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Chester wilmot

Chester Wilmot

Though this student looked in Who's Who and Contemporary Authors,

no information on Chester Wilmot could be found. One considered

searching the Directory of American Scholars, but that would not

be helpful since he is from Australia.

In The Struggle for Europe, Wilmot seeks to explain several

points. First, he explores and explains how the western allies

succeeded militarily but failed politically during World War II.

He then elaborates on how and why the western allies crushed the

Nazi regime; yet, they allowed the Soviet Union to overtake

Eastern Europe and block the Atlantic Charter from taking effect

in those nations. Third, the author discusses Hitler's defeat

and Stalin's victory. Fourthly, he endeavors on a mission to

explain how the Soviet Union replaced Germany as the dominant

European power.

Beginning with the Battle of Britain, the book takes the reader

through the war up to the surrender of Germany. In this process

Wilmot touches on Hitler's alliance with Mussolini, Hitler's

conquest of France, the Lowlands, and the Balkans, and the Nazi

dictator's collapse in the expansion of the Soviet Union. The

author strategically builds the Allied alliance, through the

book's course, and he uses the Normandy invasion to illustrate

its full effectiveness. Also included are discussions on the

concessions granted to Stalin by the Allies in general, and

Franklin D. Roosevelt in particular. President Roosevelt

believed that Stalin wanted security for his country with no

territorial acquisitions in mind. In order to give the Soviet

leader his second front in Europe, FDR also put the Japanese

problem in the Pacific aside.

By providing the reader with first-hand quotes and writings from

the Nazi war machine's hierarchy, Wilmot looks at the external

and internal workings of the German Wehrmacht in meticulous

detail. The U-boat campaign, the inadequacies of the Luftwaffe,

and the shortcomings of the Panzer divisions are discussed. The

war, from April 1940 to May 1945, is expertly covered. He

details various meetings of Allied and Axis partners, various

battles, and various strategies. In this study, the author used

very readable and easily accessible language. Events are

described in good detail and his ideas are well related. The

emphasis of The Struggle for Europe seems to be on two major

topics that are stated in the preface. The first topic deals

exclusively with the defeat of Germany. The second topic deals

with the alliance between the United States and Great Britain.

By covering the defeat of the German armed forces on the western,

eastern, and Mediterranean fronts, he gives reasons for their

every failure. Throughout the book, statistics are given

representing German war production in terms of tanks, planes,

guns, vehicles, soldiers, and ships.

The second topic is probed in almost as much detail as the

first. Wilmot describes the western alliance from very near the

book's beginning. He details Churchill and Roosevelt's close

friendship and partnership during the war. He skillfully deals

with the United States being the number two man in the alliance's

beginning and how the U.S. slowly emerges as the premier partner

toward the end of the hostilities. The reason these two topics

come to the forefront is due to the fact that the struggle in the

west engrossed the defeat of Germany by the western alliance

along with the Soviet Union. The Struggle for Europe is very

well organized. The book's organization develops along

chronological lines beginning with the Battle of Britain. The

author proceeds through the work hitting on all the key quotes,

speeches, conferences, battles, and decisions that occurred

during the war. Each chapter is organized along the same line as

the course of events happened during the war. Background

information is insightfully given before and during most events

described, so that even one with very little WWII knowledge can

understand the event being discussed. The extra background also

helps expand the knowledge of the most avid WWII followers.

The Struggle for Europe deals fairly with both the Allied and

Axis situations and decisions. Wilmot gives equal discussion

time to both sides in regards to strategy, view point, and

military standing. The book's overall organization exemplifies

itself in terms of its thoroughness and readability.He

touches on almost every aspect of the European theater in 717

pages using many sources gathered from various locations. The

sources used include diaries, primary and secondary books,

speeches, German and Russian archive material, U.S. Government

records, and interviews. His sources were far more than

adequate. The author definitely proves all of his points to some

degree with some ideas being more justified than others. He

proves that the western allies did win the war militarily while

losing Eastern Europe to the Soviets, politically. Wilmot also

shows how the Soviets skillfully maneuvered into the top position

on the European continent after the fall of the Nazis. With

tremendous skill, he also describes the demise of the German

armed forces from its height of power in 1941 to its destruction

in April 1945. His points are satisfactorily proven with only

two flaws.

In this reviewer's opinion, the first flaw pertains to the book's

length of discussion. Unless one is deeply interested in

detailed facts and events of the European theater, The Struggle

for Europe might be excessive. In this regard then, the book

fails for someone seeking a brief overview of the European

theater. This is so because it contains so very much. However,

for those knowledge of WWII in great depth, this book is ideal.

For example, this student could really use the book. The second

flaw pertains to the beginning of the book. The author totally

disregards the Poland campaign and he only briefly mentions the

fall of France. With only a few comments about Poland, he jumps

almost right into the Battle of Britain with just slight comment

about France. The struggle in Poland is essential to any

discussion of the European theater.

Outside of those two flaws, with the length of the book not being

a problem, The Struggle for Europe magnificently covers the war.

Wilmot succeeds in delivering a thorough history of the war in

Europe by all accounts. In conclusion, the book provides a very

fine and accurate description of the intricacies of WWII in

Europe. For anyone seeking in-depth knowledge on the European

theater, this book is almost a must. The book is further useful

because not only does it serve a history of WWII, but as a

history of warfare in general. He gives great insight to

political alliances and agreements. For this student, the book

stands as one of the most informative books written on WWII in

Europe.



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