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Triumph and Tragedy

(The Second World War #6)

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,411 ratings  ·  82 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, 947 pages
Published May 5th 2005 by Penguin Classics (first published 1953)
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Nov 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
The final volume of Churchill's incredible history of WW II. There's absolutely nothing else like it, and he turns in another masterpiece. The things people quote most often are his bitterness about being voted out of office just as the war is ending, and Stalin's bare-faced lies concerning the atom bomb. He claimed to know nothing about it, which Churchill believed, but it later turned out that he'd had a spy in place who'd passed out all the secrets.

But here's the bit that made the greatest i
Mikey B.
This is the last volume in Winston Churchill’s war memoirs. It begins with the D-Day Normandy landings. The two chapters on D-Day are almost desultory constituting of only 33 pages. He writes more on the intervention in Greece at Christmas, 1944 (almost 44 pages) where Britain wanted to prevent the ascendancy of the communist party.

Page 181 (my book)

Communism raised its head behind the thundering Russian battlefront. Russia was the delivery, and Communism the gospel she brought.

This volume is/>Communism
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, year-round, war
Our strength, which had overcome so many storms, would no longer continue in the sunshine.

With that sentence, Churchill neatly summed up this last volume of his massive WWII collection...the coming victory of the Allies would mean the end of office for the Great Lion, the man who stayed true from beginning to end. The theme of this book is How The Great Democracies Triumphed, and so Were Able to Resume the Follies Which Had so Nearly Cost Them Their Life . Unlike the previous volumes, this one is more centered
Feb 02, 2009 rated it liked it
This is the last of Churchill's volumes on WWII. This one had a different tone than the other ones. Perhaps because the issues in this volume had not been resolved at the time of writing, or perhaps because Churchill himself was disappointed at how things ultimately turned out (apart from winning the war that is). The theme of this volume is telling:

How the great democracies triumphed, and so were able to resume the follies which had so nearly cost them their life.

Not bi
Doreen Petersen
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii
Great read with lots of details about the ending of WWII. I would recommend this one.
David Rubin
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This volume concludes Winston Churchill's six-volume history of World War II. As previously noted, this is a highly personalized history, closely revolving around the Prime Minister's own participation in the military and political activities during the war. The book is constructed of two interwoven approaches: a narrative, chronological history of the war and a set of source material composed of telegrams, letters, and notes sent and received during the course of the action. Much of the latter ...more
Jeff Elliott
The final of Churchill's volumes comes to an abrupt end with his surprising election loss immediately at the end of the war. I have been several years reading through these and, as always, Winston never is at a loss for words or opinions. Still convinced that every opinion he had was the best, we should give him credit for acceding to the demands of others as often as he did. He is quick to point out the error of thinking diverging from his own. I believe I will return to these often when seekin ...more
Andrew Canfield
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Triumph and Tragedy is the final installment in Winston Churchill’s remembrances of the second World War. The title of this book is derived from Churchill’s view that the war’s outcome, as much of a triumph as it was, ended up being squandered by the onset of the Cold War.

Triumph and Tragedy opens with the Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy before going on to detail the final year of World War Two. Churchill describes the re-invasion of France before veering off into discussi
Battle of Italy, the Mediterranean conflicts, Normandy, and the division of Europe between the Soviet Union and the other Allies.

Why I started this book: While only the second book of the series was on the Navy's Recommended Reading list, I couldn't just read that one. I was eager to finish this series.

Why I finished it: My American prejudices prevented me from fully enjoying the last installment. I was frustrated by Churchill's insistence that it was American lack of foresight that
Sep 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-ii
Having read the entire six-volumes series over the last few months, it was chilling to read about the missed opportunities, appeasement and general unwillingness to confront the looming Soviet threat that would take nearly four decades to undo.

With a recalcitrant Iran and a distracted Europe, this series is a powerful warning that our generation faces similar choices to those that confronted Churchill and the West in the years before WW2. I have little faith that today's leaders in E
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Winston and he fully deserved his Noble prize for writing. However, I don't know how a person can write a 6 volume tactical account of WWII and not once mention a concentration camp or what Hitler was doing to the Jews. How's that even possible?!
Aug 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
The final chapter of Churchill's personal view of WWII. Almost worth just for Churchill's writing in addition to the insights he provides.
Mar 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting insight. Amazing how he, just like before the war started, could so well predict what was to come. How might the world have been different if he had been listened to.
Bob Wolniak
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership, classics
Churchill's 6th and final volume of his Pulitzer prize winning insider history of the Second World War picks up from Closing the Ring (which is mainly about defeating Mussolini's Italy) and resumes with the allied D-Day operations. It ends rather abruptly with his loss of elections in Britain at the end of the war. This is by no means a thorough war accounting of all the remaining theaters of battle but rather a book filled with correspondences and vital meetings between "the big three" world le ...more
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Triumph and Tragedy
Winston Churchill
Houghton Mifflin, 1953

