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The Last 100 Days

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,683 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
A dramatic countdown of the final months of WWII in Europe, The Last 100 Days brings to life the waning power & ultimate submission of the 3rd Reich. To reconstruct the tumultuous 100 days between Yalta & Berlin's fall, John Toland traveled more than 100,000 miles in 21 countries & interviewed more than 600 people--from Hitler's personal chauffeur to Generals v ...more
Hardcover, 635 pages
Published June 28th 1966 by Random House Inc. (NYC) (first published 1966)
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Mikey B.
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-war-ii
John Toland writes clearly and is able to move from the high levels (Churchill and Roosevelt, Hitler) to the details of individual soldiers on the battlefield. He has performed an important task of interviewing hundreds of people (from Generals to civilians fleeing the Soviet Army). He weaves a massive canvas of the final days of the Third Reich.

Thank-fully he does not accuse Churchill and Roosevelt of betraying Poland at Yalta. He points the finger clearly at Stalin and the Soviet Union for th
...more
Martin
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting look 'behind-the-scenes' at the last 100 days of World War II in Europe. Mostly about The Big Three vs. The Germans (Italy and Mussolini get a mere two chapters!), with all the usual players: Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, Montgomery, Truman, Dulles, Smith, Harriman, Hitler, Göring, Goebbels, Himmler, Speer.

Political wranglings, military manoeuvrings, agreements made & broken, 'displaced persons', refugees, the usual war-time atrocities (mass rape, lo
...more
Erik Graff
Jul 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: WWII fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
Having read at least two of Toland's books previously, I picked this one up with some confidence and was not disappointed. Toland, a professional writer, not an academic historian, effectively weaves into his grand historical narrative enough small illustrative examples that the reader is repeatedly reminded of the personal, human dimension of war. Much of his material is original, based on his interviews with survivors.
Walter Mendoza
May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
John Toland's The last 100 Days is a countdown about Europa's front; like a novel Toland tell us from many points of view, simultaneous testimonials of soldiers or leaders, with a great narrative the author tell us historical events based on diaries and war documents, Toland describes important events like conference at Yalta, or the devastation of Berlin.

In conclusion the book help us understand the war's final on Europe. More 50 years after final of war, Toland's work is one of the best books
...more
Xfi
Dec 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reconstrucción de los últimos 100 días de la segunda guerra mundial en Europa, es decir desde mediados de enero hasta mayo de 1945.
Lo primero que hay que decir es que este libro se publicó en 1965, apenas 20 años después de la caída de Hitler y en pleno apogeo de la guerra fría. Esto es muy importante tenerlo en cuenta porque es uno de sus principales atractivos y a la vez su mayor defecto.
Escrito por John Toland, un periodista americano metido a historiador cuyas obras publicadas en los años 60
...more
Owen
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last 100 days of the Nazi regime have long remained clouded by the fact that it was the Soviet armies that reached Berlin first and afterwards controlled the information surrounding the end of it all. Until things had settled down, and let's not forget that they only ever partially settled down (Patton's cry of "Let's push on to Moscow," still rings in one's ears), little or no information was available to the Western press about the successful Russian attack against the German capital. John ...more
Matt
Feb 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: WWII History Buffs
Recommended to Matt by: Dave
A very interesting read, although it takes a bit to really get going. It jumps around the timeline quite a bit, particularly towards the beginning. That said, it settles down about halfway through and gets much easier to follow.

It was very eye opening and informative, however the fact that it was written by an American and published during the height of the Cold War I can't help but feel some of the descriptions of the Soviet armed forces are a bit biased. It isn't that I don't think they're fa
...more
Olethros
-En su momento, ejemplar y de referencia. Ahora no tanto.-

Género. Historia.

Lo que nos cuenta. Visión casi periodística, con momentos novelados, de los últimos cien días de Segunda Guerra Mundial en el frente europeo a través de un gran número de participantes en los hechos. Libro también conocido como “Los cien últimos días” (sí, en serio).

