[April 25, 2014] An exceptional book this week to review. Again, my travels have kept me limited in reading time but Rick Atkinson’s 628-page book was a great read for me and for students of World War II and Europe.
Today, another book that I finished reading and find interesting and recommend:
The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (Liberation Trilogy) by Rick Atkinson, 2013.
Atkinson completed his third volume in a trilogy of World War II books and it’s a good one; probably the best in the series. The focus of this volume is combat in western Europe where much has been written by some well-known and credible authors like John Keegan and Max Hastings. The question I raised early was what could he possibly do to make this better than earlier works? First, he is relatively free with his opinions and wit. Plus he backs up what he thinks making for a great analysis written carefully and fully documented. Yet he is balanced in his opinions and approach. His strengths are clarity in the various campaigns and battles and he offers new details of the European theater. For example, he notes that fully one third of all German males born between 1915 and 1924 were killed or missing in action is staggering. As Americans, we just can’t conceive of such profound losses. Atkinson however largely ignores the eastern front with Russia.
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