a prolonged sitting, that provided a more insightful perspective of the unrelenting pressures the leader of the United Kingdom faced in this conflict. As a result I realized that the title not only refered to the change in fortunes of the war, favoring the allies, and the inexorable I had quite a large interruption in the flow of reading this book. About halfway through I moved and the relocation involved packing and losing track of this volume. When I finally discovered it I finished it off, in a prolonged sitting, that provided a more insightful perspective of the unrelenting pressures the leader of the United Kingdom faced in this conflict. As a result I realized that the title not only refered to the change in fortunes of the war, favoring the allies, and the inexorable decline of the axis powers, but to the Prime Minister's own strife, now beginning to show the wisdom of many hard decisions. One of the recurring events that Churchill hammers home is the insistence from Stalin that a second front be opened in Continental Europe and that resources be shipped to the U.S.S.R., no matter the cost in men or material. While thought to be self-serving, when faced with the staggering costs that nation faced combating Germany, it became apparent why he wanted succor. Another was the importance of cordial realtions with the United States of America, whose entry into the war was paramount. These issues, and the campaign in North Africa, take up much of this volume. It details the politicking required to bring disparate personalities into accord, while dealing with domestic attitudes and opinions at home and prosecuting a war in far flung locals. The determination and the strain were both incredible and the understanding that Churchill was the right man for the time is driven home. This 4th volume marks the turning point in World War 2, and shows that victory was now a matter of time. The decision to prosecute for unconditional surrender is defended as are other choices, such as Eisenhower as Supreme Commander. Truly another remarkable book that has earned its place in history.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Churchill characterizes this volume as the record of how a succession of defeats and setbacks was followed by a series of wins and gains in the year 1942. A surprising aspect for me was the realization of just how little Britain and the United States were engaged in actual combat during that period compared with what was happening between Russia and the Nazis. Churchill does not skimp on his evaluation of the enormity and consequence of that encounter. But he casts it within the "frame" of his f Churchill characterizes this volume as the record of how a succession of defeats and setbacks was followed by a series of wins and gains in the year 1942. A surprising aspect for me was the realization of just how little Britain and the United States were engaged in actual combat during that period compared with what was happening between Russia and the Nazis. Churchill does not skimp on his evaluation of the enormity and consequence of that encounter. But he casts it within the "frame" of his field of operations and goals. That is, how the Russian conflict served to support his efforts to finally defeat Hitler. This way of looking at things - how they play into or promote one's own objective - is understandable. But it also can leave the picture unbalanced. Churchill certainly comments on and recounts the travails and ultimate success of Russia against Hitler. But he does not provide anywhere near the proportionate page space to those events that their import warrants. On the other hand, he frequently acknowledges that Russia is tying up large numbers of Nazi battalions that could and likely otherwise would have been thrown against Britain; and he drives home the message that once the Nazis had been obliterated in North Africa it is incumbent on Britain and the United States to engage all their combined forces to attack Hitler through invasion of Sicily and Italy and thereby bring some relief to Russia. You can almost feel the embarrassment that Churchill felt upon the fall of Singapore to the Japanese: "... the worst disaster and largest capitulation of British history." Neither he nor his generals had taken steps to ensure what they called a "fortress" was actually such. For example, all the heavy artillery in Singapore was locked-in on the sea. But the Japanese attacked from the land coming down the Malay peninsula. Similarly, back in North Africa, the "fortress" of Tobruk fell after a few days of encircling maneuvers by Rommel followed by a frontal attack. This news was presented to him while he was in the US meeting with FDR. His embarrassment was exceeded only by his sense of impotence in the face of Japanese naval superiority as the very fleet that had delivered the attack on Pearl Harbor had subsequently sailed into the East Indies and on to Ceylon threatening India itself. Yet, given all this negative performance, Churchill remained buoyant. He in fact reveled in the conviction that with the US now committed, The Hinge of Fate had swung in favor of the survival of Western civilization and "the cause of Freedom." His optimism was entrenched by the final destruction of the Nazis and their allies the Italians in North Africa. The United Nations, represented by the combined forces of Britain, France, Australia, and the US, had finally accomplished a decisive event. I was struck by his frequent use of the phrase The United Nations. Somewhere, in all this narrative, that notation had been adopted in his writing. My naive recollection had been that that phrase did not come into existence until after the war to designate what we now know by that name. By the end of this volume all the negativity has evaporated and he closes with "... soon Great Britain and the United States would have the mastery of the Oceans and the Air. The hinge had turned." Here are a few points that I think characterize this book as a piece of literature in distinction to a mere recounting of events. Churchill seemed to be enjoying all of this. You can just sense the enthusiasm with which he describes these events. He relishes every moment he spends with FDR. He delights in the debates with his staff. He is nearly giddy as he works his wily ways to get others to ultimately concur in his foresight. He chuckles with glee as he meets other personalities in whom he recognizes greatness: Marshall, Eisenhower, Eden, Montgomery, Hopkins. For example: "Hitherto I had thought of Marshall as a rugged soldier and magnificent organiser and builder of armies ... But now I saw that he was a statesman with a penetrating and commanding view of the whole scene." Again, FDR decided everyone - himself, Eleanor, Hopkins, Churchill - should take a weekend respite at his refuge in the hills called Shangri-La (now Camp David). "We had a dispute about where we should sit in the car for this three-hour journey. ... the British Empire went into action. After about three minutes' conflict of wills I won, ... " Great fun!! As they drove on they approached the town of Frederick near the scene of the battle of Gettysburg. This sparked Hopkins to quote a couple of lines from the poem about Barbara Frietchie's appeal to the Rebel's not to fire on "your country's flag." To which Churchill added another twenty lines! Churchill responded to FDR as one would with a lifelong friend wanting to share and enjoy together. At the end of their two week meeting in Casablanca Churchill prevailed upon FDR to travel with him 150 miles, by car, to the exotic Marrakech where the best treat would be for him to "see the sunset on the snows of the Atlas Mountains." Finally, there was a passage which illustrates Churchill's humor. He was examining operations in and around Cairo. There were some ancient caves which were created as a result of mining for stones to build the Pyramids. The caves were now being used as a safe place for machinists to do repair work. The volume of work was impressive but not anywhere near what Churchill considered necessary. He decided that the size of the caves was just too small. Consequently, he concluded: "The original fault lay with the Pharaohs for not having built more and larger Pyramids. Other responsibilities were more difficult to assign."