This is the final volume of the series on the Second World War. As with all the other volumes, Churchill states a "Theme of the Volume" on one of the cover pages. The theme here is utterly predictive of the content: "How the Great Democracies Triumphed, and so Were able to Resume the Follies Which Had so Nearly Cost Them Their Life". This theme constitutes the book ends for the entire work: it begins with Churchill
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Time spent with such a compelling figure as Churchill is a humbling reminder of the merit of Thomas Carlyle's Great Man Theory. He was a giant of the 20th Century. Having just completed all six volumes of Churchill's Second World War series, I'm appropriately awed. Churchill's unique personal view of theses momentous years is a wonderful counterpoint to the compelling and readable WWII histories by Rick Atkinson, Anthony Beevor and others. The telegrams, minutes and messages included add unparal ...more
James Richardson
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading Winston Churchill's Triumph and Tragedy which is Volume 6 of Churchill's six volume masterpiece on the history of the Second World War. Suffice it to say that Churchill was ahead of his time and way ahead of the United States in seeing the danger of the Russian/Soviet menace! FDR and then Truman were too concerned with politics that might offend UJ. Churchill's response was we have to do something and the hell with worrying about offending Stalin. Great and insightful doc ...more
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a great conclusion to a magnificent series! Churchill really describes the ins and outs of the end of the Nazi menace and the beginning of the Cold War in this volume. Churchill spends a lot of time trying to show how he was overruled on the Polish question by a war weary U.S. In my humble opinion, the Poland question was decided the minute the USSR chased the Germans out of it. After reading this series, I realized why Churchill won the Nobel Prize as he is an outstanding chronicler o ...more
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good finish to the series here, with a touch of sadness to it, as Churchill's long fight against Nazism was finally triumphant, but Britain was fading as a world power as a result, Churchill was voted out and the beginnings of the cold war could be seen. Good amount of detail as usual, and continuing from volume 5 a lot of focus on the political side of things, with the impact of Roosevelt's death also highlighted. All in all I think a very strong and informative series about world war 2, and ...more
Dave Ewart
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read all six volumes of these diaries over the past year, with many other books in between, but I feel an achievement having finished. Although familiar with much of the history & events, the inside view these diaries provide is magnificent.

It's a long slog getting through, and I tended to glaze over a little with all the references to the various armies & divisions, but absolutely worth it.
Karen Sofarin
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this whole series. Churchill’s point of view and narrative style are terrific an so compelling. Kind of sad the project of reading Churchill is over for this year. He wrote so much. I will hold on to the fact that if he could endure all he had to AND deal with Stalin, what is there for me to complain about?
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Amazing history, reading Churchill's diary!

I learned a lot about Churchill's relationships with other world leaders and generals, such as Eisenhower, Roosevelt, Stalin etc.

It was a great book, but did require concentration, since it was in diary form and did drag on at time with details.

Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The following review will shock you:

1. It's very well written.
2. It is a fascinating history of the Second World War as told from the British (and especially Curchillian) point of view.
3. It is required reading for anyone with a penchant for WWII, 20th Century histories, or Churchill.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Terrific series from a man who understood it best,
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Would highly recommend this series to anyone!!!!
JP Jennings
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A bit one sided in terms of Operation Overlord and Monty, but it is Churchill after all. Besides the obvious British slant, an excellent book on the intricacies of the the final years of the WWII.
Johnny LeBon
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
All six volumes were an excellent inside view of decisions, thought processes, and processes that drove WWII.
Churchill did a masterful job. It was neither boring nor dry.
Nishant Pappireddi
I thoroughly enjoyed the entire six-volume series.
Jim Gallen
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
About six years ago I began my re-read of Winston S. Churchill’s Second World War and now with “Triumph And Tragedy” I have now completed the work. We have come full circle to the point that the Great Democracies were able to resume the follies which had son nearly cost them their life.

This sixth and final volume begins with D-Day and ends with Churchill’s defeat in the 1945 national elections. On these pages the reader becomes acquainted with the Prime Minister’s views on the invasi
Gijs Grob
With 'Triumph and Tragedy' Churchill closes his six volume account on World War II. The former prime minister has kept me reading for more than a half year, and reading this work somehow gives you an impression about how endless the war could feel. The book starts with D-Day, 6 June 1944, and from then on it's clear that the Allied Forces will win. Nevertheless, there are still setbacks, like the failure of Operation Market Garden or the German counter-offensive in the Ardennes. The Japanese, to ...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)
  • Closing the Ring (The Second World War, #5)
“I should be unworthy of your confidence and generosity if I did not still cry: Forward, unflinching, unswerving, indomitable, till the whole task is done and the whole world is safe and clean.” 0 likes
“In the autumn of 1942, at the peak of the struggle for Guadalcanal, only three American aircraft-carriers were afloat; a year later there were fifty; by the end of the war there were more than a hundred.” 0 likes
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