Your cart is empty
The Last Hurrah describes in vivid detail a pivotal moment not just in the history of South Africa, that far-flung imperial outpost, but of the British Empire itself. The year 1947 marked the high-water mark of the British Empire in Africa, but also the very moment at which it began to unravel, ahead of the Afrikaner Nationalist victory in South Africa in 1948, which led inexorably to the Republic of South Africa in 1961 and its departure from the Commonwealth.
Graham Viney's book not only superbly captures a moment in the life of a fractious, recently formed 'nation', before its descent into nearly five decades of darkness, but also gives us an intimate and revealing portrait of the royal family - King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret - hard at work in support of the national interest. It seems clear that the present Queen Elizabeth must have learned a great deal from her father, but perhaps particularly her mother, about duty and statecraft in the course of this three-month tour, during which the then princess celebrated her twenty-first birthday.
Viney evocatively details the background to the 1947 royal tour of southern Africa, which took in not just the length and breadth of what was then the Union of South Africa, but its neighbours, too: Basutoland (now Lesotho), Bechuanaland (Botswana), Swaziland (very recently renamed the Kingdom of eSwatini), Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). The royal family travelled ceaselessly, from February to April that year, on a specially commissioned, white-painted train, meeting thousands of people at every stop along the way.
The tour was a show of imperial solidarity and a recognition of South Africa's contribution to the Allied cause during the Second World War, specifically that of South African prime minister Jan Smuts, who, though once an adversary in the Boer War and Churchill's jailer, had served in both British war cabinets and been nicknamed 'the handyman of Empire'. Despite concerns and ongoing controversy, wherever the tour took the Royal Family, South Africans of all kinds turned out in their thousands to cheer and welcome them. But India was to gain independence later that same year and just one year later, Smuts had been ousted from power and South Africa set on the path to becoming a republic.
The Last Hurrah draws skilfully on many diverse sources, including the Royal Archive at Windsor, to explore not just the troubled politics of the time, but also local society and the royal visitors in richly textured, telling detail. The book includes many photographs of the royal family on tour not previously published, including stills from film footage unearthed in the South African Railway Museum archives.
From the secret SAS archives, and acclaimed author Ben Macintyre: the first ever authorized history of the SAS.
In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, came up with a plan that was radical and entirely against the rules: a small undercover unit that would inflict chaos and mayhem behind enemy lines. Despite intense opposition, Winston Churchill personally gave Stirling permission to recruit the toughest, brightest and most ruthless soldiers he could find. So began the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world: the SAS. Now, 75 years later, the SAS has finally decided to tell its astonishing story. It has opened its secret archives for the first time, granting historian Ben Macintyre full access to a treasure trove of unseen reports, memos, diaries, letters, maps and photographs, as well as free rein to interview surviving Originals and those who knew them.
The result is an exhilarating tale of fearlessness and heroism, recklessness and tragedy; of extraordinary men who were willing to take monumental risks. It is a story about the meaning of courage.
Historian Karen Horn painstakingly tracked down a number of former POWs in which their interviews reveal rich narratives of hardship, endurance, humour, longing and self-discovery. Instead of fighting, these men adapted to another war, one which was fought on the inside of many prison camps.
In their interviews, all the POWs expressed surprise at being asked to share their experiences of almost 70 years earlier.They returned home in 1945 to a country which soon afterwards tried its utmost to promote national amnesia with regard to the country’s participation in the war.
With great insight and empathy, Karen Horn shines a light on a neglected corner of South African history. Karen Horn is a lecturer at Stellenbosch University.
