TRIUMPH IN THE WEST: 1943-1946 from Diaries and Notes of Field Marshall: The Viscount Alanbrooke by Arthur Bryant

TRIUMPH IN THE WEST: 1943-1946 from Diaries and Notes of Field Marshall: The Viscount Alanbrooke

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Turn of the Tide covered the first eighteen months of the Commander-in-Chief's four and a half years of gruelling service in defense of his country. This volume covers the balance of the period and inevitably much of it is centered on the inter-relation of the American and English staffs and commanders in the field and on the incessant political background and conflict with Churchill. Probably, when the whole of Brooke's diaries and notes are set in their focus with other complete records, the emphasis on the difficulties will seem less. Triumph in the West is the record of a magnificent achievement, but the American press and the American public will inevitably find themselves set on edge by the constant harping on Eisenhower's short-comings- ""a charming personality and a good co-ordinator. But no real commander."" (This perhaps the most charitable of the statements -- and the total impression left is that but for the Americans' lack of understanding of even the basic strategy, the war might have been won much earlier.) Time lost- tempers frayed- errors costly in manpower and equipment- all this and more the British, with experience behind them, were forced to contend with because the Americans- with inexhaustible reserves- held the whip handle. The record concentrates on the whole European theatre, with the eastern front lightly touched upon, and Italy and the Channel crossing and the re-possessing of France the main factors. But Africa, the Near East, India and Southwest Asia, all came under Brooke's aegis. As Americans we are so much more familiar with the story of our own commanders and armies that we sometimes forget how much of the war was in British hands. This is a chastening experience- reading Triumph in the West. As with the earlier book, Arthur Bryant has contributed not only the selective powers of an editor, but a very considerable body of text, filling in the background for the diaries and notes.

Pub Date: Dec. 3rd, 1959
Publisher: Doubleday