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The Grand Alliance: The Second World War (Condensed) Series, Book 3 (The Second World War #3)

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  1,310 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews

This volume of Churchill's history of the Second World War recounts the events of 1941 surrounding America's entry into the War,Hitler's march on Russia, and the alliance between Britain and America.

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Published March 4th 2009 by AudioGO (first published April 1950)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,852)
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Mikey B.
This third volume is a transitional year (1941) in which the British Isles were no longer fighting alone. The Soviet Union was viciously attacked by Nazi Germany in June and of course Pearl Harbor brought in the United States at year’s end. It also marks a turning point in that Churchill made two voyages to North America in 1941. There were to be many more perilous trips undertaken by Churchill during the war. The descriptions of these trips are exquisite.

It should be emphasized that the United
Feb 16, 2009 Manny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third volume of Churchill's history of World War II is a terrific example of how pragmatic you need to be in politics. It's not much use complaining that people are evil. You have to think about the lesser of two evils, and choose that one. Here, Britain and the US are fighting Nazi Germany and Japan. Germany was previously allied with the Soviet Union, but then miscalculated and attacked them. So, by default, Britain was allied with the Soviet Union, whom it had just previously considered t ...more
Feb 08, 2013 GoldGato rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, winter, war
Mr. Churchill was a trip. Truly a one-of-a-kind giant who helped save the world, yet was able to write about his struggles with effortless aplomb. It must have been the merging of his English and American blood, bringing the best together. This is the third volume of his WWII saga, and it is marvelous (though I rank it below Their Finest Hour). Whether he is fretting about Great Britain fighting by itself while waiting for Roosevelt or slinging dry-witted remarks left and right, this book was a ...more
Dec 19, 2010 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History buffs, British historians, Military buffs
Recommended to Michael by: serendipity
This third volume of Winston Churchill's memoir of the Second World War covers the year 1941, perhaps the turning point of the war. As the year opened, the British Empire stood alone against a triumphant Germany, which had overrun France and Western Europe, with Italy still ascendant in Africa and Japan increasingly noisy in the Far East. Churchill, unlike certain British revisionists since that time, never underestimates the importance of the Dominion powers in terms of British strength, and ce ...more
Feb 02, 2009 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The things I found most interesting in this book were the Battle of Britain and what happened with Russia and Germany.
I knew Winston Churchill had a reputation for good insults, but he had some very blunt things to say about how Stalin managed things before the Germans invaded. "Gross mismanagement" was one of the phrases he used.
The two-faced behavior of the Soviets would have been socially crippling but I guess you can't afford to ostracize someone you need to successfully fight a war. Before
Jul 16, 2012 Owen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because of his immense output, Winston Churchill may be described as an old-fashioned writer. Fortunately for us he does not read as such. There is very little archaic about the expressions he uses or the grammar he employs, in volume after volume after volume. It remains immensely readable, and this is the strength of a good writer, it seems to me. As a boy, Churchill was held up to me as an example of a person with a very full command of English. I was told, although I have never been able to ...more
Aaron Crofut
Churchill continues to entertain and enlighten. This volume is worth reading in particular to learn about the conflict in the Balkans, an area Churchill always had a fascination with. It does seem likely that the month long conflict in Yugoslavia and Greece, largely the result of British designs, delayed Operation Barbarossa long enough to bring the Russian winter into account. One can't help but wonder if Moscow could have been taken in November 1941 had the attack on Russia began in May rather ...more
1941 and into the spring of 1942 were dark months but hope was once more on England's side along with allies. Namely the U.S.S.R. and the United States. In addition to allies, came the need for greater cooperation and diplomacy. Churchill traveled across the world, strengthening his personal relationships with the heads of these two countries and working to hammer out a master plan.

Why I started this book: While only the second book of the series was on the Navy's Recommended Reading list, I cou
Aug 11, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Volume 3 of Churchill's opus on World War II, this book does not disappoint. Basically covering 1941, Churchill describes in detail the fear of fighting the Axis alone, the surprise of Germany's decision to attack Russia, and the United States entry into the war.

