Academic journal article Military Review

The End of the War in Europe: 1945

Academic journal article Military Review

The End of the War in Europe: 1945

Article excerpt

THE END OF THE WAR IN EUROPE: 1945, edited by Gill Bennett 251 pages. HMSO Books. (Distributed by Seven Hills Books Distributors, Cincinnati, OH.) 1996. $50.00.

Fifty years after V-E Day, World War II still generates controversy. In the words of noted historian Sir Michael Howard, 1945 was a year of "total chaos and confusion." In April 1995, to commemorate the war's end, the International Committee for the History of the Second World War met in Oxford, England, to examine 1945's most significant events: the politics and policies of the governments involved, the Yalta and Potsdam conferences, the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe and the psychological profiles of key players. This book is a compendium of essays and commentary from that conference.

Author Gill Bennett wrote this anthology for the avid historian, offering fresh interpretations from some of Europe's most eminent historians. Correlli Barnett's essay compares the Western Front's cost-effectiveness in 1944 and 1945 with the Mediterranean theater's. Barnett writes that General Dwight D. Eisenhower's successful World War II offensive validated his own operational concepts as well as those of "Westerners" Sir Douglas Haig and General John J. Pershing in World War I. On the other hand, Barnett sees the offensive as having discredited "Easterners" such as David Lloyd George in World War I and Winston Churchill in both wars. …

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