A vivid picture of human endeavour at a moment of great crisis in World War Two - from the authors of the highly acclaimed THE FINEST HOUR.
1942 - British troops are stranded in the desert, struggling to hold back Rommel's Afrika Corps. Hitler's armies have reached Moscow, and there are murmurs of discontent at home as new doubts emerge about Churchill's leadership. Elsewhere in Europe there is chilling evidence of the mounting persecution of the Jews, stretching from Poland to the Channel Islands. For many, it seems there is little hope. As in their acclaimed bestseller FINEST HOUR, the authors use the personal testimony of ordinary people to tell the story of the war at a moment of great crisis. In END OF THE BEGINNING we meet again some of the people first encountered in FINEST HOUR, and get to know many more. Troops fighting for Montgomery in the desert, RAF pilots bombing German towns, a young Jewish woman deported to Auschwitz from Guernsey, the reality of the Home Front - these stories and many more paint a vivid picture of human endeavour in time of war. And, sixty years on from the Battle of Alamein, END OF THE BEGINNING tells the controversial truth about one of the most famous battles in history - the importance of its lesser-known predecessor and the months of bitter in-fighting between the Allied generals. With precision and compassion, Phil Craig and Tim Clayton again debunk the myths and explore the realities of a crucial year in the history of Britain.
This is a splendid book, well worth reading along with official histories, for it puts many of the facts into the experiences of ordinary men and women caught up in an unwanted but neccessary war. - Yorkshire Gazette & Herald
An impressive range of interviews with survivors. Their "you are there" technique works powerfully in conveying the gut-wrenching fear of facing Rommel in the turet of a tank, or trying to evade a Stuka attack while manoeuvring an ammunition-packed merchantman en route to beseiged Malta. - The Sunday Times
They are accomplished listeners and have blended together eyewitness accounts to produce an exciting narrative. - Daily Mail
Praise for FINEST HOUR: 'Brilliant...should form part of the National Curriculum.' - Daily Mail
a remarkable story of determined, against-the-odds resistance...you have to search long and hard to find one with this kind of richness in the reporting and craftsmanship in the telling. - Chicago Herald Tribune
From fighter pilots risking their lives in the skies above England, to squaddies stranded at Dunkirk, to schoolgirls sent abroad to Canada (the book is worth buying just for Bess Walder's account of horror and redemption aboard the City of Benares), this is riveting. - Sunday Express
Personally compelling and politically revealing. - New York Times
Compelling...Mesmerising stuff. - Sunday Telegraph