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Closing the Ring

(The Second World War #5)

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  1,490 ratings  ·  53 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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Average rating 4.38  · 
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 ·  1,490 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Nov 24, 2008 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
Jun 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, spring, history
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 h/>Your
Doreen Petersen
Oct 31, 2013 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.
Mikey B.
This fifth volume takes us from June of 1943 to the eve of D-Day (June 6, 1944).

Mr. Churchill is again travelling at a stupendous rate – to North America for the Quebec Conference, where he also journeyed to Washington DC – and then to Cairo meeting with both Roosevelt and Chiang Kai-shek and from there off to the first meeting of the “Big Three” (Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt) in Teheran. Security was lax there as the cars in the Churchill entourage made there way through streets
Dec 03, 2013 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
Jeff Elliott
This volume of Churchill's account is the turning of the tide in 1943 and the ends with the day before D-Day.

Other significant passages in this volume:
-the British and American attempts to pacify, please and deal with Stalin in the efforts for the western front and to get him to meet (which ended up in Tehran).
-Much of this book was concerned with the war in Italy.
-DeGaulle's vexation of the Allies with his arrogance.
-the usage of the German v-rocket.

I see that it
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional history of WW2 from a man that was instrumental in its planning. A sober thought; Wars are fought for many reasons but one that struck a note with me was the allies in dividing up their spoils, territories.
Andrew Canfield
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Closing the Ring is the fifth volume in Winston Churchill’s writings on the Second World War. The theme of this volume is “How Nazi Germany was Isolated and Assailed on All Sides,” and, it sets the stage for the final takedown of Germany by the Allied Powers.

The book opens where the previous one left off, beginning with the successful Allied invasion of Italy. This move initially created some rare friction between British and U.S. commanders, as division was created between those who wanted an
Jul 14, 2012 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
Jan 14, 2009 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 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book chronicles the Allied struggle in the time period spanning from summer 1943 up to the beginning of Operation Overlord, the long-awaited June, 1944 cross-Channel invasion of Europe, in World War II. As usual, Winston Churchill, as Prime Minister and, essentially, British military war lord, discloses a wealth of information on the workings of the British and other Allied governments in prosecuting the war, as well as his personal dealings and thoughts at the time. Churchill was the only ...more
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 accou
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Winston Churchill's "Closing the Ring" is a masterpiece of the actual words by the actual man who lead the actual effort against Germany in World War II. Any discussion of this book should begin with the author's name, not the title, because the source makes the material matter more.

You are there, in the moments that changed the world. History is relayed, stunning in its depth even if you have studied the era. If the size of the book is daunting, know that each chapter has its own ta
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another interesting read this one, from mid 1943 to mid 1944. Covers a lot more of the Political side, with the various agreements / disagreements amongst the allies, and the Tehran conference covered in a lot of detail. A bit of defence by Churchill as well against accusations of him opposing Overlord, and while I don't think he was in opposition to it, I'm not sure he was as strongly for it as he presents here. Get some good detail of the Italian campaign, and the shock fall of Mussolini, but ...more
James Richardson
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Drive to Victory for the Allies focusing on Driving Italy out of the war and the preparation for D-Day. Churchill noticed the warning signs of Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union well before F.D.R. or anyone else for that matter. D-Day was necessary not to win the war against Germany but to protect the west from an onslaught of Communism and Soviet hegemony.
John Schwab
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another Churchillian Masterpiece

When has there been a finer mastery and use of the English language than by this great man? I suggest never. And when has there been a greater tale of arms to tell?
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I did not like this volume 5 as much as the previous 4. Too much trivial stuff included about Churchill's personal life, rather than the war.
Still pretty good history, however, and well worth reading.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The entire 6 book series is a must read for anyone interested in WW2 from the insight of one of the lead decision makers of the Allies. Well written and well documented.
Karen Sofarin
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this volume, too. If Hitler can manage to deal with Stalin, what can I not do? Still learning so much. Can’t wait to finish this series.
Mike Reinking
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Detailed account of 1943 to just before D-Day in 1944. Lots of political discussion as well as detail as the Allies make progress against the Axis.
Gijs Grob
'Closing the Ring' continues Churchill's personal account of World War II. The book covers the events from July 1943 until the advent of D-Day in June 1944. The first book describes the invasion of Sicily and Southern Italy, the fall of Mussolini, the risk of an Italian civil war, and how the Italian invasion came to a standstill. The second book starts with the undisputed highlight of the book: a detailed account on the Teheran conference, the first meeting of all three allied powers and their ...more
Aaron Crofut
Sep 10, 2011 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
Jim Gallen
Apr 24, 2013 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
Sep 02, 2014 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
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Winston Churchill's "Closing the Ring: The Second World War, Volume 5 (Winston Churchill World War II Collection)" is the 5th volume in his "Second World War" historical series. As with the other volumes, it's inconceivably great, awe inspiring, and brings World War II to life. It forms just one segment of the timeline he's documenting and really can't be read stand-alone. So, start with the first book. I'm rating it (and the series) at an Excellent 5 stars out of 5.

The volumes in Wi
John Doyle
May 08, 2016 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
Kevin O'Brien
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, kindle, audio
This is the 5th volume in Churchill's 6-volume history of World War II. This covers the period of the Allies going over to the offensive, with Mussolini falling, Soviet Russia pushing west, the US and UK invading Italy, and Japan losing its grip on the territories it had conquered.

It is valuable as a view from a participant in the events of the war. As Churchill once said "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it," and he did do just that. That said, while he was a participant, this
Tim Mygatt
Apr 29, 2009 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
Jan 05, 2014 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
Doug Dams
Oct 19, 2011 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
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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

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)
“In war-time,” I said, “truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” 4 likes
“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
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