Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Returning home by Christmas was the hope of most Allied soldiers in September 1944, just a few months after the landings at Normandy. Few believed the Germans had the strength to last much longer. Hastings (Bomber Command; Overlord) provides a critical analysis of the final eight months of the war in Europe, encompassing both the eastern and the western fronts, the air and the ground campaigns, and the fate of civilians and POWs. His insights and ability to weave the personal stories of individuals from all walks of life into the larger narrative make this an unforgettable look at the horror of war. Hastings spares no one, questioning actions, motives, abilities, and outcomes; he covers not only the major actions but also the impact that leadership, logistics, tactics, and quality of equipment had on the final months of the war. He does an excellent job of tying the tactical, operational, and strategic fighting into one coherent and flowing account. This well-written work by a master of historical narrative is highly recommended for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/04.]-Lt. Col. Charles M. Minyard (ret.), U.S. Army, Blountstown, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Armageddon is a terrific book. Journalist/professional historian Hastings has drawn upon his vast knowledge of WW II, gained and displayed in such works as Overlord (1984), Battle of Britain (with Len Deighton, 1990), and Bomber Command (CH, Mar'80), to write the definitive history of the last year of the war in Europe. The book is at once scholarly yet eminently readable, combining intelligent narrative with provocative and convincing analysis and welding together the western, eastern, and "air" fronts into a comprehensive study. Especially welcome is Hastings's balanced approach to many of the period's most contentious issues. While the best Anglo-American units were the equal of their Nazi counterparts, Russian and German units were clearly superior in combat power to "average" Anglo-Americans formations--but this superiority was a direct result of the brutal totalitarian regimes that employed them. The book pays fulsome tribute to the fighting powers of the Red Army, especially in the light of horrific losses (30 million soldiers, 18 million civilians) without forgetting the bestial conduct of the Russian Army in invading Germany. Both Eisenhower's and Montgomery's failures in generalship are fairly assessed. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All collections. G. P. Cox Gordon College
Author notes provided by Syndetics
British journalist, editor, and historian Max Hastings was born on December 28, 1945. He was a foreign correspondent for BBC television and London's Evening Standard, for which he later served as editor from 1996 to 2001. Hastings also worked as editor and editor-in-chief of The Daily Telegraph. <p> In addition to presenting BBC historical documentaries and writing numerous books of military history, Hastings has contributed to publications including the Daily Mail, The Guardian, and the New York Review of Books. He received the nonfiction Somerset Maugham Award for Bomber Command, as well as the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Prize for both Overlord and The Battle for the Falklands. His title Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2013. The Secret War: Spies, Ciphers, and Guerrillas, 1939-1945 was published in 2016 and is also on the New York Times Bestsellers List. <p> Hastings was knighted in 2002, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and from 2002-2007 was President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)