A remarkably detailed look at WWII in Europe. There is much insight about the interaction of the Allies from Normandy to the collapse of the Axis on V-E day. One is reminded that with history there are only two outcomes: study history, or repeat it. Highly recommended.
I truly enjoyed reading Atkinson's WWII trilogy, laced with the excitement of eventual Allied victory and the myriad setbacks and mistakes that permeate all extended battles. The shortcomings of the commanders in war are related in all too human terms, as are those of the enlisted men serving under them. I recommend reading all the books of the series, since one cannot understand the success of D-Day without reading of the learning experience of North Africa and Italy. Well done.
Want to read the last book of the trilogy but will wait for the price to drop to 10.00. More than enough for a digital copy.
Great finish to his WWII trilogy. Presents a lot of new information.
The third book of Atkinson's WWII trilogy walks over ground previously covered by decades of authors, occasionally finding a new artifact, but often pointing out familiar landmarks and then moving on. Like the generals we first meet in his gripping book on the North African campaign and then follow into Sicily and Italy in his much needed second book on that less chronicled, bloody slog up the peninsula; Atkinson seems worn down by the time we break out of Normandy. The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far captured the the sweep of the big battles in more detail. He does fill a void with his narrative of the all-but-forgotten campaign up the Rhone from Southern France; and his painful account of the brutal, final pounding of Germany in the spring of '45 holds its own with any other history I have seen. But this is the lesser... the least ... of the three volumes. What Atkinson does bring is a much appreciated journalist's verdict to his profiles of the commanders. He treats the heroes with an even and sometimes critical eye. He also names the names of those forgotten generals whom history has passed over because they were weak or vain or failures. He also holds up a few commanders who should be better remembered than they are today. I own the other two volumes in hardback and I must complain that the maps on an iPad are far too small to be of any use, a real problem for a military history. If there was a way to scale them up, I could not find it. On the other hand, the digital book brought great power to bear on the author's sometimes overwrought vocabulary. It was much easier to keep moving when a definition was only a tap away. If you, too, have spent years with the histories of this war, this volume is a return trip to familiar fields. Ah yes, we observe: Monty is still the vain rooster; the French remain blustering, incompetent warriors; Patton is still the dashing, but bloody, warrior; the Germans still lose while fighting with better weapons than anybody else. And, somehow, Ike manages to hold it together.
Very well written final work in what is a definitive study of WW II. Atkinson writes history in a clear voice that is both detailed and entertaining. This book was hard to put down.
Excruciating detail rendered almost unreadable by the author's vocabulary. Never uses a simple word, when an obscure word will suffice.