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In this remarkable account of the end of the Second World War, David Stafford looks behind the headlines of history and uncovers the stories of those, soldier and civilian alike, who had lived through the war and now must endure the daily horrors and hardships of its aftermath. Endgame 1945 is an unforgettable panorama of the defeat of Fascism, of ordinary men and women and extraordinary valour, and of Europe in every way tested to its limits. It is the final chapter of war. 'Gripping and moving ...From a BBC reporter accompanying allied soldiers into the concentration camp at Buchenwald to a New Zealand intelligence officer working with Italian and Yugoslav partisans in Trieste, the men and women Stafford highlights pay eloquent tribute to the chaos and confusion that reigned as war metamorphosed into peace' Nick Rennison, SUNDAY TIMES

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349119120
ISBN-10: 0349119120
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 127mm x 29mm)
Pages: 608
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 3-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » Hitler's death did not end the war in Europe in 1945. Instead, as diplomat-historian Stafford (Ten Days to D-Day: Citizens and Soldiers on the Eve of the Invasion, 2004, etc.) writes, the fighting dragged on for three more momentous months, during which Europe was reshaped.That quarter-year has not exactly been overlooked. The closing pages of Stephen E. Ambrose's Band of Brothers, for instance, find its paratrooper protagonists in western Austria, where, as Stafford notes, it was feared that the remnants of the Nazi state would attempt to regroup for a last stand in the mountainous redoubt. That prospect, surmises the author, contributed to Eisenhower's decision not to race to Berlin but instead to stop the Western Allies's advance at the Elbe River and cede the land east of it to the Soviets, even though Churchill was strongly agitating to "capture Berlin and use it as a bargaining tool with the Soviet leader." Even in the desperate days before Hitler's suicide, German soldiers were offering stiff resistance. In its wake, strong German resistance continued until the government of Admiral Doenitz finally agreed to unconditional surrender, having offered to make peace with the West under the condition that Germany be allowed to continue fighting against the Soviet Union. Eisenhower did keep the lines open for two days to allow German units an escape route to the west, and, writes Stafford, "thanks to Doenitz's delaying tactics, almost two million German soldiers were able to avoid Soviet captivity." With that surrender, the Allies now had the task of imposing occupation rule on Germany, quashing any last efforts at armed resistance and cleaning up a horrific mess while attending to millions of displaced, starving persons - a story that stretches well beyond July 1945, but one that Stafford capably outlines.Drawing on the memoirs of participants - from Nazi test pilots to concentration-camp inmates - and on an impressive body of historical work, Stafford delivers a useful survey of a transformative time. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - David Stafford

David Stafford, a former diplomat, is an expert on the Second World War and intelligence history. He is Project Director of The Centre for the Study of the Two World Wars at the University of Edinburgh. He regularly reviews for the press and contributes to TV and radio features on history.

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