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Bitter Victory illuminates a chapter of World War II that has lacked a balanced, full-scale treatment until now. In recounting the second-largest amphibious operation in military history, Carlo D'Este for the first time reveals the conflicts in planning and the behind-the-scenes quarrels between top Allied commanders. The book explodes the myth of the Patton-Montgomery rivalry and exposes how Alexander's inept generalship nearly wrecked the campaign. D'Este documents in chilling detail the series of savage battles fought against an overmatched but brilliant foe and how the Germans-against overwhelming odds-carried out one of the greatest strategic withdrawals in history. His controversial narrative depicts for the first time how the Allies bungled their attempt to cut off the Axis retreat from Sicily, turning what ought to have been a great triumph into a bitter victory that later came to haunt the Allies in Italy. Using a wealth of original sources, D'Este paints an unforgettable portrait of men at war. From the front lines to the councils of the Axis and Allied high commands, Bitter Victory offers penetrating reassessments of the men who masterminded the campaign. Thrilling and authoritative, this is military history on an epic scale.
"An excellent book . . . D'Este's masterly account comes into its own." --The Washington Post Book WorldBorn into hardscrabble poverty in rural Kansas, the son of stern pacifists, Dwight David Eisenhower graduated from high school more likely to teach history than to make it. Casting new light on this profound evolution, Eisenhower chronicles the unlikely, dramatic rise of the supreme Allied commander.With full access to private papers and letters, Carlo D'Este has exposed for the first time the untold myths that have surrounded Eisenhower and his family for over fifty years, and identified the complex and contradictory character behind Ike's famous grin and air of calm self-assurance.Unlike other biographies of the general, Eisenhower captures the true Ike, from his youth to the pinnacle of his career and afterward.
From the bestselling author of Patton: A Genius for War comes a compelling new account of the transformation of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, from apprehensive soldier to one of our greatest heros. In the weeks leading up to D-Day, Dwight D. Eisenhower seethed with nervous energy. He had not expected his military career to bring him to this moment. The son of pacifists, Ike graduated from high school more likely to teach history than to make it. Casting new light on this profound evolution, Eisenhower chronicles the unlikely, dramatic rise of the supreme Allied commander. Beginning with the lasting effect of Eisenhower's impoverished youth, bestselling biographer Carlo D'Este follows his subject through West Point and a sometimes troubled marriage; toil under MacArthur in the Philippines during the 1930s; the inner sanctums of the War Department; the general's painful North African apprenticeship; and, finally, the dramatic events leading to the Allied victory in May 1945. Exposing for the first time numerous myths that have surrounded the war hero and his family (such as his romance with his wartime driver, Kay Summersby), D'Este also probes Eisenhower's famous clashes with his American peers and the British chiefs of staff, as well as his relations with legendary figures, including Winston Churchill and George S. Patton. Unlike other biographies of the general, Eisenhower captures Ike's true character, from his youth to the pinnacle of his career and afterward.
Fatal Decision is a powerful, dramatic, moving, and ultimately definitive narrative of one of the most desperate campaigns of World War II. In the winter of 1943-44, Anzio, a small Mediterranean resort and port some thirty-five miles south of Rome, played a crucial role in the fortunes of World War II as the target of an amphibious Allied landing. The Allies planned to bypass the strong German defenses along the Gustav Line and at Monte Cassino sixty miles to the southeast, which were holding up the American and British armies and preventing the liberation of Rome. By taking advantage of Allied command of the sea and air to effect complete surprise, infantry and armored forces landing at Anzio on January 22 were expected to secure the beachhead and then push inland to cut off the two main highways and railroads supplying the German forces to the south, either trapping and annihilating the German armies or forcing them to withdraw to the north, thus opening the way to Rome. But the reality of one of the most desperate campaigns of World War II was bad management, external meddling, poorly relayed orders, and uncertain leadership. The Anzio beachhead became a death trap, with Allied troops forced to fight for their lives for four dreadful months. The eventual victory in May 1944 was muted, bitter, and overshadowed by the Allied landings in Normandy on June 6. Mixing flawless research, drama, and combat with a brilliant narrative voice, Fatal Decision is one of the best histories ever written of a World War II military campaign.
Carlo D'Este's brilliant new biography examines Winston Churchill through the prism of his military service as both a soldier and a warlord: a descendant of Marlborough who, despite never having risen above the rank of lieutenant colonel, came eventually at age sixty-five to direct Britain's military campaigns as prime minister and defeated Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito for the democracies. Warlord is the definitive chronicle of Churchill's crucial role as one of the world's most renowned military leaders, from his early adventures on the North-West Frontier of colonial India and the Boer War through his extraordinary service in both World Wars. Even though Churchill became one of the towering political leaders of the twentieth century, his childhood ambition was to be a soldier. Using extensive, untapped archival materials, D'Este reveals important and untold observations from Churchill's personal physician, as well as other colleagues and family members, in order to illuminate his character as never before. Warlord explores Churchill's strategies behind the major military campaigns of World War I and World War II-both his dazzling successes and disastrous failures-while also revealing his tumultuous relationships with his generals and other commanders, including Dwight D. Eisenhower. As riveting as the man it portrays, Warlord is a masterful, unsparing portrait of one of history's most fascinating and influential leaders during what was arguably the most crucial event in human history.
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