'Julie Summers has an amazing instinct for unearthing good stories and telling quotes.' Craig Brown, The Mail On Sunday. 'This is an enjoyable book, peppered with examples of under-reported wartime heroism.' Robert Leigh-Pemberton, The Daily Telegraph 'It's hard to believe that there are still untold stories about Britain and World War II, but Julie Summers has unearthed a fascinating one that she tells with great verve and style. All in all, Uninvited Guests is a sheer delight.' Lynne Olson, author of Citizens of London and Last Hope Island A remarkable narrative set against the dark days of World War Two, from one of the country's foremost social historians. Our Uninvited Guests perfectly captures the spirit of upheaval at the beginning of the Second World War when thousands of houses were requisitioned by the government to provide accommodation for the armed forces, secret services and government offices as well as vulnerable children, the sick and the elderly, all of whom needed to be housed safely beyond the reach of Hitler's Luftwaffe. Julie Summers gives the reader a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in some of Britain's greatest country houses that were occupied by people who would otherwise never have set foot in such opulent surroundings.Blenheim Palace was colonised by schoolboys who slept in the Long Library; Polish special agents trained in the grounds of Audley End House, learning to forge and lie their way into occupied Europe in the old nursery. Brocket Hall, former home of Queen Victoria's favourite Lord Melbourne, was used as a maternity home for women from the East End of London, and the Rothschilds' magnificent French chateau-inspired Waddesdon Manor housed a hundred children under five. The Northern Highlands, where the fierce warriors of Scotland's past developed their unconventional military skills, played host to the most extreme form of warfare, training agents in the fine arts of sabotage, subterfuge and assassination. The juxtaposition of splendour and opulence with the everyday activities of people whose needs were at odds with their new surroundings is at the heart of this book. This thought-provoking and evocative narrative captures a crucial period in the social history of Britain. Praise for Julie Summers: 'Superb...highly recommended' Who Do You Think You Are Magazine 'A remarkable collection of stories...a rich and moving book' Mail on Sunday 'Summers is a good and knowledgeable writer...powerful, emotional stuff' Independent 'A poignant, lingering account' BBC History Magazine 'A revelation - full of information, reminiscences, humour and social history. Reading it not only gave me great pleasure but also made me proud to be a member of such a long lasting, valuable and vital organisation' Helen Carey OBE, former chairman of the National Federation of Women's Institutes
'History's greatest story reinvigorated as only Alex Kershaw can' -Adam Makos, New York Times bestselling author of A Higher Call 'An absolute triumph' -James M. Scott, Pulitzer Prize Finalist and national bestselling author of Target Tokyo and Rampage 'The unforgettable human drama of history's most consequential invasion' -John C. McManus, author of The Dead and Those About to Die: D-Day-The Big Red One at Omaha Beach Beginning in the pre-dawn darkness of June 6, 1944, The First Wave follows ten men attempting to carry out D-Day's most critical missions. Their actions would determine the fate of the invasion of Hitler's Fortress Europe. The ten make a charismatic, unforgettable cast. They include the first American paratrooper to touch down on Normandy soil; the only British soldier that day to earn a Victoria's Cross; the Canadian brothers who led their decimated troops onto Juno Beach under withering fire; the colonel who faced the powerful 150mm guns of the Merville Battery; as well as a French commando who helped destroy German strongholds on Sword Beach. The book will give authentic voice to the invaders' enemies, the German enlisted men and officers tasked with destroying the Allies as they hit the beaches. The result is an utterly immersive, adrenaline-driven drama, an epic of close combat and extraordinary heroism. It is the capstone Alex Kershaw's remarkable career, built on his close friendships with D-Day survivors and his intimate understanding of the Normandy battlefield. For the seventy-fifth anniversary, here is a fresh take on the Second World War's longest day. Praise for Alex Kershaw: `From the opening pages, when Kershaw...drops us into the invasion of Paris, we know that we are in good hands. This is classic narrative nonfiction, constructed and written like a thriller.' Chicago Tribune `Exceptional.... balances evocative prose with attention to detail and is a worthy addition to vibrant classics of small-unit history like Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers.' Wall Street Journal `Kershaw's writing is seamless. He incorporates information from a vast array of sources, but it works--you get a sense of the different voices coming into the story....A gripping read.' Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Sunday Times #1 Bestseller The great airborne battle for the bridges in 1944 by Britain's Number One bestselling historian and author of the classic Stalingrad 'Our greatest chronicler of the Second World War . . . his fans will love it' - Robert Fox, Evening Standard 'The eye for telling detail which we have come to expect from Antony Beevor. . . this time, though, he turns his brilliance as a military historian to a subject not just of defeat, but dunderhead stupidity' Daily Mail On 17 September 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany's parachute forces, heard the growing roar of aeroplane engines. He went out on to his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the air armada of Dakotas and gliders carrying the British 1st Airborne and the American 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions. He gazed up in envy at this massive demonstration of paratroop power. Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept: the Americans thought it unusually bold for Field Marshal Montgomery. But could it ever have worked? The cost of failure was horrendous, above all for the Dutch, who risked everything to help. German reprisals were pitiless and cruel, and lasted until the end of the war. The British fascination with heroic failure has clouded the story of Arnhem in myths. Antony Beevor, using often overlooked sources from Dutch, British, American, Polish and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting, which General Student himself called 'The Last German Victory'. Yet this book, written in Beevor's inimitable and gripping narrative style, is about much more than a single, dramatic battle. It looks into the very heart of war. 'In Beevor's hands, Arnhem becomes a study of national character' - Ben Macintyre, The Times 'Superb book, tirelessly researched and beautifully written' - Saul David, Daily Telegraph 'Complete mastery of both the story and the sources' - Keith Lowe, Literary Review 'Another masterwork from the most feted military historian of our time' - Jay Elwes, Prospect Magazine 'The analysis he has produced of the disaster is forensic' - Giles Milton, Sunday Times 'He is a master of his craft . . . we have here a definitive account' - Piers Paul Read, The Tablet
South Africa’s Union Defence Force played an important part in World War II and also made tremendous sacrifices. By early 1941 South Africa had 30 000 troops in East Africa, where it helped drive the Italians out of Abyssinia and Somalia. This campaign was mere prelude to the operations it would conduct as part of the British Eighth Army against Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps in North Africa.
In November 1941 the battle-hardened Afrika Korps decimated a South African force at Sidi Rezegh in Libya. Six weeks later, South Africans captured the ports of Bardia and Sollum, after Rommel withdrew to the west. Rommel regrouped and attacked again, driving the South Africans and British back toward the vital port of Tobruk. The situation was tenuous at best ‒ South African general Hendrik Klopper surrendered his trapped force of 35 000 men, including 10 000 South Africans, in June 1942.
When Rommel attacked El Alamein a week later, his lead elements were pinned down by South Africans, who went on to play a significant role in the month-long battle that halted Rommel’s advance into Egypt.
Follow the conflict of the Second World War from 1939 to 1945 in this unique volume, published in association with Imperial War Museums, London, featuring historical maps and photographs from their archives, and fascinating commentary from an expert historian. Over 150 maps tell the story of how this global war was fought. Types of maps featured: * Strategic maps showing theatres of war, frontiers and occupied territories * Maps covering key battles and offensives on major fronts * Planning and operations maps showing defences in detail * Propaganda and educational maps for the armed forces and general public * Maps showing dispositions of Allied and enemy forces * Bomber and V-weapon target maps Descriptions of key historical events accompany the maps, giving an illustrated history of the war from an expert historian. Key topics covered include * 1939: Invasion of Poland * 1940: German invasion of Low Countries & France * 1940: Battle of Britain & German invasion threat * Dec 1941: Pearl Harbor * 1942: Turning points: Midway, Alamein, Stalingrad * 1941-45: Barbarossa and the Eastern Front * The War at Sea * The advances to Jerusalem, Damascus and Baghdad * The War in the Air * 1944: Neptune & Overlord; D-Day & liberation of France
'Catherine Bailey has the great gift of bringing to life personal histories . . . Wonderfully paced and wholly satisfying' Kate Atkinson ___________________________________________________________ Berlin, September 1944. Ulrich von Hassell, former ambassador to Italy and a key member of the German Resistance, is executed for his part in an assassination plot against Hitler. In response to the attack, Himmler, leader of the SS, orders the arrest of all the families of the plotters. In a remote castle in Italy, von Hassell's beloved daughter, Fey, is discovered just when she thought she had escaped the Nazi net. She is arrested and her two sons, aged three and two are seized by the SS. Fey has no idea of her children's fate as she is dragged away on a terrifying journey to the darkest corners of a Europe savaged by war. Moving from a palazzo in the heart of the Italian countryside to the horrors of Buchenwald, Catherine Bailey tells an extraordinary story of resistance at the heart of the Second World War. The Lost Boys is an illuminating and devastating account of great personal sacrifice, of loss and, above all, of defiance. ___________________________________________________________ 'Catherine Bailey demonstrates a truly remarkable ability to intertwine searing family histories with great historical events' Andrew Roberts
THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER A SUNDAY TIMES, THE TIMES, ECONOMIST, DAILY TELEGRAPH, EVENING STANDARD, OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR 'Undoubtedly the best single-volume life of Churchill ever written' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times A magnificently fresh and unexpected biography of Churchill, by one of Britain's most acclaimed historians Winston Churchill towers over every other figure in twentieth-century British history. By the time of his death at the age of 90 in 1965, many thought him to be the greatest man in the world. There have been over a thousand previous biographies of Churchill. Andrew Roberts now draws on over forty new sources, including the private diaries of King George VI, used in no previous Churchill biography to depict him more intimately and persuasively than any of its predecessors. The book in no way conceals Churchill's faults and it allows the reader to appreciate his virtues and character in full: his titanic capacity for work (and drink), his ability see the big picture, his willingness to take risks and insistence on being where the action was, his good humour even in the most desperate circumstances, the breadth and strength of his friendships and his extraordinary propensity to burst into tears at unexpected moments. Above all, it shows us the wellsprings of his personality - his lifelong desire to please his father (even long after his father's death) but aristocratic disdain for the opinions of almost everyone else, his love of the British Empire, his sense of history and its connection to the present. During the Second World War, Churchill summoned a particular scientist to see him several times for technical advice. 'It was the same whenever we met', wrote the young man, 'I had a feeling of being recharged by a source of living power.' Harry Hopkins, President Roosevelt's emissary, wrote 'Wherever he was, there was a battlefront.' Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Churchill's essential partner in strategy and most severe critic in private, wrote in his diary, 'I thank God I was given such an opportunity of working alongside such a man, and of having my eyes opened to the fact that occasionally such supermen exist on this earth.'
Spies, bed-hopping, treachery and executions - this story of espionage in wartime Bordeaux is told for the first time. Game of Spies uncovers a lethal spy triangle at work during the Second World War. The story centres on three men - on British, one French and one German - and the duels they fought out in an atmosphere of collaboration, betrayal and assassination, in which comrades sold fellow comrades, Allied agents and downed pilots to the Germans, as casually as they would a bottle of wine. In this thrilling history of how ordinary, untrained people in occupied Europe faced the great questions of life, death and survival, Paddy Ashdown tells a fast-paced tale of SOE, betrayal and bloodshed in the city labelled `la plus belle collaboratrice' in the whole of France.
This is one of the great untold stories of the twentieth century. It is a first-hand account of a mission by an SAS soldier sent behind the Iron Curtain by MI6 to find someone who didn't necessarily want to be found and how, on a follow-up mission, he found himself manoeuvring against a mysterious KGB officer - one Major Vladimir Putin and a murder plot by Kremlin hardliners. If the plot had succeeded, it would have given the Russians the excuse they were looking for to roll out the tanks across East Germany, the Berlin Wall would not have fallen - and the map of Europe would look very different today. It tells of roof top chases, the interrogation of terrorists to gain vital information, a beautiful, East German female (who he suspected of being a Stasi spy), betrayal by people he trusted, an escape through forests pursued by enemy agents and ending in a climactic gun battle at Colditz castle, formerly used by the Soviets as a psychiatric hospital to detain dissidents. In James Bond novels, it is MI6 operators who carry out this type of work, but in reality, when facing a committed foe in an isolated and deadly environment, the intelligence agencies call upon members of the British Special Forces. This is the first insider account of how UK operators working undercover, do what needs to be done in order to protect the UK's interests abroad - revealing their hidden hand in world events.
At the outbreak of war in 1939, ordinary people were quickly forced to adapt to the realities of a nation under dire threat.
But it soon became known as the Phoney War, a time when official incompetence reigned supreme. Theatres and cinemas were closed and football matches cancelled, only for the government to realise belatedly that morale was plunging as a result. Thousands of women and children were evacuated to the countryside, only for many to flood back to the cities, preferring the dangers to separation from their families. Censorship of news was heavy-handed and bred widespread resentment.
In fact, the period from September 1939 to May 1940 was a time of intense political and military activity – the blitzkrieg on Poland, the start of the U-boat menace, the disastrous Norwegian campaign, the political manoeuvrings that brought Churchill to power. Barry Turner skilfully weaves these events into a compelling home front narrative which evokes the fears and dangers but also the humour and the absurdities of everyday life in the dark days of 1939–1940.
