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The first complete and unexpurgated edition of the war diaries of Field Marshall Lord Alanbrooke - the most important and the most controversial military diaries of the modern era. Alanbrooke was CIGS - Chief of the Imperial General Staff - for the greater part of the Second World War. He acted as mentor to Montgomery and military adviser to Churchill, with whom he clashed. As chairman of the Chiefs of Staff committee he also led for the British side in the bargaining and the brokering of the Grand Alliance, notably during the great conferences with Roosevelt and Stalin and their retinue at Casablanca,Teheran, Malta and elsewhere. As CIGS Alanbrooke was indispensable to the British and the Allied war effort. The diaries were sanitised by Arthur Bryant for his two books he wrote with Alanbrooke. Unexpurgated, says Danchev, they are explosive. The American generals, in particular, come in for attack. Danchev proposes to centre his edition on the Second World War. Pre and post-war entries are to be reduced to a Prologue and Epilogue). John Keegan says they are the military equivalent of the Colville Diaries (Churchill's private secretary), THE FRINGES OF POWER. These sold 24,000 in hardback at Hodder in 1985.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781842125267
ISBN-10: 1842125265
Format: Paperback
(217mm x 138mm x 47mm)
Pages: 816
Imprint: Weidenfeld & Nicolson History
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Publish Date: 14-Mar-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » It is commonly but wrongly said that, after more than fifty years, there can be no more astonishing revelations about the world war that raged from 1939 to 1945: but of course there can. Here is a long volume to prove the point. The diaries kept (illegally) through the war by Sir Alan Brooke, later Lord Alanbrooke, were edited by Sir Arthur Bryant, the popular historian, in the late 1950s. It now turns out that Bryant over-cooked his edition, not only tampering with Brooke's soldierly prose, but leaving out what Brooke really thought about the other great men with whom he had to work. In a trough of the Cold War, Bryant could print in full Brooke's tales of drunken banquets in the Kremlin and double-dealing by Soviet commanders; but when Marshall had just rescued western Europe with his plan, and Eisenhower was president of the United States, Brooke's strictures on their lack of strategic grasp were suppressed. Trickier still, Bryan thought it impolitic to reveal in Churchill's lifetime how badly Churchill and Brooke had got on, while Brooke ran in the Chiefs of Staff committee - as he did from March 1942 to the end of the war. Not only did they disagree repeatedly, Brooke even wondered whether Churchill, wonderful as he was, could possibly be in his right mind. For decades, the popular image of how the war had been fought rested, in this country, on Churchill's own six-volume account of it, in which there was no room for anyone else near him in stature. Here is a powerful correction. Churchill, intensly self-centred, saw himself as the nation's saviour; this book proves he did not act alone. It was the combined effort of Churchill and Brooke - and others, of course - rather than the prime minister's unaided genius, that gave Britain guidance for survival. This book is both a masterpiece in its content, and a model of how editing should be done. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Alan Brooke Viscount Alanbrooke

John Keegan in his review of ALCHEMIST OF WAR in The Spectator described Danchev as "one of the two most brilliant people [he] taught at Sandhurst". He is currently Professor of International Relations at Keele.