FEUDING ALLLIES: The Private Wars of the High Command by William B. Breuer

FEUDING ALLLIES: The Private Wars of the High Command

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In a global history of the Grand Alliance, military historian Breuer (Race to the Moon, 1993, etc.) shows that the shouting war that raged among Allied leaders was in its way almost as violent as the shooting one with the Axis. Although Churchill was thankful when the US joined the war, Breuer shows that the British leader's relationship with his new ally was stormy and tense from the outset. Breuer also draws an ugly picture of mutual recriminations, insults, and prickliness between the disdainful British military brass and their sometimes volatile American counterparts. The British, in Breuer's portrait, viewed the Americans as military bumpkins, unversed in the arts of war; the Americans in their turn saw their transatlantic brethren as arrogant, wedded to imperial glories of the past, and insufficiently appreciative of America's importance in the war effort. The stormy alliance was mitigated somewhat by the usually friendly relationship between Churchill and Roosevelt, though they did not entirely trust each other. According to Breuer, Roosevelt wanted to invade Normandy at an early date, while Churchill, despite surface agreement, wanted the Allies to snap at the fringes of the Third Reich and wait for a Soviet victory. Stalin disliked and distrusted both his capitalist counterparts, whom he saw as class enemies, but was allied with Roosevelt because he favored an early front in France. Everyone hated the self-important de Gaulle, and Breuer implies that British agents may have actually attempted to kill him. In addition, interservice rivalries, especially between the US Army and Navy, threatened to derail the American military. These national, interservice, and interpersonal rivalries and enmities shaped the war effort, dictating everything from the ""Germany first"" policy of the Allies to the decision to invade France. An absorbing look at the impact of Alliance politics on the outcome of WW II.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1995
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Wiley