Commander in Chief

Commander in Chief

FDR's Battle With Churchill, 1943

Book - 2016
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In the next installment of the "splendid memoir Roosevelt didn't get to write" ( New York Times ), Nigel Hamilton tells the astonishing story of FDR's year-long, defining battle with Churchill, as the war raged in Africa and Italy.

Nigel Hamilton's Mantle of Command, long-listed for the National Book Award, drew on years of archival research and interviews to portray FDR in a tight close up, as he determined Allied strategy in the crucial initial phases of World War II. Commander in Chief reveals the astonishing sequel -- suppressed by Winston Churchill in his memoirs -- of Roosevelt's battles with Churchill to maintain that strategy. Roosevelt knew that the Allies should take Sicily but avoid a wider battle in southern Europe, building experience but saving strength to invade France in early 1944. Churchill seemed to agree at Casablanca -- only to undermine his own generals and the Allied command, testing Roosevelt's patience to the limit. Churchill was afraid of the invasion planned for Normandy, and pushed instead for disastrous fighting in Italy, thereby almost losing the war for the Allies. In a dramatic showdown, FDR finally set the ultimate course for victory by making the ultimate threat. Commander in Chief shows FDR in top form at a crucial time in the modern history of the West.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, c2016
ISBN: 9780544279117
Branch Call Number: 940.53227 H1807C 2016
Characteristics: xv, 464 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm


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May 06, 2019

The books are a little unfair to Churchill, and it seems presumptuous to claim this is the memoir FDR never got to write. Still, it is a good series, I look forward to the final installment. The lessons of the Second World War are still valid, and always will be.

Jul 17, 2018

As Churchill said, “History is written by the victors.” The value of this book is in the recounting of facts such as journal entries, not in Hamilton’s interpretation of these facts. Unfortunately there is too strong of a bias that renders his accounting incomplete or inaccurate. Although Hamilton’s writing style is clunky, his book is interesting and disconcerting. It is amazing to see how close the allies were to losing the war. Also disconcerting to realize how incompetent allied political and military leaders were at the time. It makes me wonder if things are the same in our current day.

Jul 04, 2018

FDR's tact, patience, thinking ahead (Green US army not ready for cross Channel invasion, United Nations postwar, what about Stalin) & visiting the troops at home or near the front just as effective weapons on his blinkered subordinates, Victorian to paranoid allies as to the battle hardened enemies.
What was Hitler's intelligence thinking on Casablanca as "Casa Blanca" as codeword for White House?
Well! It's a bit weird on unearthed stories more akin to say David Weber's Honor Harrington series. It may be slow & long like DW books ,but the author laid out big picture in crisp easy to understand style.

Jan 06, 2018

Excellent read, by a revisionist historian. Good writer with a transparent style, dealing with a complex topic. Read it in one go.


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