Military history

Masters and Commanders: The Military Geniuses Who Led the West to Victory in World War II

Masters and Commanders: The Military Geniuses Who Led the West to Victory in World War II

Andrew Roberts's Masters and Commanders: The Military Geniuses who led the West to Victory in WWII tells the story of how four great leaders fought each other over how best to fight Hitler.

During the Second World War the master strategy of the West was shaped by four titanic figures: Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, and their respective military commanders - General Sir Alan Brooke and General George C. Marshall. Each man was tough-willed and strong minded. And each was certain he knew best how to achieve victory.

Drawing on previously unpublished material, including for the first time verbatim reports of Churchill's War Cabinet meetings, Andrew Roberts's acclaimed history recreates with vivid immediacy the fiery debates and political maneuverings, the rebuffs and the charm, the explosive rows and dramatic reconciliations, as the masters and commanders of the Western Alliance fought each other over the best way to fight Adolf Hitler.

Preface

Introduction

Part I - Enchantment

Chapter 1. First Encounters: ‘I had heard a good deal about him!’ 1880–June 1940

Chapter 2. Collecting Allies: ‘The finger of God is with us’ June 1940–December 1941

Chapter 3. Egos in Arcadia: ‘The tremendous hold the Limeys have on Our Boy’ December 1941–February 1942

Chapter 4. Brooke and Marshall Establish Dominance: ‘He was very difficult and could be pig-headed’ February–March 1942

Chapter 5. Gymnast Falls, Bolero Retuned: ‘It would be the most colossal gamble in history’ February–April 1942

Part II - Engagement

Chapter 6. Marshall’s Mission to London: ‘A momentous proposal’ April 1942

Chapter 7. The Commanders at Argonaut: ‘The easiest road to the centre of our chief enemy’s heart’ April–June 1942

Chapter 8. The Masters at Argonaut: ‘Please make it before Election Day’ June 1942

Chapter 9. Torch Reignited: ‘A new and rather staggering crisis in our war strategy’ July 1942

Chapter 10. The Most Perilous Moment of the War: ‘I am convinced that man is mad’ July–November 1942

Chapter 11. The Mediterranean Garden Path: ‘I intended North Africa to be a springboard, not a sofa’ November 1942–January 1943

Chapter 12. The Casablanca Conference: ‘We go bald-headed for Husky’ January 1943

Chapter 13. The Hard Underbelly of Europe: ‘Total War requires total mobilization’ January–June 1943

Chapter 14. The Overlordship of Overlord: ‘A balance of disguised bribes and veiled threats’ June–August 1943

Part III - Estrangement

Chapter 15. From the St Lawrence to the Pyramids: ‘All this “Overlord” folly must be thrown “Overboard”’ August–November 1943

Chapter 16. Eureka! at Teheran: ‘I wish he had socked him’ November–December 1943

Chapter 17. Anzio, Anvil and Culverin: ‘The inevitable stumbles on a most difficult course’ December 1943–May 1944

Chapter 18. D-Day and Dragoon: ‘This world and then the fireworks!’ May–August 1944

Chapter 19. Octagon and Tolstoy: ‘It takes little to rouse his vengeful temper’ August–December 1944

Chapter 20. Autumn Mist: ‘We have been having a bit of a party out here!!’ December 1944–February 1945

Chapter 21. Yalta Requiem: ‘They were ending the war in no friendly spirit’ February–May 1945

Conclusion: The Riddles of the War

Appendix A: The Major Wartime Conferences

Appendix B: Glossary of Codenames

Appendix C: The Selection of Codenames

Notes

Bibliography