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

http://librosdeolethros.blogspot.com/...
Patrick Clark
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but it is heavy duty history with a lot of direct quotes from original source material. I think the time period, last 90 days of WWII, was a very critical time period for the world, but for the US in particular as it shaped the opening of the Cold War. Highly recommended for history buffs, not so much for those looking for history lite or only entertainment.
German Patarroyo
Sep 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing...it has everything!!! it show us how the people (german, amarican and russian soldiers, etc)lives these final days and in the same time represents the final experiences of characters so important like Hitler, Mussoulini and Rosevelt and the the impresions of Stalin and Churchill
Douglas
Much of the draw for my WWII hobby is the information regarding organizational and individual leadership behaviors. This work was particularly good at describing the interpersonal and organizational dynamics of Hitler's inner circle.
Dan Snyder
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A revelation (in the apocalyptic sense). It seems that the settlement of the war was an overly academic and tone deaf understanding of historical forces. The seething appetite for revenge that animated communism, masquerading as millenarian revelation was only another side of the same coin motivating Germany. Roosevelt was naive, and cunning. Cunning regarding his own people; naive regarding others. Like Woodrow Wilson before him, he is feckless and condescending. The shocker here is the way thi ...more
Terence
Dec 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-read
Fantastically detailed and well written but it takes dedication to get through this long book.

My recommendation is to take each chapter (over 30 of them) as a separate short story. The chapters represent a slice of time and contain, in most cases, multiple scenes / sections that are occurring roughly in tandem during that slice of time.

Character development is not a strength of this book, so if you have read other books about WWII, you will more likely enjoy it. This is because you will likely
...more
Mark
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exhaustively researched and engagingly written, John Toland's account of the last 100 days of World War II can be fairly described as riveting. All the usual suspects are here: FDR, Churchill, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and Truman. But so are their underlings — cabinet members, secretaries, ministers, generals and their subordinates, ethnic partisans, et al. — with detailed accounts of their maneuverings, diplomatic and military, as well as transcripts of their conversations from historical reco ...more
Mark
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very readable history of the last 100 days of World War II in Europe. It's both a historical account (like a textbook almost) but also very readable.

That said, there is so much detail of names and places, the facts occasionally detract a little from the overall fabric of the story. A map of Europe at one's elbow (much more detailed than on the end flaps) would help.

Particularly interesting was the restraint shown by the western Allies in terms of territory conquered. We really tried to keep
...more
Jim
This is a detailed, yet very readable, account of the last 100 days of World War II in Europe. The book was written in 1965, 20 years after the German surrender, and many survivors of the war - both leaders and common soldiers - still were alive. The author interviewed many of these survivors and included their recollections to augment the history. As he says in the introduction, none of the dialogue is fictional - all is based on the recollections of individuals who were at the events recorded ...more
Marian
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are a WWII history buff and really want details about the end of the war in Europe, then this is the book for you. While the book is well written and researched to an inch of its life, it was a tough read for me. I read and finished it because it was the month's selection for my book club; otherwise, I know I wouldn't have finished it. Too long.

