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Crusade in Europe Hardcover – January 1, 1948
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From Library Journal
This audio version of Eisenhower's World War II experiences is a long but exciting and intriguing memoir. Reader Michael Prichard's pleasant voice adds to the experience of learning about the war from the perspective of one of its chief participants - the Supreme Allied Commander. As commander of the European Theater of Operations, Eisenhower knew firsthand what he was up against, and he shares his feelings here. His personal accounts of military tactics; his reaction to victory and defeat on the battlefield; his political dealings with other allied commanders and politicos; and his relationship with his own staff - including the colorful and controversial George S. Patton - are just some of the areas the listener is exposed to in this comprehensive work. There is also D-Day, the African campaign, the invasion of Italy, and the brutal battles in the Ardennes. Libraries with large audio collections serving history and World War II buffs may want to consider this expensive but quality audiobook. - Steven J. Mayover, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Lifting examples or trying to quote from this brilliant account is almost like tearing threads from the Bayeaux tapestry in order to analzyze its beauty... Rich in lessons and satisfaction for soldiers, statesman, and plain citizens of every country.(Commonweal)
This non-ghost-written book is as simple and as forthright as the innumerable admirers of its author have every right to expect it would be.(New York Herald Tribune Weekly Book Review)
Eisenhower gives the reader true insight into the most difficult part of a commander's life.(New York Times)
[A]n orderly, objective, well-documented account of the war in Western Europe.(Saturday Review of Literature) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was born before Eisenhower got the nod to become supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe, and in my early years I was a fan of his when he made his bid for the presidency. You could get, for free I’m sure, campaign buttons that said “I Like Ike,” and I had one of those and wore it to school. There was considerable push back from my classmates, because Texas was strongly Democratic at the time.
Anyhow, I was in grade school when Eisenhower became president, and when he left office I was serving aboard an aircraft carrier in the Navy. A lot changed in the country during that time, and Eisenhower’s presentation and his mannerisms had become a familiar part of the American fabric. Reading the book brings a lot of that back. What is most noticeable is that he wrote just like he talked. In contrast to Eisenhower’s reserved tone, Winston Churchill’s delivery in The Second World War is almost shrill. This book would put you to sleep if the subject matter were not so intense.
Up front I’m going to give the plot away. We won. At the time George C. Marshall was Army Chief of Staff, and Churchill, though he admired Eisenhower as a commander, was sure that Marshall would get the job of commanding Allied forces in the invasion of France. It was Franklin Roosevelt’s choice, and it turned out to be the right one.
The complete review can be found here:
Ike takes the reader along with him through each stage of the Crusade. We view events from a perspective which lets us see aspects which we otherwise might have missed. Having attracted attention for his performance in Army maneuvers in Louisiana in 1940, Ike was called to Washington immediately after Pearl Harbor because of his recent experience in the Philippines. He was immediately assigned to work on plans for the Pacific. At this point the reader is reminded that, in contrast to the later Germany First Policy, the American public, for a time, screamed for revenge on Japan before dealing with Germany.
Assigned to command Operation Torch, the invasion of French North Africa in 1942, Ike was charged with obtaining Allied Cooperation and was plunged into the morass of French politics. The disappointing involvement with Gen. Giraud presented an intra-allied problem, as did cooperation of Adm. Darlan, who while too helpful to rebuff, brought with him the stigma of association with a collaborator. The age-old Arab-Jewish hostility further complicated the administration of the liberated territory.
With North Africa cleared out, Ike was charged with the conquest of Sicily. Management of the Patton-Montgomery rivalry was a major challenge of the campaign. Success having been achieved, the Patton slapping incident forced Ike to reprimand a close friend while threatening to deprive him of one of his most effective Army commanders.
Speculation that Ike would return to the Washington as Chief Of Staff while Gen. Marshall commanded Overlord, the invasion of Europe, distracted Ike's attention from problems at hand. Ike's eventual appointment to command Overlord forced him to leave the Mediterranean while the Italian campaign was still in doubt. Upon arrival in England he immediately switched gears to plan the size, timing, supply and location of the invasion of France.
With the invasion ashore, Ike skillfully managed his coalition of impetuous commanders in their march across Europe. Ike brings the reader into the thought processes and conferences leading to decisions on the liberation of Paris, Operation Market-Garden ("A Bridge Too Far") and the Battle of The Bulge.
Americans are familiar with Patton's claim that, with supplies, he could capture Berlin and win the war. Ike relates that Monty bothered him with similarly impractical suggestions. He then explains why the proposals were doomed to failure. Spirited arguments with the British over Project Anvil (Invasion of Southern France) come within the reader's vision through Ike's eyes.
The greatest criticism of Ike's wartime leadership is reserved for questions about whether the Western Allies should have advanced further to limit the Red Army's area of occupation. Ike assesses the claims and presents support for his decisions.
After V-E Day, Ike's role shifted more into that of a statesman as he attempted to obtain cooperation with the Russians over the administration of occupied Germany.
Some things come clearly through the pages of this book. The reader is constantly impressed with the importance of supplies, bringing to mind the adage that "Amateurs speak of tactics, professionals speak of logistics." Despite later controversies, Ike's admiration for Gen. George Marshall is made clear on the pages of this book. Written in 1948, I find the statement that Ike disagreed with many of FDR's domestic policies to be surprising and a hint of his later political initiatives. "Crusade In Europe" is written in a very clear, easy to read and follow, style. It never becomes bogged down in boring details. Among memoirs, this is a gem.
Ike goes into great detail, talks about things you'll never see in a documentary film. you really get a sense of his Vast command, his great decision making capability and his ability to get cooperation of many people.
if we only could have a leader like him today.