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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 15. Mai 2000
I bought Churchill's 6-volume history of the Second World War many years ago, but did not find the strength to begin reading it until some time later. The effect was immediate. Although it took me over a year to read all of it, that was only because I have long had the habit of reading a number of books concurrently. I simply couldn't put Churchill down. To say that the story of World War II is a gripping one, is to put it mildly. How much more gripping do you think it might be in the hands of that one unique individual who was both one of the central players and the recorder of the events themselves. At times, I found myself actually wanting certain historical events to go in favour of the Allies although, naturally, I already knew the outcome! Such is the effect of Churchill's writing.
In the second volume "Their Finest Hour," Britain was holding the fort against Hitler alone. After Dunkirk, spirits were low all over the place and the value of Dr Goebells's secret weapon was able to come into play with great effect. One can imagine the feeling of the citizenry of Britain at that time, trapped as they felt themselves to be in that little island, with an unbeaten army just across the channel snarling at them. The whys and wherefores of the actions of both Hitler and the German General Staff at that time, can be discussed until you are blue in the face. The fact is that, although most people on both sides of the Atlantic thought they were about to hop across and finish the job, the Germans hesitated, mainly for lack of a plan, and lost the chance. I don't know for sure if Churchill also thought the British might have been defeated in July, August or September of 1940, but from the end of that odd period of stalemate, he never looked back.
This is fine writing by a, dare I say, highly experienced writer who was right in the thick of things almost from the word go. What a stroke of luck it was that Churchill, like Caesar but unlike Napoleon, both lived it and wrote it.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 10. Oktober 2010
"Their Finest Hour" is Volume II of Winston Churchill's magnus opus on World War II. Beginning with Churchill's ascension to the office of Prime Minister, it continues to the end of 1940. It covers a time of the events of legend. On these pages we read of the end of the Phony War with the Blitzkrieg on France, the evacuation from Dunkirk, the fall of France, the emergence of DeGaulle, and the titanic Battle of Britain that may have been a turning point of the war.

The sudden and shocking collapse of France is told by one who struggled mightily to hold things together as the situation disintegrated around him. Churchill's repeated trips to France to assess conditions and to try to rally the French makes for fascinating reading. Churchill's exhortations to continue the struggle, the French demands for more British commitment, the frantic pleas for an American declaration of war and the incredible offer of a perpetual union between Great Britain and France make for a rapid sequence of unique events that are stranger than any novelist's fiction. As the battle lines dissolved the incredible rescue of the BEF and other forces from Dunkirk saved the troops that were to form the nucleus of the band that would return to France four years later. The fall of France would place the French fleet in jeopardy which led to intense negotiations and the unfortunate British attack at the fleet at Oran.

When the Battle of France was over, the Battle of Britain began. The Battle of Britain was the battle in the skies over Britain in which the RAF and the Luftwaffe fought for the air supremacy that was crucial to any German plans to invade England. When Germany recoiled from the battle the invasion tide receded and the British were forced to seek out other theatres if combat in which to engage the foe, this time in the Middle East.

A gifted writer, Churchill tells the story that only he knew, as only he could write. This book, along with the others in the series, are the indispensable foundations of any in depth study of World War II.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 19. Dezember 2009
"The Gathering Storm" is the initial volume of Winston Churchill's epic history of World War II. Beginning with the end of World War I, which planted the seeds of World War II, the Unnecessary War, Churchill tells the martial story through the end of the Twilight War in May 1940. He covers the story from all perspectives, military, political and personal.

Churchill brings to light many easily overlooked contributors to the great conflagration. He points out that the Versailles Treaty was the first negotiated by elected politicians who had to satisfy their publics, rather than by princes who only needed to satisfy themselves. He reveals that Germany's ability to pay war reparations was for years made possible only by large American loans. He takes the reader through the attempts to ensure safety through balance of power agreements such as the Locarno Pact and the deterioration of the League of Nations through national withdrawals. The progressive German violations of the Versailles Treaty, unchallenged by the West, paved the way for more serious breaches. German expansion is recorded step by step as the West let each opportunity to cheaply halt its march pass by. All the while the balance of power on land and in the air tilted more and more toward the developing Axis.

Germany growth through the militarization of the Rhineland, and the annexation of the Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia and Austria set the stage for the invasion of Poland. After allowing other lands to be swallowed up the West, with the balance of power solidly swung against it, took its stand against German aggression. This led to the Twilight War in which Germany took out Poland before turning its attention to France and Britain. Northern actions included the Soviet attack on Finland and the futile British attempt to prevent Swedish iron ore from reaching Germany by the British invasion of Norway.

One service which did take action during the early phase of the war was the Royal Navy, under the direction of the author as First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill. Stunned by the sinking of the Oak Royal and Rawalpindi, the Navy hunted down the surface raider, Graf Spee, until it was irreparably damaged and scuttled in Uruguay.

This book, along with the others in the series, centers on Churchill and concentrates on British involvement in the war. It definitely presents his views on developments. Although lacking the objective qualities of works by uninvolved historians, it is a highly valuable first person observation of the lead up to and early months of World War II. I first read this series while a college student, not as part of a class, but at my father's suggestion. It was very good advice. "The Gathering Storm", along with the other volumes in the series, is a classic with which every student of World War II must be familiar.
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am 21. Juli 2013
I was happy to see Churchill's works on Kindle. It took me a little while to get used to the level of detail and slow pace of the book. This is very detailed, lots of letters and speeches from the 1920-1940s and a lot of names. At first I was a bit overwhelmed, but after a few chapters, the book pulled me in and I really started reading.

From Churchill's point of view the war unfolds from the mistakes at the end of WWI, the political play for peace, the Twilight war and the Norwegian campaign. It's wonderfully written. The best part is how it really manages to convey the haste and patience required to run the war - decisions must be taken now, resources divided between the now and in two years, the amount of time it will take to build a battleship... Can't wait to read about the Battle of Britain in the next one.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 20. September 2013
Without doubt one of the best writers ever. A shame that the kindle version has typos on EVERY page. Also no page numbers.
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am 4. Oktober 1999
You will be hard-pressed to find another novel that describes all of the major events of the war on all-fronts in such detail. The miracle of this work is that Churchill presents the story from all sides from an objective point of view which is usually lacking in modern writing. Through a combination of personal experience and detailed research Churchill has reconstructed the events of the war in heroic fashion.
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am 20. August 2014
One of the very best books from the British perspective aboout the mainly European developments in politics which finally lead to WW II and an utmost interesting description of how the Allied Nations acted militarily and politically during its conduct.
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am 13. Dezember 1996
All six volumes of Churchill's history _The_Second_World_War_
are off scale in their quality. They are superbly written.
They are true. They are authoritative. They are thrilling.
Why are they out of print indefinitely?
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am 24. November 2012
Master story teller of fantastic writing ability. What a gift to the world - a man born at the right time.
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1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 8. Juni 1999
Reading Churchilll's fine history is a sharp reminder just how much western society is in his debt. Rule Brittania!
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