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Closing the Ring (The Second World War #5)

4.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,056 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Winston Churchill's six-volume history of the cataclysm that swept the world remains the definitive history of the Second World War. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable both for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction and is an enduring, compelling work that led to his being awarded the Nobel P ...more
Paperback, 704 pages
Published May 5th 2005 by Penguin Classics (first published 1951)
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Dec 13, 2012 Manny rated it really liked it
It all goes to show: believe hard enough in your dream, and you can make it come true. Here, Adolf Hitler had the insane idea that the Jews, the Bolsheviks and the Americans were all involved in one big conspiracy to get him. Given that the Bolsheviks and the Americans were sworn enemies, it did seem a little far-fetched.

All the same, by this stage of World War II, Adolf's dream was a reality. The Americans and the Bolsheviks were indeed openly encircling him, working together to hunt him down
Doreen Petersen
Nov 04, 2015 Doreen Petersen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii
What a great book! The book ends with the onset of D-Day. As always Churchill has a unique and determined viewpoint. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in history or WWII.
Apr 05, 2014 GoldGato rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, spring, war
Truth is so precious that she always must be attended by a bodyguard of lies.

After four books delving into the anguish and the distinct possibility (at that time) that the Axis could have won World War II, it was almost a relief to get to #5 in the series, when the Allies clearly had the upper hand. As always, it is a pleasure to read Churchill for his insight, his meticulous detail, and his haphazard wit (particularly with Uncle Joe Stalin).

Your Majesty will also have noticed that I have heard
Feb 02, 2009 Kathy rated it really liked it
This book covers the time from mid-1943 to just before D-Day, June 6, 1944. The amount of planning it took to launch that invasion is incredible. The fact that two different governments, with two separate military bureaucracies, managed to do such a good job is absolutely astounding. And during all this build-up phase they were invading Italy, negotiating with the Russia and and busy with all sorts of things. I was sadly amused to notice that during this time the Greeks had what amounted to a ci ...more
Dec 03, 2013 Tim rated it it was amazing
About half way through reading this volume Dianne and I took a trip to England. We were last there at the time of Diana's funeral. Then, we stayed in Kent at the Tudor Park hotel in Bearsted. Having liked it then, we returned. From all the reading of these many volumes I was wanting to visit the historic places where great decisions had been taken by Churchill et al. So we made pilgrimage to the likes of Dover Castle, Blenheim, the War Rooms, Chartwell, No. 10, Parliament. In all, it was a nosta ...more
Jul 16, 2012 Owen rated it really liked it
It is fortunate for us as readers that Winston Churchill not only had the qualities of a writer, but that he also found the time to put them to such good effect. Many a retired politician has written his personal memoirs-few of them have ever done so quite as completely. In the war, Churchill used secretaries to help him cover the multitude of daily tasks he needed to get through and afterwards, when living at Chartwell, his home in Kent, he kept up the practise of using an amanuensis instead of ...more
Sep 05, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
The fifth entry in Churchill's magnificent journey through WWII, Churchill describes the period of time between the summer of 1943 to June of 1944 when the tide had turn and defeat of the Axis powers was inevitable - the means were the only uncertain thing.

The correspondence between leaders is the fascinating thing to watch here, as Stalin again and again hammers home the need for a second front while Churchill and FDR stutter and stammer for more time, more resources. It's apparent by this time
John Doyle
May 15, 2016 John Doyle rated it it was amazing
Closing the Ring covers the year preceding the D-Day invasion in June 1944. During this period the Russians began to reverse German advances on the eastern front and the Allies gained significant victories in the Pacific against the Japanese and in Italy. By the time British, American, Canadian, and French troops made it ashore in northern France the demise of Germany seemed assured and yet millions more died before final victory was achieved. Some have argued that the war was fought to the bitt ...more
Aaron Crofut
Oct 04, 2015 Aaron Crofut rated it it was amazing
"His Majesty's anxieties would be increased if he heard his Prime Minister was at the bottom of the English Channel."

One has to love English wit. This book covers a wide array of topics during the year between the summer of 1943 and 1944. The Allies are on the offensive, but coming to learn the difficulties offenses entail. In particular, it's one thing to have troops, but another to have the transports necessary to get them to the battlefield. Italy is knocked out of the war, but brings up the
Michael Scott

-- The summary of this book, in Churchill's words: "A deadlock supervened and was not relieved for eight months of severe fighting, which will be presently recounted."
Churchill, Winston (2010-07-01). Closing the Ring (Winston Churchill World War II Collection) (Kindle Location 3957). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

--- GB has become a small Power in the war. As a consequence, its role in policy-making has reduced, and increasingly we see the US discussing directly with Russia. An account fro
Jim Gallen
Apr 24, 2013 Jim Gallen rated it it was amazing
“Closing The Ring” is the fifth volume in Winston Churchill’s magnificent history of World War II. Covering the period from early 1943 to the eve of Overlord, this volume covers that stage of the war when the tide had turned in the Allies’ favor and was falling in on Germany.