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jeremiah

    This aptly titled volume describes how the war slowly starts to turn in the Allies' favor. It's interesting to read about the campaign in the Mediterranean and how little weight my own history education put on it. Another interesting episode mentioned in this volume is the Katyn Massacre, where 22,000 Poles were found in mass graves in occupied Poland. The Nazis blamed the Soviets and the Soviets blamed the Nazis at the time. Churchill seems to hint that he thinks it more likely that the Soviets This aptly titled volume describes how the war slowly starts to turn in the Allies' favor. It's interesting to read about the campaign in the Mediterranean and how little weight my own history education put on it. Another interesting episode mentioned in this volume is the Katyn Massacre, where 22,000 Poles were found in mass graves in occupied Poland. The Nazis blamed the Soviets and the Soviets blamed the Nazis at the time. Churchill seems to hint that he thinks it more likely that the Soviets were the ones who had committed the massacre, but he also leaves it up to the reader to decide. In the 1990s, however, it was discovered that Stalin had ordered the massacre (which was not just of soldiers, but also land owners, factory owners, clergy, and the like).

  20. 4 out of 5

    Donald

    Given the major recurrence of COVID, I resumed this series and will probably finish the remaining two volumes. This one reminded me of the global scope of the British Empire going into WWII, and how many ethnic conflicts and entrepots emerged in its wake and are still with us today. "My description of Marrakech was 'the Paris of the Sahara,' where all caravans had come from Central Africa for centuries to be heavily taxed en route by the tribes in the mountains and afterwards swindled in the Mar Given the major recurrence of COVID, I resumed this series and will probably finish the remaining two volumes. This one reminded me of the global scope of the British Empire going into WWII, and how many ethnic conflicts and entrepots emerged in its wake and are still with us today. "My description of Marrakech was 'the Paris of the Sahara,' where all caravans had come from Central Africa for centuries to be heavily taxed en route by the tribes in the mountains and afterwards swindled in the Marrakech markets, receiving the return, which they greatly valued, of the gay life of the city, including fortune-tellers, snake-charmers, masses of food and drink, and on the whole the largest and most elaborately organized brothels in the African continent."

  21. 5 out of 5

    Josef Gottlieb

    A Turning Point In "The Hinge of Fate," Winston Churchill recounts the period on which the tide of the war turned in favor of the Allies. With victories in Africa and the Middle East, and ongoing planning for the invasion of Axis territory, things were looking hopeful since the formation of the "Grand Alliance." Churchill's proximity to these events, as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, make him an invaluable source of information for the era. His writing is personal and informative, and his A Turning Point In "The Hinge of Fate," Winston Churchill recounts the period on which the tide of the war turned in favor of the Allies. With victories in Africa and the Middle East, and ongoing planning for the invasion of Axis territory, things were looking hopeful since the formation of the "Grand Alliance." Churchill's proximity to these events, as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, make him an invaluable source of information for the era. His writing is personal and informative, and his inclusion of appendices, telegrams, minutes, tables, and correspondences are useful for painting a picture of the conflict and the politics surrounding it. The reader consistently engaged, and left wanting to continue the story in the remaining volumes