Even though the length got to me, the details also got to me as well. It was quite hard to keep track of so many people -- especially all of the G
...more
Ron Jensen
Interesting history, with much new information for me, but more details than I wanted in many places. Very long book. Heavy on facts and light on analysis. The biggest problem with this book was the audiobook - by far the worst reader I have encountered in 10 years of reading audiobooks. The reader spoke in a droning, haughty British accent, but most annoyingly, he swallowed or mumbled the last word of almost every sentence. I completely lost the meaning of many sentences. This audiobook should ...more
Brad Kirbyson
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was torn between 4 and 5 stars for this one, but ultimately settled on 4. I like that it is written more for the history buff and professional historians, but even at that it's heavy going at times. I agree with some of the other commenters that you should have a WWII map of Europe beside you when you read the book, plus Google so you can look up who all the people are. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the geography and the people involved, and he assumes you do too. It's still an excellent ...more
Andrew
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Good, but maddingly jumpy in coverage: big picture Yalta / Leaders conversations, recollections of POWs, battle accounts from 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 different locations, recollections of refugees, much Hitler minutiae.... All of it is variously interesting and enough of it is new to me, but it is such a hodgepodge. Like 1000 anecdotes about the last 100 days.
David Becker
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thorough, well-written account of the close of the European part of World War II, focusing on desperate efforts all around to keep Russia from taking over the whole shebang. Do wish the author had condensed some of the description of high-level negotiations and given the space to show the experience of the average soldier and civilian.
Jeff J.
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When picking up a Toland history you can count on a gripping narrative that is both meticulously researched and highly readable. It is remarkable that his account of the last 100 days of World War II manages to ramp up the drama despite the known outcome. Recommended!
Joseph P. Alexander
Informative, Well done, looking at this time period in a different way. I enjoyed it immensely.
Lawrence
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A dramatic countdown of the final months of World War II in Europe, "The Last 100 Days" brings to life the waning power and the ultimate submission of the Third Reich. To reconstruct the tumultuous hundred days between Yalta and the fall of Berlin, John Toland traveled more than 100,000 miles in twenty-one countries and interviewed more than six hundred people--from Hitler's personal chauffeur to Generals von Manteuffel, Wenck, and Heinrici; from underground leaders to diplomats; from top Allied ...more
Jerry Smith
Ok but I didn't finish it before I had to return it and it was a tad disappointing, maybe due to my expectations. Having said that it is not at all bad and I will return to it I'm sure. My problem with it seems somewhat churlish - I find the detail and the personal stories somewhat distracting and long winded in this context. I realize that is unfair and that detail often makes the book as I have often opined here on Goodreads.

However in this case I am really interested in how the last 100 days
...more
Themistocles
I found parts of this book quite enjoyable and original, while (I admit it) I had to skip others. Toland chooses to go through the last 100 days by following specific incidents that could be good examples of the whole, but it's just not so. For instance, the Americans PoWs occupying a village. It's a very, very interesting story, but not quite representative, and it just doesn't stick with the story-telling, for instance, of the western front politics.

For some reason Toland also chooses to go on
...more
Lisa
Aug 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite of Toland's work. Lots of atrocities and lots of repeated atrocities (wait, didn't we just go through this?), plus an (understandable for the time, but still distracting) focus on how bad the Russians/Bolsheviks were and a sort of canonizing of the Americans and even the Germans. "OMG I had like no idea there were concentration camps despite my high position in Nazi leadership!" Suuuuuuurrre.

He also has a tendency to just write out the minutes of meetings between Churchill, Roose
...more
Peter Mendrela
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Toland's account of the final days of WWII in Europe is, simply put, outstanding! As with his inimitable biography of Hitler, Toland's disinterested yet compelling narrative here is second to none. What makes this achievement unique, however, is his use of perspectival approach which allows the reader to seamlessly move between, and be witness to, power brokers such as Hitler,

Stalin, Churchill, and FDR, the military commanders, the plain soldiers, and finally, the civilians.
This methodolo
...more
Edward Weiner
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very long and detailed history that concentrates on the last 100 days of World War II in Europe. I listened to the audible.com version. Very well written. The author tells the story from all sides -- primarily, America, Britain, Russia and Germany. Diplomacy, communications, troop movements, major battles, the impact on civilian populations -- all are described in a chronological narrative; and it is a fair and balanced account. If you think you know all about these fourteen weeks, try ...more
Grant
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Though Toland's work has become somewhat dated, his unusual lens, focused on the last 100 days of World War II in Europe, remains useful. Toland includes the highest-level policy decisions of Yalta alongside the most important tactical events, such as the Rhine and Oder crossings, peppered with views from the home fronts, POWs, and the core of the Nazi leadership. He provides useful studies of the deaths of three world leaders - FDR, Mussolini, and Hitler. Overall, a well-written work that still ...more
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John Willard Toland (June 29, 1912 in La Crosse, Wisconsin - January 4, 2004 in Danbury, Connecticut) was an American author and historian. He is best known for his biography of Adolf Hitler.[1]

Toland tried to write history as a straightforward narrative, with minimal analysis or judgment. This method may have stemmed from his original goal of becoming a playwright. In the summers between his coll
...more