From bestselling and prize-winning author Paddy Ashdown, a revelatory new history of German opposition to Hitler. `Ashdown has a great gift for narrative history. He unearths little known stories and places them in context with great dexterity. His new book throws fresh and important light on a crucial topic.' JONATHAN DIMBLEBY In his last days, Adolf Hitler raged in his bunker that he had been betrayed by his own people, defeated from the inside. In part, he was right. By 1945, his armies were being crushed on all fronts, his regime collapsing with many fleeing retribution for their crimes. Yet, even before the war started, there were Germans very high in Hitler's command committed to bringing about his death and defeat. Paddy Ashdown tells, for the first time, the story of those at the very top of Hitler's Germany who tried first to prevent the Second World War and then to deny Hitler victory. Based on newly released files, the repeated attempts of the plotters to warn the Allies about Hitler's plans are revealed. What is revealed is that the anti-Hitler bomb plots, which have received so much attention are, in fact only a small part of a much wider story; one in which those at the highest levels of the German state used every means possible - conspiracy, assassination, espionage - to ensure that, for the sake of the long-term reputation of their country and the survival of liberal and democratic values, Hitler could not be allowed to win the war. It is a matter of record that the European Union we have today and the nature and central position of Germany within it, is, in very large measure, the future envisaged by the plotters and for which they gave their lives.
Winner of the Duff Cooper Prize for History A SUNDAY TIMES, THE TIMES, DAILY TELEGRAPH, NEW STATESMAN, SPECTATOR, FINANCIAL TIMES, TLS BOOK OF THE YEAR 'Masterly ... awesome reading ... an outstanding biography' Max Hastings, Sunday Times In six weeks in the early summer of 1940, France was over-run by German troops and quickly surrendered. The French government of Marshal P tain sued for peace and signed an armistice. One little-known junior French general, refusing to accept defeat, made his way to England. On 18 June he spoke to his compatriots over the BBC, urging them to rally to him in London. 'Whatever happens, the flame of French resistance must not be extinguished and will not be extinguished.' At that moment, Charles de Gaulle entered into history. For the rest of the war, de Gaulle frequently bit the hand that fed him. He insisted on being treated as the true embodiment of France, and quarrelled violently with Churchill and Roosevelt. He was prickly, stubborn, aloof and self-contained. But through sheer force of personality and bloody-mindedness he managed to have France recognised as one of the victorious Allies, occupying its own zone in defeated Germany. For ten years after 1958 he was President of France's Fifth Republic, which he created and which endures to this day. His pursuit of 'a certain idea of France' challenged American hegemony, took France out of NATO and twice vetoed British entry into the European Community. His controversial decolonization of Algeria brought France to the brink of civil war and provoked several assassination attempts. Julian Jackson's magnificent biography reveals this the life of this titanic figure as never before. It draws on a vast range of published and unpublished memoirs and documents - including the recently opened de Gaulle archives - to show how de Gaulle achieved so much during the War when his resources were so astonishingly few, and how, as President, he put a medium-rank power at the centre of world affairs. No previous biography has depicted his paradoxes so vividly. Much of French politics since his death has been about his legacy, and he remains by far the greatest French leader since Napoleon.
Far from worrying about the onset of war, in the spring of 1938 the burning question on the French Riviera was whether one should curtsey to the Duchess of Windsor. Few of those who had settled there thought much about what was going on in the rest of Europe. It was a golden, glamorous life, far removed from politics or conflict. Featuring a sparkling cast of artists, writers and historical figures including Winston Churchill, Daisy Fellowes, Salvador Dali, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Eileen Gray and Edith Wharton, with the enigmatic Coco Chanel at its heart, CHANEL'S RIVIERA is a captivating account of a period that saw some of the deepest extremes of luxury and terror in the whole of the twentieth century. From Chanel's first summer at her Roquebrune villa La Pausa (in the later years with her German lover) amid the glamour of the pre-war parties and casinos in Antibes, Nice and Cannes to the horrors of evacuation and the displacement of thousands of families during the Second World War, CHANEL'S RIVIERA explores the fascinating world of the Cote d'Azur elite in the 1930s and 1940s. Enriched with much original research, it is social history that brings the experiences of both rich and poor, protected and persecuted, to vivid life.
