March 1945. Allied troops are poised to cross the Rhine and sweep on into Germany. Victory is finally within their grasp. But if they believe this victory can be easily won, they face swift disillusionment. The final 100 days of the Second World War will prove to be bitterly and bloodily fought, village by village, town by town.
In Victory in the West 1945 acclaimed military historian Peter Caddick-Adams brings this closing stage of the Allies’ fight against Nazi Germany brilliantly to life. He explores the immense challenges they faced in crossing the Rhine on a 300-mile front. He tells stories of individual acts of resolve and heroism, of often exhausted troops pressing forward attacks in the face of ferocious resistance. He recounts their shocked first encounters with the barbarities of Hitler’s regime as they reached the gates of Buchenwald, Belsen and Dachau. And he goes behind the front line to analyse the strategic decisions made at Allied headquarters and to offer pin-sharp portraits of the military leaders.
Throughout he draws on a vast range of memoirs and personal interviews with survivors to give a vivid sense of what it was like to encounter enemy combatants and civilians face to face. Compulsively readable, this will be the standard work on the closing days of the Second World War for a generation.