Churchill pays proper respect for the massive losses inflicted on Germany by the Red Army. Throughout this volume a major challenge is how the Western Allies were best able to contribute to victory and draw pressure away fr
Tim Mygatt
Sep 04, 2009 Tim Mygatt rated it it was amazing
Incredibly insightful. This account stands alone in a genre not commonly attempted: the voluntary revelation of one's choices and actions during a moment of tremendous testing, a moment when those choices and actions could easily be second-guessed. Of course, the outcome of the war made this an easier task than it would be for some; history is written by the victors and all that. But what gives these books there power is the tremendous amount of primary material in them -- letters and papers wri ...more
Jul 25, 2014 Sascha rated it really liked it
Spanning a relatively short period of the Second World War (July 1943 - June 1944), it obviously also covers all the preparations for 'Overlord' (but not the actual invasion itself).
Churchill presents the reader (once again) with a global view of the war and how it was 'managed' by the Great Powers (GB, US, USSR) during this period. The initially rather uneasy alliance with Russia improves somewhat and of course the war is turning around.
Nazi Germany losing everything that was gained in the USSR
Doug Dams
Oct 19, 2011 Doug Dams rated it really liked it
This is the fifth volume of the six volume Churchill WWII Memoirs. This book takes you from the summer of 1943 to D-day. In this book we start to see how Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin lplan the allies efforts. You also see how Stalin's attitude annoyed Churchill and Roosevelt. Stalin constantly complained about the lack of supplies being sent to him, when in fact America and England were at max production trying to supply their troops and still managed to give Stalin supplies. Churchill's gras ...more
Mark J. Kradel
May 06, 2016 Mark J. Kradel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

History by one of Titans of history. Detailed and engaging. Certainly his perspective but it is a truly unique perspective. Reading all of his WWI and WWII volumes.
James Violand
Jun 28, 2014 James Violand rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone.
Shelves: own
Winston Churchill I consider the greatest man of the 20th century. This is his personal account - warts and all - of the allied struggle against the Axis during the Second World War. Brilliant.
May 26, 2015 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Churchill's fifth volume on the Second World War covers the year from mid-1943 to mid-1944 and from the invasion of Italy up through just before D-Day. The thing that makes this a bit of a lesser book for me than the rest (and mind you, taken as a whole, this is a 5-star series), there was just a lot of reading about the diplomatic side and all the negotiations between the UK, US, and USSR that seemed quite tedious. Now it's on to the climax...
Alex Nagler
Mar 16, 2015 Alex Nagler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: war, history
That's five! One more!
Jack Gibson
Aug 25, 2013 Jack Gibson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ww2
Brilliant. The highlight of this book has to be the build up to the evening before the 6th June 1944 D Day launches.
Yet again, Winston brings you right into the toils, trials and rejoicing of this period of history (June 1943-June 1944).
Having read this 5th Volume, this now leaves just the final Volume 6 to read to complete his epic memoirs.
Sherrie Pilkington
Mar 23, 2016 Sherrie Pilkington rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-books
This volume (#5 in the series) went from Italy's final throes as an Axis power to the night before D-Day. Honestly, it kind of dragged along. I think Winston really wanted to finish it on June 5th but there just wasn't enough going on during that time span to make the book good. I'm really looking forward to the final volume, though.
Manoli Strecker
Jun 25, 2013 Manoli Strecker rated it it was amazing
Building up to the finale. Not as much action as some of the other volumes, but the dynamics between the big three's leadership are fascinating. Also learned quite a lot about Anglo-Greek relations during the war. I'm curious to see how he packs in D-Day all the way to the end of the war in one final volume...
Ted Brewster
Mar 05, 2013 Ted Brewster rated it liked it
Shelves: history
All of these volumes are surprisingly readable. They're mostly a collection of dispatches, memos, etc. between Churchill and the many he corresponded with during the war, strung together with a sparse narrative that draws you forward.
Dec 08, 2014 Gerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-history
Simply a fascinating account of the Second World War and want to save comments for when I completed the last and final book. Sir Churchill was the politician and stateman the world needs now more than ever.
Paul Cahill
Aug 26, 2010 Paul Cahill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing perspective on WWII from 1943 to June 6 1944. I have a new found understanding of the diplomatic trials that took place during this period based upon Churchill's recollections.
Crystal Gillespie
Jun 06, 2010 Crystal Gillespie rated it liked it
It was interesting to read all the preparation and planning that went into D-day. I am actually looking forward to reading about the actual events/battles in France.
Dec 23, 2014 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Pretty good read but the tone of this volume is more defensive in tone about decisions/positions taken during the war.
Aug 17, 2007 Daniel rated it it was amazing
I have read almost every one of Churchill's books. Reading any of them is like going to a technicolor movie.
John Nelson
Nov 14, 2012 John Nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vol. 5 of Churchill's 6-volume history/memoir of WWII.
Robert Kradoska
Dec 13, 2012 Robert Kradoska rated it liked it
a detailed story of WW2, amazingly complex
Closing the Ring by Winston Churchill, Sir (1951)
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Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, and again from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman, orator and strategist, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army. A prolific author, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his own historical writings, "for his mastery ...more
More about Winston S. Churchill...

Other Books in the Series

The Second World War (6 books)
  • The Gathering Storm (The Second World War, #1)
  • Their Finest Hour (The Second World War, #2)
  • The Grand Alliance (The Second World War, #3)
  • The Hinge of Fate (The Second World War, #4)
  • Triumph and Tragedy (The Second World War, #6)

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“When men are fighting for their lives they are not often disposed to be complimentary to those who are trying to kill them.” 1 likes
“In war-time,” I said, “truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” 1 likes
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