It's fascinating to read Churchill's respect for Roosevelt and the U.S., and how he handles them with kid gloves and not once give in to the frustration he (and Britain) must have felt as they watched the U.S. stumble into the war - slow
Pamela Mckinnon
Jul 02, 2015 Pamela Mckinnon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A turning point in WWII to be sure. Germany gets greedy and decides to turn on Russia-to their ultimate detriment-although many people don't realize that Russia actually lost the most people during WWII because of this action by Hitler. The Russian people truly suffered for Stalin's hubris, and continued to after the war. Churchill realizes the ungrateful devil he's dealing with (Stalin), who petulantly complains and makes demands of England and the US without acknowledging that he is only sidin ...more
Sep 07, 2014 Gordon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From fighting alone in 1941 to the entry of first Russia, then the US into WWII. This is Churchill's masterful description of the fateful decision by Hitler to betray Stalin and attack Russia followed in the same year by Japan's decision to attack the US at Pearl Harbor. Both strategic decisions change the nature of the war by making it truly worldwide and unleash the unfathomable power and resources of the US and USSR which will be the eventual undoing of the Axis powers. The strategic foresigh ...more
Gijs Grob
The third chapter in Churchill's account of World War II more or less covers the year 1941. Although Churchill hardly admits it, this was not a very good year for the British Empire: the Balkan and Greece were lost, the battle in Libya remained undecided, suddenly the British had to strike in Iraq, they made a rather questionable move in Persia, they lost their marine superiority in the Mediterranean, and at the end of the year they quickly started to lose their colonies in the Far East. One rea ...more
Ryan Middlebrook
Oct 29, 2015 Ryan Middlebrook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of history
The third volume in the abridged collection of Churchill’s history of the Second World War (confusingly the third volume in the unabridged series goes by the same title) follows Great Britain out of the time of their isolation in the war. From 1939 until the Germans turned their sights on Russia in 1942, England was the sole force providing continual harassment to Hitler’s swelling dominion. While many other countries were friendly and supportive to the cause, there had yet to be formed an allie ...more
Jul 22, 2013 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The Grand Alliance
Winston Churchill
Houghton Mifflin

By 1950, when this volume was published, I should think Churchill must have almost choked when he selected the title. The title refers to how, in 1941, Russia abruptly sought alliance with Britain following Hitler's attack; and how the United States went all-in following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. But now, in 1950, to call it a "grand alliance" given the naked postwar aggression and land grabbing of the USSR upon conclusion of the
Sep 27, 2013 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Winston Churchill's comprehensive recounting of the World War II based on his remembrances continues with this, the third edition of six. It almost entirely involves the tumultuous year of 1941, when Great Britain was fighting almost single-handedly against Germany and Italy in the Balkans, Greece, Cyprus and, far from least, in North Africa. Prime Minister Churchill must have felt the weight of the world on his shoulders as desperate measures were enacted by his government and armed forces to k ...more
Apr 22, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 3rd book in the History of World War II that Churchill wrote some years after the war, using personal memoranda, official transcripts and records that had not yet been made public. His internal thoughts at the forming of the Grand Alliance (Britain, United States and the Soviet Union) are amazing to hear. It takes straight-forward history and puts personal context behind it. There were some interesting things I learned in this book: Stalin was very difficult to work with (although Ch ...more
Jeff Elliott
Mar 14, 2012 Jeff Elliott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, world-war-ii
Great passage by Churchill on his first meeting with Roosevelt in Newfoundland, August 1941. He describes the joint service on Sunday, August 10 and concludes the chapter with these three sentences:
"Every word seemed to stir the heart. It was a great hour to live. Nearly half of those who sang were soon to die."

pg. 611 Churchill's correspondence and declaration of war with Japan after Pearl Harbor: Some people did not like this ceremonial style. But after all when you have to kill a man it costs
Chris Walker
Jul 22, 2011 Chris Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It occurred to me that a short story should be written around what would have happened to the world if the battle ships carrying Roosevelt and Churchill to Newfoundland to sign the Atlantic Charter in 1941 had been scuttled by U Boats. It was these incidents rather than the blow by blows on the battlefields that held my interest in this book (although I was pleased to read Australian and New Zealand troops mentioned favourably in the north African campaign). There are moments of unintentional hu ...more
Sep 02, 2008 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Winston Churchill's third installment in his history of World War 2 carries on with the same style of writing, the same attention to detail, and the same chronological organization as the first two volumes. The Grand Alliance covers the time period when first Russia and then the United States joined Britain in the fight against the Axis powers. This was my least favorite of the three books in the series I've read so far.