In the tradition of `Agent Zigzag' comes a breathtaking biography of WWII's `Scarlet Pimpernel' as fast-paced and emotionally intuitive as the best spy thrillers. This celebrates unsung hero Robert de La Rochefoucauld, an aristocrat turned anti-Nazi saboteur, and his exploits as a British Special Operations Executive-trained resistant When the Nazis invaded France during the Second World War and imprisoned his father, Robert de La Rochefoucauld - a scion of one of the oldest aristocratic families in France - escaped to England and trained in the dark arts of anarchy and combat. Under the guidance of SOE spies, he learned to crack safes, plant bombs and kill enemies with his bare hands. Then, back in France, he organised Resistance cells, killed Nazi officers and interfered with German missions. He survived unbearable torture and escaped Nazi confinement on not one but two occasions, to live well into his eighties. The adventures of de La Rochefoucauld offer rare insight into a unique moment in history, revealing brand new information about a network of commandos who battled evil and bravely worked together to change the course of history.
The Blitz was a defining moment of the Second World War when civilians faced total war from the air with bombing raids over Britain. This title brings back the effect of the chilling wail of the air-raid siren followed by anxious, sleepless nights and stories of bravery from ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Well-illustrated with contemporary photographs, this book explores the Blitz and its effect on places and people.
************** PRE-ORDER NOW: THE SEVENTEENTH CLIFFEHAVEN NOVEL BY SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR ELLIE DEAN Cliffehaven, 1945 The war in Europe is over, but for Peggy Reilly and the residents of Beach View Boarding House the effects of the conflict are still far-reaching. Cockney evacuee, Ivy, and her sweetheart, Andy, are saving to get married and fulfil their dream of returning to the East End. But when tragedy strikes, Ivy is faced with a life-changing dilemma that only she can resolve. Rita also faces an impossible choice when her sweetheart Peter proposes and asks her to live with him in Australia - just as her widowed father returns from the fighting in Europe. Meanwhile Peggy must say goodbye to several of her evacuee chicks whilst she awaits the return of her family from Somerset and the news that her husband, Jim, can finally come home. It's a dream she's held onto for six long years, but fate has one more twist in store.
(Previously published as `After the Flood') Former RAF Tornado Navigator and Gulf War veteran John Nichol sets out on a personal journey to discover what happened to 617 Squadron after the flood. RAF 617 Squadron's destruction of the dams at the heart of the Ruhr made them heroes and celebrities of their time. But this elite squadron was also called upon for a hundred more of the most secret and dangerous specialist precision attacks. As bestselling author John Nichol discovers, 617 would drop the largest bombs ever built on battleships, railway bridges, secret weapon establishments, rockets sites and U-boat construction pens. They were involved in attempts on the lives of enemy leaders, both Hitler and Mussolini, created a `false fleet' on D-day which fooled the Germans, and knocked out a German super gun which would have rained 600 shells an hour on London. Of the 77 men who made it home from dams raid, only 45 survived to see the victory for which they fought - as 617's reputation called them into action again and again.
The D-Day landings of 6 June 1944 were the culmination of months of meticulous planning and organisation. A vast army had to be trained and equipped; huge amounts of material - from tin cans to tank transporters, petrol to parachutes - had to be stockpiled, distributed and readied for transport to the beaches of Normandy; bombing missions had to reduce the enemy; fighters, minesweepers and other naval missions had to clear the English Channel; and, finally, the men had to embark and the armada had to deliver its cargo to a strict timetable under enemy fire onto a hostile shore. For understandable reasons, the emphasis on remembrance of D-Day is focused on the beaches: that's where the battles took place; that's where most of the casualties occurred; that's where the remarkable stories were written in blood, sand and shingle. We should never forget the sacrifice of those who fell, but equally we shouldn't forget the sacrifices of those who prepared the way. The hundred locations chosen for this book are a small collection of those places in Britain that were involved in the preparations for D-Day. It would have been easy to choose a hundred others: few parts of Britain were not part of the war effort. It is perhaps best to see the chosen 100 as starting points from which the reader can discover the considerable depth of involvement required to launch the great invasion.
