Academic journal article Military Review

Pearl Harbor Christmas: A World at War, December 1941

Academic journal article Military Review

Pearl Harbor Christmas: A World at War, December 1941

Article excerpt

PEARL HARBOR CHRISTMAS: A World at War, December 1941, Stanley Weintraub, Da Capo Press, Cambridge, MA, 2011, 208 pages, $24.00.

This enlightening book reads like a close-up study of world leaders at the end of 1941: Roosevelt, Churchill, MacArthur, Hitler, and Stalin. Beginning on 21 December 1941, we are absorbed into the events of each day leading up to the new year, and the book juxtaposes the strategies and expectations of the nations at war. While Churchill and his staff contemplated the handling of a trip to pro-Vichy French-Canada, Hitler reluctantly begged the German people for donations of warm clothes for his soldiers. Hitler was not willing to show his warriors as weak, but Churchill asked Roosevelt for American soldiers to relieve British troops in Iceland and guaranteed the Empire's hold on Singapore. The book details parts of Churchill's private life, including early indications of his angina, his enjoyment of church services, and his manic habits of working at night.

While the U.S. East Coast was worried about Germany's role in its future (with fake antiaircraft guns poised on buildings as much to reassure Americans as to fool the enemy), citizens on the opposite coast were manning observation posts in search of a second Japanese attack. …

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