The Day the War Ended
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|Format: ||Hardback, 496 pages|
|Other Information: ||16pp b&w illustrations|
|Published In: ||United Kingdom, 27 April 1995|
By the author of "The Holocaust". This is a history of the events of 8 May 1945 and its repercussions, published to coincide with the 50th Anniversary celebrations of VE-Day in May 1995. It focuses not only on the events of that day, but also looks forward from that day to the years ahead. The theme of the book is the way in which the world today has been moulded by the events of 8 May 1945. Gilbert traces in narrative form the events and personalities of that day, from the early hours of the morning until midnight, looking at the topics and people first in their 8 May context and then in the wider sweep of the events to which they led across the years. The story of one day's impact and its aftermath combines global perspectives with the stories of individuals.
The beginning of the end began that April, with the liberation of the concentration camps. The Allies, sickened by their discoveries at Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen, turned vengeful. Gilbert (The First World War) relates that at Dachau, within one hour of its liberation, 500 SS troops were killed, 346 of them by one machine gun-toting American lieutenant. There was an orgy of surrender, with a million prisoners taken by the Allies in one month. The Soviets captured Berlin and went on a raping spree. Lack of trust among Allied leaders forced Gen. Montgomery to push north to secure Denmark and head off the Soviets. The Germans meekly gave up Norway but fought bitterly to the end in Czechoslovakia. With victory on May 8‘coincidentally, President Truman's birthday‘came the celebrations in London, Paris and New York City, but there was still work to be done. The U.S. Eighth Air Force stopped bombing Germany and started dropping food to the starving Dutch people. And the seeds of the Cold War were sown, when Stalin sentenced one million of his repatriated troops to the Gulag. Filled with personal reminiscences from people on all sides of the conflict, this comprehensive and compelling chronicle of events has the ability, even at this remove, to stun readers. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
Churchill's official biographer reflects on the end of World War II-in time for the 50th anniversary.
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd|
24 x 15.9 centimetres (0.93 kg)|
15+ years |