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alf Goodall

    The cover is not the same as my edition which may have been purchased as a set as all 6 volumes are the same without a dust jacket. As in other volumes in the series the description of ongoing behind the scenes activities is quite different from the usual books on the conduct of a war. Although he was a soldier, and at one time First Lord of the Admiralty, Churchill's history of this great event are from the view of one of the greatest statesmen of all time. Anyone wondering about that should re The cover is not the same as my edition which may have been purchased as a set as all 6 volumes are the same without a dust jacket. As in other volumes in the series the description of ongoing behind the scenes activities is quite different from the usual books on the conduct of a war. Although he was a soldier, and at one time First Lord of the Admiralty, Churchill's history of this great event are from the view of one of the greatest statesmen of all time. Anyone wondering about that should read "The Churchill Effect" to comprehend how this single individual did so much to keep Western society free!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Justinas Rasalskis

    Just finished this shorter version with 4 volumes instead of original 6. Not sure about the original, but this shorter version is already very detailed and well written. Gives you another perspective on how WW2 went through the eyes of Churchill. Set aside all plans and battles, most interesting thing here is how Churchill was able to explain virtually every single decision he made during those tough years. He rarely blamed the outcome, instead he was always criticizing thought process of many ot Just finished this shorter version with 4 volumes instead of original 6. Not sure about the original, but this shorter version is already very detailed and well written. Gives you another perspective on how WW2 went through the eyes of Churchill. Set aside all plans and battles, most interesting thing here is how Churchill was able to explain virtually every single decision he made during those tough years. He rarely blamed the outcome, instead he was always criticizing thought process of many other politicians, be it British or foreign. So even if all 4 books were brilliant, I still want to mention him personally - he truly is a great icon of freedom.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gareth

    Another interesting book in the series this one, similar to number 3 is a bit drier than volumes 1 and 2, but still quite a good read. Definitely a tale of two halves, with the first half being a series of successive defeats for the allies, which then reverses in the second half. While Churchill appears to pin this somewhat on Africa / El Alamein, I think the other two big events also covered in this book, the battle of Midway and Stalingrad, were equally responsible in helping to turn the war t Another interesting book in the series this one, similar to number 3 is a bit drier than volumes 1 and 2, but still quite a good read. Definitely a tale of two halves, with the first half being a series of successive defeats for the allies, which then reverses in the second half. While Churchill appears to pin this somewhat on Africa / El Alamein, I think the other two big events also covered in this book, the battle of Midway and Stalingrad, were equally responsible in helping to turn the war towards the allies at the end of 1942. Again, very much Churchill's view, but you still learn quite a bit about the war nonetheless.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carlos Miguel

    Actual rating: 4.5/5 Probably my favourite of the series, the maps finally make sense and help the text! The name of the book is quite interesting and relates to what the book is about. The first part of the book benefits the Axis. The six Months right after Pearl Harbor is just win after win for Japan and Germany, but the second half of 1942 the fate changed and favoured the Allies. The battles of Stalingrad and mid-way, and the North Africa campaign. The pace was relentless and, despite the long Actual rating: 4.5/5 Probably my favourite of the series, the maps finally make sense and help the text! The name of the book is quite interesting and relates to what the book is about. The first part of the book benefits the Axis. The six Months right after Pearl Harbor is just win after win for Japan and Germany, but the second half of 1942 the fate changed and favoured the Allies. The battles of Stalingrad and mid-way, and the North Africa campaign. The pace was relentless and, despite the long text, it was hard to put it down. Two more to go!

  26. 5 out of 5

    James Richardson

    I recently finished reading Winston Churchill's Volume 4 of the Second World War entitled The Hinge of Fate. Great book loaded with insight from all the main characters of this historical event. I didn't realize everything that Great Britain did to insure the Allied victory but now I do. I recently finished reading Winston Churchill's Volume 4 of the Second World War entitled The Hinge of Fate. Great book loaded with insight from all the main characters of this historical event. I didn't realize everything that Great Britain did to insure the Allied victory but now I do.

  27. 4 out of 5

    John

    Although I can read only a few pages at a time, Churchill's take on the high level strategy and command decisions taken during WWII are fascinating. He was there and certainly has the ring of authority. Essential reading for students of the war. Although I can read only a few pages at a time, Churchill's take on the high level strategy and command decisions taken during WWII are fascinating. He was there and certainly has the ring of authority. Essential reading for students of the war.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gregory Ashe

    My continuing journey with Mr. Churchill through 1942 and the first part of 1943 continues. The theme of this volume: How the power of the Grand Alliance became preponderant. Or as was commonly said, before Alamein, the British suffered only defeat; after Alamein they had only victory.

  29. 5 out of 5

    David Highton

    The direction of the war changed from defeat in Singapore and Tobruk to Allied victory in El Alamein, the Battle of Midway, Stalingrad and French North Africa. Churchill's perspective and interaction with Stalin, Roosevelt and De Gaulle all very interesting. The direction of the war changed from defeat in Singapore and Tobruk to Allied victory in El Alamein, the Battle of Midway, Stalingrad and French North Africa. Churchill's perspective and interaction with Stalin, Roosevelt and De Gaulle all very interesting.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Nuckols

    Yes.

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