THE END OF THE WAR: Europe, April 15--May 23, 1945 by Charles Whiting

THE END OF THE WAR: Europe, April 15--May 23, 1945

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As with, say, Donald Bart Chidsey, we have come to expect a certain level of modest quality from Charles Whiting's narrative histories -- nothing new in terms of research or analysis but a competent ordering of the essential activity, based on memoirs, readily available documents, secondary accounts, etc. Certainly that was the case with Hitler's Werewolves and Massacre at Malmedy, his most recent titles prior to The End of the War, which relates the diplomatic and military maneuvering of the final weeks in the European theater, ending with the unconditional surrender of the German army and the first soundings of what was to become the Cold War. Whiting's theme -- hardly original -- is that General Eisenhower undermined the foresightful Churchill-Montgomery political plan, predicated on military victory in the Baltic, to halt the Soviet drive into North-West Europe: if Ike had not been trying so hard to avoid the appearance of being ""anti-Russian,"" the British strategy for establishing ""the foundations of a new and better world, free from the fear of war"" might have prevailed, but as it was Monty's glorious triumph at Lubeck ""had been for nothing."" This suggests that the coming of the Cold War was an adventitious development, and that is hardly creditable as the story of the early Truman years testifies, But even with his English colors showing, Whiting manages to create interesting if not thrilling history.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1973
Publisher: Stein & Day