"After the first forty days we were alone," writes Churchill. This edition is part two of Churchill's own abridgement of his original six-volume history of the Second World War.
Please note: This book was originally published in six volumes:
1. The Gathering Storm
2. Their Finest Hour
3. The Grand Alliance
4. The Hinge of Fate
5. Closing the Ring
6. Triumph and Tragedy
Churchill then condensed these into four volumes, which have since been released as one, rather hefty, publication. This is an unabridged recording of Churchill's condensed volume, broken up into four parts, as follows:
1. Milestone to Disaster
3. The Grand Alliance
4. Triumph and Tragedy
©2008 The Estate of Winston Churchill; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
A personal account, told with feeling and verve, of the details of the fall of France, the Battle of Britan and the Battle of the Atlantic. The devil is in the details as is the delight when you read Churchill. As good as 1776.
You are there with Churchill as he asks the French generals in his poor French, "Where is your strategic reserve?", which the French might have used to counter the initial German end run around the Maginot Line. Duh, they had none(!)
you are by his side as he and his war cabinet plans to repel the invasion, which he increasingly feels will never take place. You are there as he and his cabinet make decisions about Greece, North Africa, and the French Navy, and deal with the various outcomes of those decisions.
A tour de force from an author who still deserves to be best selling. The spirit of the man comes through, which along with the spirit of Great Britain and America, will, one hopes, never die. Uh, a good read.
Not having read any of Churchill's works before I found this excellent. The narration is very life like which helps you to hear, as if from the man himself. Also the inside views on strategic events during the war is eye opening. Surely this was a man living out his destiny. Although a keen WWII amatuer historian I found the depth of background information and political insight very very helpful in expanding my understanding of the events that aren't often discussed today.
An excellent listen
This is a real eye opener for me, an American, brought up on the idea that the US won the war against Germany. Here, in the great man's words, we certainly learn that Great Britain was the great bulwark against the Nazi's. To hear Christian Rodsda's narration feels like the new clips of Churchill's speaking voice.. i wonder if he did any speech pattern study before embarking on these four "World War Two" books.
I've come to appreciate Churchill's foresight before the war, his study and thought of what might be coming and his preparation. What a wonderful confidence, not overburdening, but certainly not shy. Here is probably the most key individual in the entire war from the Western perspective telling the story shortly after the events. It's a must read/listen for any student of recent history.
Every student should have to listen to this - and they'd enjoy it. Churchill writes wonderfully but I think he dictated so this is perfect for an audio book. His turn of phrase is just brilliant. He gives respect where he could have condemned and his analysis is just excellent.
I normally don't like narration that is imitating the author. But Christian Rodska is just right for this role and he doesn't overdo the imitation but does it just enough "Winston" to work. His timing is wonderful.
There is a lot to learn from this, more than half a century after it was written.
I found this book to be fascinating. To hear the accounts of one of history's greatest wars from the mouth of the most influential leader of the Allied forces was incredible. It was amazing to hear first-hand acounts of some of the war's greatest decision-making meetings. The narrator sounded like Churchill himself. The book moved quickly and did not bog down in details.
I selected the first volume of this series on a whim a few months ago. It was very good and interesting enough to prompt me to download the second in the series. This volume was simply stunning. The narrator could not be more perfect. He seems to become Churchill. In retrospect, the first volume suffers (understandably) from the requirement of recounting a wider timeline which gives a certain distance from the subject. This volume reads like a novel that unfolds step by step as Great Britain stands alone for roughly a year against the Axis in WWII. Highly, highly recommended.
I wasn't sure about this one
I thought it would be the self aggrandising thoughts of an Edwardian gentleman read by an impersonator.
In truth this fascinating throughout. Here we have the views, as seen through the prism of time, of the Man who led the free world, at least for some of his story. Some of it - the invasion of Greece- reads to me a little as if it is a little self exculpatory, but the rest, let's say most of it, is just great.
thank you for a wonderful listen. Sad to say I would never have had "the time" to sit down with this book
Inspiring story of courage amidst overwhelming odds against success.