Prize-winning and bestselling historian Jean Edward Smith tells the dramatic story of the liberation of Paris during World War II-a triumph that was achieved through the remarkable efforts of Americans, French, and Germans, all racing to save the city from destruction. Following their breakout from Normandy in late June 1944, the Allies swept across northern France in pursuit of the German army. The Allies intended to bypass Paris and cross the Rhine into Germany, ending the war before winter set in. But as they advanced, local forces in Paris began their own liberation, defying the occupying German troops. Charles de Gaulle, the leading figure of the Free French government, urged General Dwight Eisenhower to divert forces to liberate Paris. Eisenhower's most senior staff recommended otherwise, but Ike wanted to help position de Gaulle to lead France after the war. And both men were concerned about partisan conflict in Paris that could leave the communists in control of the city and the national government, perhaps even causing a bloodbath like the Paris Commune. Neither man knew that the German commandant, Dietrich von Choltitz, convinced that the war was lost, dissembled and schemed to surrender the city to the Allies intact, defying Hitler's orders to leave it a burning ruin. In The Liberation of Paris, Jean Edward Smith puts this dramatic event in context, showing how the decision to free the city came at a heavy price: it slowed the Allied momentum and allowed the Germans to regroup. After the war German generals argued that Eisenhower's decision to enter Paris prolonged the war for another six months. Was Paris worth this price? Smith answers this question in his superb, dramatic history of one of the great events of World War II-published seventy-five years after the liberation.
Stunning stories about what it was like to be a Soviet child during the upheaval and horror of the Second World War, from Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich I finished first grade in May of 41, and my parents took me for the summer to the Pioneer camp. I came there, went for a swim once, and two days later the war began. German planes flew over, and we shouted "Hurray!" We didn't understand that they could be enemy planes. Until they began to bomb us... Then all colours disappeared. All shades. What did it mean to grow up in the Soviet Union during the Second World War? In the late 1970s, Svetlana Alexievich started interviewing people who had experienced war as children, the generation that survived and had to live with the trauma that would forever change the course of the Russian nation. With remarkable care and empathy, Alexievich gives voice to those whose stories are lost in the official narratives, uncovering a powerful, hidden history of one of the most important events of the twentieth century. Published to great acclaim in the USSR in 1985 and now available in English for the first time, this masterpiece offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human consequences of the war - and an extraordinary chronicle of the Russian soul.
An autobiography that takes an in depth look at how evacuees were treated in WW2. Shows the chaos of the evacuee system at the start of the war. A story which vividly explores the loneliness and fear of being an evacuee. The Second World War was a global cataclysm that resulted in the death of more than 60 million people. In 1940 at the onset of this grim period in history, a young boy begins his own journey; one that irrevocably changes the course of his life. In this poignant memoir, the author shares a rare glimpse into what it was like growing up and living during this era. The memoir begins, at the outbreak of the Second World War, with the Author and his brother, along with hundreds of other children, being evacuated to the coast. His story progresses through a series of events that change his life dramatically as a young boy. This is a real life account of fates that become inextricably entwined amidst the clamour of wartime and the transformational odyssey of a young boy growing up during a volatile period. Harrowing and inspirational, I'll Take That One is a profound read that seamlessly merges history with personal experience and brings down the phenomenon of war into a real and humanized level. The story potently captures the Second World War zeitgeist while actively demonstrating the unwavering essence of the human spirit.
You may like...
Alan Turing - Remarkable Lives
Dermot Turing Paperback
The Origins of the Second World War
A.J.P. Taylor Paperback
Bomber Boys - Fighting Back 1940-1945
Patrick Bishop Paperback (2)
Promise Me You'll Shoot Yourself - The…
Florian Huber Hardcover (1)
Raoul Wallenberg - The Man Who Saved…
Ingrid Carlberg Paperback (1)
The Cruel Victory - The French…
Paddy Ashdown Paperback (1)
Appeasing Hitler - Chamberlain…
Tim Bouverie Hardcover (1)
The First Wave - The D-Day Warriors Who…
Alex Kershaw Hardcover
The Stepney Doorstep Society - The…
Kate Thompson Paperback (1)
Darkest Hour - How Churchill Brought us…
Anthony McCarten Paperback (1)