Firstly, as with the other books, there is the paradoxical issue of feeling
Brent Venton
Oct 08, 2013 Brent Venton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maintains the same high standards of the first two volumes with CHurchill's cosy and simple style keeping things very engaging. As the book travels through the disasters of Greece and Crete and then the inconclusive fighting in Egypt what becomes the real story is the communication between commanders and leaders in war. Churchill recounts in painstaking detail the organization and heirarchy of decision making. Make no mistake, his simple decisions and conclusions distill from myriad committees a ...more
Jul 04, 2009 Fabien rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The third volume in Churchill history of WWII. This book is blander and slower than the two previous volumes.
This is mainly due to the fact that the several theaters where the British are fighting are comparatively quieter and of secondary importance.
The story remains British-centric, when the war in no longer centered on Britain. During the book timeline, Hitler attack Russia and the Japanese attack the USA. Yet we learn little about these theaters.

Still, this book is very interesting as it
Dec 08, 2014 Gerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-history
I read this volume first out of order. Additionally, I read the original 4 Volume set, not the later 6 volume set that was broken into two additional volumes in the late 1980s. Still, it this later 6 volume set is the same set from the original. This being said the complete works of the "Second World War" was nothing shigh of brilliant. Sir Churchill kept no notes on the personal leaders of the day that he worked with on almost a daily basis. His notes used in this work were from original messag ...more
Tim Mygatt
Sep 04, 2009 Tim Mygatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
John Doyle
Apr 02, 2016 John Doyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The third of six volumes in Churchill's history of WWII covers the period from the Battle of Britain in 1940 to the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in 1942. For most of this time Britain faced Germany alone and Churchill showed the importance of prioritization even among core principles. German documents show that when Hitler decided to attack the Soviet Union he believed that anti-Bolshevik sentiment in Britain and the US might cause ambivalence in both countries about an alliance with Stalin ...more
James Violand
Jun 28, 2014 James Violand rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Winston Churchill I consider the greatest man of the 20th century. This is his personal account - warts and all - of the events when the Soviet Union and the United States confront Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Brilliant.
Tim Jin
Dec 06, 2013 Tim Jin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sir Winston Churchill - The Second World War The Grand Alliance. This is the third book in a four book series. It's extremely good because it's first hand from Churchill. I read the past two books in order and the third series gets even better. I started this book overnight and woke up early to finish it. In this book, Churchill explains more about the battles of the field. My only sad face is that I need to wait until my credits renew to listen to the fourth and last book, Triumph and Tragedy. ...more
Petter Nordal
Three things surprised me about this book:
1. A phenomenal amount of strategic planning was done to ensure a supply of petroleum.]
2. Churchill writes almost nothing indicating why the war was fought. The only thing that is clear is that he wants to win. He makes no mention of the anti-semitism of the Nazis, nor does he give much weight to thereasopns why newly independent Greece and Norway resisted Nazi occupations.
3. Hitler really was not a very good strategist. When internal communication came
Michael Scott
Oct 12, 2013 Michael Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
+++ The formation of the Grand Alliance, including the grumbling Soviet Russia
+++ Accounts of the despicable political behavior of Russia, including begging followed soon afterwards by requests for later reward.
+ Accounts of the operations in North Africa, including first encounters with Rommel.
- Account from Churchill introduces various pro-British biases. Explanation of non-intervention in Russian side of war rather weak and self-servient. Several other examples appear in this book.
-- Pearl H
John Harder
Dec 16, 2011 John Harder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Winston Churchill’s The Grand Alliance takes us at the time of America’s entry to the war and ending prior to the invasion of Normandy. Winston gives us an indispensible perspective of the war, while giving us the basis for many of his decisions. Also, as Winston was an emotional man (“I am a blubberer,” he once declared) his torment is only overcome by his sense of destiny and fortitude. I got a kick out of his undisguised joy at the attack of the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. Naturally he did not ...more
Hans Hoffmann
Feb 01, 2016 Hans Hoffmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great account of World War II diplomacy by one of the 20th centuries great statesman
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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 Hinge of Fate (The Second World War, #4)
  • Closing the Ring (The Second World War, #5)
  • Triumph and Tragedy (The Second World War, #6)

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