The courage of the British Commonwealth (including my country Canada) to fight for freedom ,on their own ,when the rest of Europe had succumbed to Nazi domination.
Great voice - speaks with passion and articulation. It felt as if Churchill himself were speaking.
I couldn't find the time for that but would have been intense.
The second volume in Winston Churchill’s history of World War II focuses on the time period after France had fallen to the German invasion until the entrance of the United States into the conflict. It was a hard time for the British people. Their nation was the only free European country actively opposing Hitler’s scheme of domination. For this, Germany turned its full strength upon the island and brought Britain to its darkest hour. This volume is a testimony to the unconquerable spirit the British had in the face of a merciless enemy.
In a few short years, Germany had gone from a struggling bankrupt nation into a war machine that controlled nearly half of all Europe. After all the missteps that the European leaders took – which Churchill relates in Milestones to Disaster – the British army finds themselves in Occupied France facing complete destruction. Alone begins with the account of the unbelievable escape accomplished at Dunkirk – the largest marine transportation event in the history of the world at that point. Thousands of ships, many civilian, saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of men.
After this miraculous feat of logistics and sheer will, Britain is isolated on their little island home. They know that Hitler will come to destroy his final opposition. Churchill, in amazing detail and frankness, reveals how England steeled themselves for the onslaught. Massive defense measures of every town went into action. Every port was mined and patrolled. Every able bodied citizen was assigned a war duty task such as fire watch, food supply, child care. The Royal Air Force was called upon to keep constant vigil in the air while the Royal Navy swept the seas and harbors. At no time has there been a country more single-minded in its effort for defense. The delightful shores of Albion became a bulwark.
Through this and the Battle of Britain to come, Churchill rallied the people with his speeches. Never for a minute was surrender considered an option. Optimism and perseverance was always the tone. The strength of this history is the resolve of the people of Britain to overcome. Hardships came in droves, but they survived. A fictional account would only ring hollow. This true story gives the reader iron in his spirit to face the evil of their own time.
In the end, we know they came through. With dreadful losses, England lasted until the world could rally. Their determination probably saved the future of freedom. You should read of the debt we owe to this brave people whose lives shone in what was “their finest hour.”
Audible listeners: Christian Rodska is excellent! His tone throughout what could have been a boring history is full of life and pathos.
7.5 stars out of 10
I was unable to put this now until the end. Within a few days of downloading it I had it finished, which really will not do because what do I listen to until my next credits arrive? I enjoyed it a little less than volume 1 because this deals with a period of many depressing defeats. (Volume 1 had me raging against the folly of the inter war years.) I am looking forward to hearing the rest of the series. I enjoyed the quality of the reading.
"Compelling first hand detail of war strategy"
An excellent view of how Churchill directed the war. Transports the reader back to that time and chillingly portrays the danger and the fear and the resolve. Brings history to life.
"Stirring account told by a master storyteller"
Although we know the final outcome of the Second World War this is a moving account of the dark days when Britain was going it alone against the odds told by the man who held the country together and inspired such heroism and sacrifice by the population at home and service-men and women. It makes one proud of our parents or grand-parents generation who were so stoical and brave. It must have been a frightening time of great uncertainty with many set-backs until Hitler's fatal blunder of invading the Soviet Union. Churchill's words and speeches are still powerful and uplifting and this book brings home just what a knife-edge Britain was on during the prelude to the aborted invasion of Britain by Hitler and the debt we owe to the young airmen who fought in the Battle of Britain.
As in the first part of this quartet of books, Christian Rodska does an excellent job of the narration.
"Worth the read"
Winston Churchill is a great writer besides being a great Prime Minister. Really good to hear it form his point of view rather than from others writing about him or the war. You definitely realise this was a man ahead of his time, and one of the few to really get Hitler.
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